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Get ready for 'Taste of Home' cookin'

Organizers expect 800 people at April 17 event

February 13, 2008
Nothing beats home cooking, and Crawford County's going to get a good taste of it this spring.

The county will host the popular Taste of Home Cooking School at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School on April 17, and the excitement for some good, home cooking is already growing, said Sharon Wilson of the Crawford County Tourism Office.

The event is expected to sell out its 800 tickets and will feature approximately 50 vendors, from restaurants and Tupperware and Avon representatives to interior decorators and realtors.

However, the main attraction will be culinary specialist Dana Elliott from Bloomington, who will prepare eight recipes from the Taste of Home spring cookbook that will be given away — both food and dish — at the end of the evening.

"We are so excited," Wilson said, adding she expects people from up to 70 to 80 miles away to attend the event.

Part of what makes the Taste of Home Cooking School so popular, Wilson said, are the numerous giveaways, and Crawford County's event will be no different.

Wilson said attendees will be given goody bags donated by the Community Foundation of Crawford County filled with things like Taste of Home's spring cookbook, coupons and scratch pads. The goody bag donations and other giveaways have come from businesses and groups both in and out of Crawford County, she said.

"Some businesses will donate just 800 of something," Wilson said.

Some, but not all, of the businesses making donations include Maxine's Market at Milltown, Faith, Hope and Love Shop at Corydon, JayC Store at English and the Indiana Railway Museum at French Lick. Plus, a free airplane ride will be awarded, as will tickets to a couple of gospel concerts in Crawford County later this year.

"It's just a never-ending thing," Wilson said of the positive response organizers have received from businesses. "It's a wonderful thing."

Non-profit groups have also shown excitement about the possibility of reaching so many people in just one night, Wilson said. The Crawford County Relay for Life organization and the CARES before- and after-school program have both already reserved booth space, she said.

Wilson said she first became aware of the Taste of Home Cooking School four years ago when her friend, Barbara Voglesong, who is also one of the organizers of the Crawford County event, invited her to a school at Salem.

Wilson came away from the event impressed. "And I won a microwave," she joked.

Since then, Wilson has attended several Taste of Home events, including at Bedford, Evansville, Ferdinand and Boonville, and began thinking Crawford County would be a good location for a school.

Wilson, Voglesong and a committee have worked for months to organize the school. Proceeds from the event will go to community radio station WBRO-FM, the event's media sponsor, and the Crawford County 4-H Community Park.

Wilson said Taste of Home will grade the Crawford County event, which will determine if it will be allowed to host future schools.

"We'd like to make this yearly, but we will do this for different non-profit organizations," she said.

The Taste of Home Cooking School will be the latest of several big items Crawford County has hosted in the past year. Last summer, close to 15,000 people attended the National Speleological Society Convention at Marengo. Then, later in the summer, some 20,000 people attended the Thunder Over Patoka fireworks display at Patoka Lake.

Tickets for the Taste of Home Cooking School will cost $10 and will go on sale March 3. They will be available at the Crawford County Tourism Office at Leavenworth and O'Bannon Publishing Co. (the Clarion News and The Corydon Democrat office) at 301 N. Capitol Ave. in Corydon, by mail by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a check to Wilson at the Crawford County Tourism Office, 6225 E. Industrial Lane, Leavenworth, IN 47137 or by phone by calling 1-888-755-2282.

Doors for the event will open at 5 p.m., with the culinary specialist presentation beginning at 7. For more information, call Wilson 1-888-755-2282 or 739-2246.

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