Monday, May 24, 2010

Exaggerate! 1st Place in Writing

We are proud to present the Poem that won 1st place in the writing portion "Exaggerate!" our current exhibition of Art & Tall Tales that will run until June 6.

by Rodney Aldrich
Illustrations by his grandson Ronan

I leaned on my shovel
the driveway only half done.
Flake after flake,
their spiked points
clawing the air,
divided the space
into vertical columns
of emptiness.
I imagined the surreal landscape
growing higher in the next hours
with muffled outlines
replacing objects.
Sometimes the snowflakes
were icy pinpoints.
Sometimes hairy disks
speeding straight down.
Sometimes huge amalgamated blobs.
Enough white fluff accumulated
to become a local phenomenon.
The hometown forecaster smiled at a
still shot of great walls of white
along our road.
Three days later,
we had to cut shelves
at shoulder height
to throw the bottom snow upon.
March came and went.
We switched to tunnels
and parked half a mile away.
The snow was heavy
and my back ached
from the hourly struggles.
The TV glow became handy in the den

with the outdoor light blocked by drifts.
The forecaster’s brow was furrowed
but her gestures were still grand.
By late April,
we were unprecedented in the lower 48.
I was interviewed
by CNN.
With the warm air sweeping in
we got our deep canyons back
when the tunnel tops collapsing.
But the snow kept falling.
By May the local forecaster
was shaking her head
with a nervous smile
through the entire report.
The flakes were tiny dots by day

and grainy cousins of sleet by night,
but the snow kept falling.
By late May,
the retreating melt revealed
our house was the obvious epicenter.
In June the researchers and tourists
started to arrive.
One side of the front yard had
meteorology equipment.
The other had
families building snowmen,
making angels,
and staging snow fights
for the ever-present video cams.
On the summer solstice,
we were declared
a commercial flight hazard,
but the little planes

and choppers loved to zoom
into and above
the permanent gray cloud.
By July,
the local forecaster
had a permanent marker asterisk over
our house
upon her map.
The local county fair
came and loaded a dump-truck
to make weird “real” sno-cones
for the masses on the midway.
So here I sit in August,
in the motel
where it seems we live now,
watching the scientists on NPR
spouting big words
about jet-stream and global warming
that boil down to
they don’t know.
I peel my sticky thighs
off the cheap vinyl chair
and go over to the door
with all its metal security appointments.
Going outside to the narrow patio
to gaze across the valley
at the gray cloud,
at the white spot below
and wonder
when will it ever stop?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Comments from Taste of Home Cooking School Attendees

The following comments were sent to Michael Burna Taste of Home Culinary Specialist after Taste of Home Cooking School on Saturday May 15th

5/16/2010 7:06:40 PM by ggoff
Just returned from a show with Michael in Old Forge, New York. It was delightful! I brought my nearly non-cooking husband with me and he won a cookbook! He was so excited, now I'm just hoping he uses it! I learned a lot and had an enjoyable afternoon! Thank you!

5/16/2010 6:38:44 PM by lindee0210
I went to my first Taste Of Home Cooking School in Old Forge, NY on May 15 with four of my friends -- I thouroughly enjoyed every aspect of the show and picked up some cooking tips that I am sure I will use.
Chef Barna did an excellent presentation and the time went by quickly. One of the few things I would like to see done diffently is better (more comfortable) seats as those metal seats were uncomfortable. Thank you for the show

5/16/2010 3:11:33 PM by tuttlemalone
I attended my 1st school yesterday in Old Forge,NY wit h my best friend and my 12 year old daughter who also loves to cook.Chef Michael has great ideas and witty humour.It was fun,entertaining and something I hope returns to Old Forge annually.I have prescribed to TOH/SAD for years.Now I am looking forward to my subscription to Cooking Healthy.Dr.SATM

5/16/2010 1:43:09 PM by cjsmileys
I went to my first cooking show in Old Forge, NY with my daughter and a friend yesterday. It was a most enjoyable event. So many prizes to win and the meals were given away with cookware and decorative servicing dishes as well. Chef Barna made the event very entertaining and informative as well. I ran right to my local grocery store after the trip and shopped for ingredients for 3 of the dishes that were showcased. We will be having them today! I never knew about the cooking shows but would not hesitate to go again. Hope they come to Lowville. Someone should have told Chef Barna that the showcased ingredients came from Kraft which is a local manufacturing plant not too far away from Old Forge in Lowville, NY! The only suggestions I would make would be to change the seats that are presented for this show. The metal chairs with no cushions are hard on the back. Maybe hold the event in an auditorium with the cushioned seats. I don't think more food should be available like some of the commenters above as I would not have enjoyed the event as much if I had just eaten a meal. The snack foods were just enough to get you wanting to run home and make the yummy meals displayed. Hope Chef Barna visits Lowville, NY in the future! Thanks for the great day!

