Brownies, it's not just cookies anymore

A dozen enthusiastic Brownies helped cook a pizza meal Tuesday ... then they ate it.

The second-grade girls from Brownie Troop No. 633, Piñon Hills Elementary School, crowded into the kitchen of Cooks Pantry in Gardnerville, and learned how to make pizza, Caesar salad and cinnamon twists, to earn their cooking badges.

Co-owner Sherrie Watterson showed the Brownies how to separate the dough by cutting it, not tearing it.

"Then you smash it," she said, before going into the next lesson on how to stretch the dough out.

"Mine isn't turning round," said Lydia Zink, as Watterson came to the rescue.

Jessica Eichner began pounding her flat piece of dough with her fist.

"You don't want to pound it too much," said Watterson. "Just squeeze it, like that."

"I'm doing it the way my mom taught me," said Hannah Carne, whose mother, Sue Carne, one of the Brownie leaders, attended the cooking class. "My mom's a professional cook."

"That's how my dad does it," said Jessica, when Watterson explained how to tear up lettuce, not cut it with a knife.

Cooks Pantry co-owner Jacqueline Walter also helped lead the class, as well as employee Stacey Gonzales, who asked for volunteers to help put together the salad dressing.

Watterson showed the children how to make croutons, then got out the pizza toppings.

"No anchovies, we've got a kid-friendly one," said Watterson. "Whatever you want."

Some of the shredded cheese didn't make it past the girls' mouths to the uncooked roundish and oblong pizza crusts. But the pizza pies eventually made it into the oven, and out.

"Who's ready to eat pizza?" asked Watterson.

"Mine's the big huge one," said Jenni Martin.

Maddy Lowe bit into hers.

"It's hot," she said. "Mmm, this is good."

"It's good, grreaat," said Emma Gray, whose mother is also a Brownie leader.

"Mmmmmmmm ..." said Sarah Eisele.

Sarah's grandmother Karen Kincheloe and great-grandmother Elsie Adams attended the dinner party.

"We were the first ones here," said Kincheloe, who had to pick Sarah up from her new school, Jacks Valley Elementary, since she transferred from Piñon Hills. "(Sarah) didn't want to be late."

Leader Julie Gray said the Brownies paid for the cooking class with proceeds from Girl Scout cookie sales.

"This is how we're spending our cookie money from last year," said Gray. "They're also taking a clay painting class and art lessons.

"If we make enough money this year, we'll do a horseback-riding class at the end of our season."

n Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 210.


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