Cooking school to feature easy holiday cooking, lots of prizes, free samples and great shopping

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Plans have been finalized for the Simply Christmas Taste of Home Cooking School coming to the South Ripley Elementary School on November 8. The school is located on Benham Road in Versailles.

Tickets for the festive event sold out the first day. Those lucky enough to get a ticket to the event should plan to come early to get a good seat and take advantage of the opportunity to shop at the large variety of booths that will be set up. While the show doesn’t start until 7:00 p.m. sharp, the doors will open at 5:00 p.m. Attendees are asked not to arrive before 3:15 p.m. to alleviate any conflict with school buses leaving for the day.

Those attending should enter the school through the kindergarten wing (signs will be posted) and wind through the school. This will provide shelter in case of inclement weather. Then at 5:00 p.m. Ripley Publishing Co. staff will greet attendees with a goodie bag filled with items provided by national sponsors and local merchants along with a Taste of Home holiday recipe card collection. You will then be escorted into the gym area where you will have papers to reserve seats. There will be approximately 300 chairs on the floor for those attending with some of those reserved for handicap seating. The rest of the seating will be in the bleachers.

After securing your seat for the evening, you are encouraged to visit the many booths set up in the cafeteria. They include: A Touch of Country Floral & Gifts, Friendship State Bank, Curves, Gold Canyon Candles, Tastefully Simple, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Historic Hoosier Hills, Longaberger, Tupperware, Cali Fine Foods, Simplicity Gourmet, Tri Kappa, Avon, All About You Med Spa, Rainbow Books & Gifts, Taste of Home, and the Dabney Baptist Church.

Start your Christmas shopping early at the festive booths where you’ll find free samples and discounts. The Tri Kappa booth will feature their famous cheese balls, which can be ordered and then picked up immediately following the show. You can sample locally grown meat at the Historic Hoosier Hills booth and learn about purchasing fresh meat from local farmers. There will be many door prizes, including 20 bags of groceries from the Versailles Super Valu, gift certificates and gift baskets with the grand prize being a microwave/convection oven from Southeastern Indiana REMC. Also, outside on display will be the Touchstone hot air balloon, compliments of REMC.

Don’t worry about cooking dinner that evening, just stop by the Dabney Baptist Church booth and purchase a chicken salad or BBQ sandwich, a piece of homemade pie and a drink. There will be a designated area to sit down, take a break and eat.

Culinary Specialist Dana Elliott will be demonstrating recipes to make holiday cooking festive, while keeping it simple. There will be recipes to get you going such as Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake and Pumpkin Pancakes, to a simple weeknight supper, followed with holiday entertaining. You will learn how to make Classic Havarti Fondue, Salmon Crostini with Lemon Dill Sauce, Chocolate-Dipped Brownie Bites, Minty Snowmen and much more. Those dishes will also be given away at the end of the show.

The event will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. and will run for an hour and a half with no intermission. Door prizes will be given out at the end of the demonstration.

Major local sponsors making the festive event possible include: Southeastern Indiana REMC, Osgood, Versailles Super Valu, Halcomb Home Center, Versailles, Margaret Mary Community Hospital, Batesville, A Touch of Country Floral & Gifts, Versailles, Friendship State Bank, and All About You Med Spa, Madison. You can thank these sponsors and other local merchants who participated in the event by supporting their businesses.