Today was a mini-summer school session for me. A nearby high school in combination with a facility for people with developmental problems teamed up to bring A Taste of Home’s Cooking School to the area. I’ve read accounts of others attending one of these sessions but never found one near enough to me on a convenient date until today.
So I set off on a mini-mini-vacation this morning to go to summer school. I wasn’t exactly sure where the high school was and when I called for directions, the young man who gave them to me didn’t seem too sure either. He asked if I knew where the big hill was. This hill figured prominently in his directions. I thought about asking Google for directions but then it occurred to me that I could consult my map book. Several years ago when I delivered flowers part-time I bought a map book for this county. I got it off the shelf and tried to find the road the young man had told me to turn on.
As I drove there this morning, I was treated to scenes of rolling green hills. It was a very scenic drive and helped me to feel I was on a vacation. Finally I started down a big hill and thought, “This must be the big hill he mentioned.” I missed the road he told me to turn on but I knew from my map that the next road marked as a county highway should be one that would take me to the high school. It was reassuring to drive past the football field as I came to the corner. I turned and found the entrance to the campus. It was marked with signs for Taste of Home.
I found a parking space and walked past a man carving things with a small version of a chain saw. Inside, I found I was in the gym where I could pay my admission (or tuition, to carry out this school thing a little further). Once I had paid, I was directed to walk through the bleachers back to the cafeteria where the exhibits were set up. Lunch was also available back there. The first displays were a raffle for the sponsoring organization. The ticket price was very low but their prizes weren’t anything of interest to me so I continued back to the cafeteria. The things on sale here included replacement windows, insurance, cookware, candles, jewelry and spices. I waited to look at them until I had purchased and eaten my lunch.
Lunch was only $5. It was a buffet of a pulled pork sandwich (barbecue sauce available), pasta salad, baked beans, a watermelon salad, soda or water to drink and a tray with chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies for dessert. I chose a soda, the first I had had in a long, long time. Instead of it tasting good to me, it tasted of wax and soap and I didn’t even finish it. I didn’t try the watermelon salad since I’m allergic to watermelon but the rest of my lunch was delicious. The baked beans surprised me by having bits of red and yellow peppers in them.
Once I finished my lunch, I walked around looking at the exhibits. I signed up for the give-aways and won an ice cream scoop on a spin-the-wheel thing. Then I made my way back to the gym for the cooking school presentation. I found a seat in the bleachers and used my time before the program started to look in my goody bag. One of the items in it was a copy of the Taste of Home magazine. When the program started, the cooking instructor proceeded to demo recipes from that issue. She certainly made them look easy and tasty. She also gave some hints along the way. For instance, to slice cherry tomatoes in half for a salad, put a group of them in a single layer between two plastic lids, put your hand on top, and use your knife in a sawing motion to cut them all at once.
There were lots of drawings for prizes and the raffle. They even gave away the dishes the instructor had cooked. Typically, I didn’t win anything. But I certainly enjoyed my summer school session.