wooden spoon

For years May has seen a round of barbecues, auctions and other events all geared to raising money for the youth of our Valley.

This year’s Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation efforts have only three more opportunities to support this worthy cause.

Tomorrow night our neighbors up the road get into the act. Barbecue dinner and cocktails at the Los Alamos Men’s Club get under way at 6:30 p.m. followed by another spirited auction.

Sunday is a day for the whole family. The popular Nojoqui Falls chicken barbecue and auction starts at noon. Open to the public, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon and support this tireless group’s efforts.

Activities will wrap up next week on Friday, May 24, with the traditional final event at the Veterans’ Memorial Building in Solvang. The evening will kick off at 5 p.m. with cocktails, dinner will be served at 5:30, and the last auction of this year will follow.

This year’s queen, Lilly Masopust, will be on hand, and if you haven’t met her yet, this is a great opportunity.

She’s a 16-year-old Dunn Middle School sophomore and a sixth-generation Valley native.

In her Youth Rec statement, she says “growing up I attended Los Olivos Elementary School and now I’m at Dunn. My parents are Ian and Robin Masopust, I have two younger brothers, Lonnie and Lane. My grandparents are Rocco and Kathy Roberts, great grandparents are Lucy Tessier, Laurene Roberts, Jim and Marilyn Elam, all Valley residents, and Jo and Jerry Williams of Ventura.”

At Dunn she’s in student government as a day-student senator, on the Community Service Committee and plays on the girls’ varsity basketball team. She’s an active member of the Valley 4H club where she serves as the club’s president. She has raised market steers and replacement heifers for the Santa Barbara County fair for the last six years.

“This year I started showing my steer at jackpot shows all over California,” she said.

She’s active in helping at her grandparents’ cattle ranch, and also her own herd.

“Rodeo is another interest of mine,” she said. “I am a member of the California High School Rodeo Association District 7 and Central Coast Classic Association.”

She competes in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway and team roping.

Other activities include soccer, softball, basketball, dance, swim and other activities, all supported by Youth Rec.

“It is truly a huge honor to give back to my community and be the 2019 Youth Recreation Queen,” she said. “My mom Robin was Queen in 1995, and my papa Rocco was on the Youth Recreation board for many years.”

With all those activities and in the midst of this busy round of fund-raising, I managed to score one of Lilly’s family recipes.

Magic Cookie Bars rate high in the Masopust house. Favorites of her brothers as well, these are easy to make and delicious. Popular since the late 1960s these are sure-fire treats everyone loves. Sweet, chewy and resembling a candy bar, what’s not to like?

Try this classic soon.


1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 can eagle brand condensed milk

1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1-1/2 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped nuts*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or 325 if using glass. Spray or grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over bottom, drizzle melted butter evenly over crumbs and pour condensed milk over all. Top evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts, if using. Press down gently and bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Makes 24 bars.

*Robin omits.

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Long-time Valley resident Elaine Revelle can be reached at thewoodenspoon@juno.com