5/16/2010 1:34:49 PM by donmarmhy
I was one of Michaels helpers in Old Forge, I had a great time and learned lots, Thanks Mike, see you next year
Donna one of Mikes angels
Re: Michael Barna
5/16/2010 12:07:51 PM by adkmama
Went to Old Forge yesterday to my first Taste of Home Cooking Show with 4 friends from Long Lake, NY. It was worth the beautiful drive to attend such a fun and lively event! Chef Barna shared great tips I can't wait to use! One of our friends won the Spicy Penne with Sausage dish...I have had penne dishes before but this one added oomph and punched up taste to what is ususally a nice but rather bland homey dish...mmmmm! Loved the doorprizes, added excitement!
My recommendation: Begin the event later, such as 2:00 PM , as one hour is plenty of time to browse the vendors and people would have had time to eat before hand, as the lovely chicken skewers and popcorn didn't fill us up. Adding a choice of more food items to purchase, such as yogurt, salads, fruitcups,fruit, veggies and dip, and sandwiches would have been nice to assuage our hunger pangs! Other than those 2 suggestions, the show was a great success and I look forward to next year's show at Old Forge. A lot of hard work and planning went on to produce the show in Old Forge, kudos to Chef Barna and Taste of Home, Webb School and Old Forge Art Center, thank you! Betsy

5/16/2010 9:28:04 AM by dlf6320
5/16/2010 I went to my first cooking show in Old Forge NY with my sister and had a ball. Michael was funny, informative and energetic. We learned a handful of new tricks and since we didn't win any of the meals made we stopped at the grocery store and picked up the items needed to make the Chicken with artichokes and angel hair and it was awsome! Thank you Michael and hope you come back to the Old Mill and visit us again. Diane Fowler-Victor NY

5/16/2010 8:38:09 AM by flower_lover
i went to my first taste of home cooking school at old forge. it was great and I hope it becomes an annual thing. I learned a few things and formed an even stronger bond with a new friend. April Williams

5/16/2010 8:15:14 AM by paulawells
I loved your Cooking School in Old Forge! I thought you brought a lot of energy and it was fun to watch! I can't wait to start making the recipes you shared! My mom and I hope that this becomes an annual event! Thank you!

5/16/2010 7:51:54 AM by dinner at the table
Thank you for bringing the show to Old Forge. I commend your quest to bring the family back to the table! I have been cooking for my family for 20 years and we do eat dinner together at the table every night.
Here's hoping the Taste of Home Cooking School with Michael Barna becomes an annual event in Old Forge!
Safe Travels!

5/16/2010 7:48:11 AM by dinner at the table
Michael, Thank you so much for bringing the show to Old Forge. I have been cooking for my family for 25 years and we do have dinner at the table every night. I commend you as you have made this your quest! I'm hoping the Taste of Home Cooking School will return as an annual event in Old Forge!

5/16/2010 6:04:20 AM by dagwood417
Michael, What a great show you put on yesterday in Old Forge. I learned many things. Just need to know what to substitute for alcohol in dishes since I'm in recovery and don't want to slip!!!! Thank you for coming, and I hope we see you here again next year with more wonderful recipes.

5/15/2010 11:00:47 PM by JGOOSHAW
Michael- We traveled almost 3 hours to see your show. It was very enjoyable. Hope you come back next year. Thanks.

5/15/2010 7:56:13 PM by bjgaylord
Michael, Fun afternoon...hope you come back again next year..can't wait to try the recipes.

5/15/2010 7:46:17 PM by donmarmhy
Michael, it was such a pleasure working with you this afternoon, I did learn a lot. Thank you for coming to Old Forge

5/15/2010 7:22:41 PM by Sarah Jen
Thanks, Michael, for a great afternoon in Old Forge, NY! I came away with many good tips today.