Hundreds of cooking enthusiasts gathered at the Augusta Civic Center on Saturday for the Taste of Home Cooking School.

Amy Zarichnak, culinary specialist, demonstrated several seasonal recipes and nearly two dozen vendors were on hand to show off home appliances, wood finishing products and other goods.

Taste of Home Cooking Magazine and Taste of Home Cooking School are owned by Reader’s Digest. The school was founded in 1948 by a home economist who called her company “The Homemaker Schools.” She would load up her station wagon and drive across the Midwest, stopping at small-town appliance dealerships and conducting cooking classes for dozens of people.

Taste of Home Magazine acquired the Cooking School in the 1990s, and now there is a whole team of home cooks who host more than 200 events with about 140,000 participants around the country each year.

The school is designed to help everyone learn something from experienced home cooks to beginners. The school teaches attendees weeknight meal ideas, kitchen tips and tricks and shortcuts using items easily found at the local grocery store.

This season’s event was sponsored by the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and MaineGeneral Health.

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