COMMUNITY COOKING PROGRAM COMMEMORATES 20 YEARS ON TELEVISION BY REVISITING ORIGINAL SHOW TOPIC
"Return of the Zucchini" premieres Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 22, 2013
COMMUNITY COOKING PROGRAM COMMEMORATES
20 YEARS ON TELEVISION
BY REVISITING ORIGINAL SHOW TOPIC
Return of the Zucchini
Saturday, September 14, 2013
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
PITTSBURGH—20 years ago, Chris Fennimore would never have guessed that a little garden plot would lead to producing over 100 cooking programs, raising thousands of dollars for public television and causing a major career change.
In the summer of 1993, Fennimore was asked by a friend from church if he’d like to share a plot in a community garden located in Homewood Cemetery. He planted peppers, tomatoes, basil, and three zucchini plants. By mid-July the garden was blooming and there was an abundance of zucchini.
Fennimore asked Nancy Polinsky, then director of continuity at WQED to make a spot asking members of the community for zucchini recipes.
“So I asked Nancy Polinsky, director of continuity at the time if she’d make a promo asking people for zucchini recipes. She asked if it was legal, haha! Turns out it was, and the rest is history as they say,” said Fennimore.
“I thought we’d just get recipes. But we got so much more.”
One recipe for Zucchini Boats stands out in Fennimore’s mind. A woman wrote in about her Aunt Margaret who had never married so she joined the family every Thanksgiving for dinner. Not wanting to be a burden she brought Zucchini Boats every year. The family “hated” them, but never said anything since they didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Now that Aunt Margaret is gone, they still make them every Thanksgiving.
“People think they’re just recipes, but they’re not,” said Fennimore. “They are people’s family and cultural history. They’re stories. And the person who sends them holds them in great value. Recipes get into our lives.”
To commemorate that original program, WQED is asking members of the community to send in new zucchini recipes now through the first of September. We’ll print them in a new cookbook and select cooks who will demonstrate their recipes on the air.
Recipes can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by mail to: Zucchini, WQED-TV, 4802 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213. Return of the Zucchinis premieres LIVE on WQED-TV Saturday, September 14 at 10 a.m.
WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 134 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqedfm.org; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu).
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