Friday, June 22, 2018
News Roundup

New Port Richey kids camp is dripping with chocolatey goodness

NEW PORT RICHEY — When Colleen Keeley and her daughter Jane visited the chocolate day camp at the New Port Richey Public Library last week, mother and daughter had different objectives in mind.

"My daughter is very crafty," said Keeley, who lives in Port Richey. "I'd like to see her make different things with chocolate."

Jane, though, was guided by her sweet tooth. "I'm going to go home with about a pound of chocolate. Chocolate is good."

The 8-year-old joined a group of 12 young chocolate lovers at the library, where Michelle Palisi, owner of Chocolates by Michelle in New Port Richey, hosted a free class to teach young people about the art of chocolate making.

"Who likes chocolate?" Palisi asked the crowd, standing before a counter filled with chocolate-filled pots, fruits and various toppings.

"Everyone!" said Dezarae DeBeaumont, 11, joining the children raising their hands.

Also looking on was Jessica Meredith, Youth Services librarian.

"I attended a chocolate-making class myself and thought it was fun," said Meredith. "I asked Michelle to host a class here. This is something that is not being offered at any other library, and I thought it would be something cool to offer to people in this area."

Since Palisi opened Chocolates by Michelle in the mid '80s, she has taught numerous chocolate-making classes to people of all ages, including special sessions to children served by area hospice agencies and the Salvation Army. She started off last week's session by telling the story behind Chocolates by Michelle, which is also, she said, the story of a small businesswoman who was told repeatedly that her venture would fail.

"I was told that no bank would fund a chocolate store in Florida. They said the chocolate would melt," she said. "This years marks the 29th anniversary of my business."

Palisi went on to demonstrate how to make no-fail fudge, and how to dip just about any food — from strawberries to marshmallows to bacon — in white, dark or milk chocolate.

Dipping apricots and cherries in sweet topping, she declared, "It's healthy!"

Palisi demonstrated the proper way to write one's name in chocolate. And she taught students the "No. 1 toughest rule" of cooking with chocolate: Don't lick your fingers. Students then were free to create their own chocolaty creations. One particularly attentive student was Tara Pirozzi, 12, who says she may be planning a career in the culinary arts.

"I like to bake cakes at home," she said. "Here I can learn more."

Five-year-old Riaya Wintjen learned how to roll and dip chocolate, under the guidance of parents Joey Wintjen and Christine Molnar.

"Roll it up like Play-Doh," Joey told his daughter, who earned raves from mom with the final results.

Palisi said several chocolate camp participants have gone on to consider and pursue culinary careers.

"I show them how and they pick up quickly," she said. "They do things better than me."

And they have fun in the process. The brother and sister team of Tyler and Tabitha Quinn smiled and laughed as they prepared and filled the personalized chocolate boxes that each student took home. And while Tabitha, 5, asked mom Victoria for permission to eat her honorary chocolate star (one awarded to each student upon successful completion of the chocolate camp) while still at the library, her 7-year-old brother expressed his satisfaction with the class as a whole.

"Chocolate makes me happy!" he declared.

   
Comments
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — Police want to know who shot 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas after a night of playing video games.Thomas was at a friend’s home Wednesday night and walking home when Tampa police said he was shot, resulting in life-threatening injuries.As he faces...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

Carlton: That snake-like thing living under your refrigerator? It’s a skink. Welcome to Florida

At first I thought it was a snake.Because wouldn’t it be typically Florida to come home and find a snake poking its nose out from under your stove? Which wouldn’t be a problem or anything. I would just have to move out is all.But no, the creature tha...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

Man, 78, proposes to newfound love at ‘senior’ prom in Riverview

RIVERVIEWJaime Rodriguez, 78, popped the question Friday morning but skipped the "getting down on one knee" part."If I get on my knee, you’d have to help me," he told the emcee a moment before asking Luz Rivera to marry him.Rivera, 69, smiled and sai...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Romano: You better hope I’m wrong about flood insurance

Romano: You better hope I’m wrong about flood insurance

Chances are, I’ll go down as the Boy Who Cried Flood.You might have noticed, I’ve been shouting about the imminent calamity of flood waters for quite a few years now. If I wasn’t trying to frighten you into buying flood insurance, I was worrying you ...
Updated: 6 hours ago