More than 700 get a Taste of Home

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 20, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
CHINA GROVE — Tonya Simpson thought of the perfect birthday gift for friend Debbie Pavelko, a seat at this year’s Taste of Home spring show.
The two friends sat at the fourth annual event Tuesday at South Rowan High School. The event featured culinary specialist Michelle Roberts.
“We are running away from the husbands and children,” Simpson said with a laugh.
It was the first time both women had attended. Simpson had wanted to attend for a number of years, but never had the chance.
More than 700 people attend the event, which is sponsored by the Salisbury Post.
She likes to experiment with cooking and makes everything from fudge to carved fruit. Simpson carved a fruit basket in the shape of a ship from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” for a party.
She prepares meals for her children’s parties and Boy Scout events.
Pavelko is a different story, she admits to not being adventurous in the kitchen.
“My family’s picky,” she said.
Pavelko’s family doesn’t like change so she keeps it simple by rotating their favorites.
After the first couple of dishes flew by, Reney Jacobs knew exactly which one she’d take back home — the lemon angel cake roll. She plans to prepare the tasty lemon filled cake for her husband.
“It’s his favorite,” she said.
It was the first time attending Taste of Home for the Salisbury resident. She heard about the event through the newspaper and brought her daughter, Dalisha, 16.
She used to get the magazine and has prepared many of the recipes inside the magazine.
“I like learning new recipes and getting fresh ideas,” Reney said.
This year makes the second time Dana Rusher has attended the event. She brought her mother, Peggy and sister, Mitzi.
The event was a girl’s night out, Rusher said.
Her mother is undergoing chemotherapy and the event was a “ neat way to spend time together,” she said.
Rusher was looking for quick and healthier meals she can prepared at home.
“We are trying to focus on eating more natural and unprocessed food,” she said.
She called the event a woman’s dream combining door prizes, food and jewelry from one of the vendors.
Mitzi isn’t much of a cook, “she mostly eats what others cook,” Rusher said.
She was confident her sister would be able to find some easy recipes.
Elaine Best of Woodleaf has attended the event with her sister Darlene and cousin Francis for the last three years.
“I enjoy the fellowship. You see some of the same people. I enjoy watching cooking shows,” Best said.
Her favorite shows are the Rachael Ray Show and Cake Boss with Buddy Valastro of Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey.
Ray Mullis also was attending the event for the first time. He was there to support his daughter, Tiffany Mullis, who was assisting Roberts on stage.
Tiffany is studying at culinary school.
When asked if he’s taste tested any of her dishes? He said not yet, but was looking forward to tasting her food.
“It’s something she decided that she likes to do,” Mullis said.
His niece graduated from Johnson & Wales University and his stepmother was a very good cook, he said.
Mullis of Concord said one of his best dishes is lasagna. He uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta.
It was his first time attending. He said he’d come back.
Kenyatta Petteway of Lexington brought his mother and cousin to the show for the second year.
“It’s a nice cooking show for them to see,” Petteway said.
He learned to cook from his mother and the best dish he said she taught him was spare ribs and sauerkraut.
“They have great recipes and a good magazine, he said of Taste of Home.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.