The View from My Kitchen

Benvenuti! I hope you enjoy il panorama dalla mia cucina Italiana -- "the view from my Italian kitchen,"-- where I indulge my passion for Italian food and cooking. From here, I share some thoughts and ideas on food, as well as recipes and restaurant reviews, notes on travel, and a few garnishes from a lifetime in the entertainment industry.

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Grazie mille!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Taste of Home After Nature's Fury

Much of West Central Alabama is still reeling and recovering from last week's horrific tornado outbreak. But in the midst of it all, some sense of normalcy is returning and things are moving forward. One of those things is the upcoming Taste of Home Cooking School show scheduled for Saturday, May 7 in Trussville, Alabama, a Birmingham suburb mercifully spared much of the devastation experienced in other parts of town.

The show is slated for 2 p.m. at the Trussville Civic Center, with Michelle “Red” Roberts demonstrating some marvelous recipes and techniques gleaned from the pages of Taste of Home magazine, one of the country's most popular publications for the home cook.

Unlike the Atlanta iteration of the massive Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show from which I have just returned, a Taste of Home show is a great deal smaller and more intimate in its scope and execution. Whereas the MCES prefers the big city and big venues, Taste of Home finds its niche in smaller communities with less grand auditoriums. Many of the elements are the same. MCES features hundreds of vendors from all over the country. There'll be vendors in Trussville, too, but by and large they'll be local folks. And there will be live cooking demonstrations. But instead of a firmament of multi-starred chefs and food celebrities preparing elaborate dishes on the cooking stage, there'll just be Michelle whipping up some simple, everyday fare that any average home cook can duplicate. There will also be goodie bags loaded with samples and coupons and other neat stuff as well as tons of door prizes. Among the best door prizes are the dishes that Michelle cooks up. She gives them away to audience members, dishes and all. And Trussville attendees are in for a special treat; a free one-year subscription to Taste of Home. That premium alone is worth more than the price of admission.

Make no mistake, I never miss a Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show when I can help it. But likewise, I seldom pass up the chance to get together with some local foodies for a little down-home fun at a Taste of Home show. You shouldn't either.

If you're going to be a thousand miles from Trussville, Alabama this Saturday (or if you're a thousand miles from Trussville no matter what day it is), don't worry. There's probably a Taste of Home Cooking School show coming to your area. They're pretty good about spacing them out all over the country and you can find one in your neighborhood by logging on to and clicking on the "Cooking Schools" tab and proceed to “Find a Show."

Trussville's still there, folks, the show is still on, and I will have sufficiently recovered from the fine time I had in Atlanta over the weekend to be in attendance myself. For you folks in Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia who will likely not be there, I'll file a full report next week.

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