Friday, September 3, 2004

Cookbook goes into second printing

Express Staff Writer

?From Roberta?s Kitchen? by Billie Buhler, Mike Healy and Jennifer Lomax. Illustrated with drawings by Betsy Pearson.

According to the authors of ?From Roberta?s Kitchen,? The Hailey Cultural Center has sold almost 500 copies since its publication on July 4, 2004, and is ordering a second printing. The Cultural Center is planning to print 1,000 more copies to ensure enough books are available for the holiday gift season. The book is also being marketed in Twin Falls and Boise.

Available in local bookstores, kitchen stores, and the historical museums in Hailey and Ketchum, it features more than 100 pages of recipes taken from Roberta McKercher?s notebooks as well as anecdotes from people who knew her well. Also referred to fondly as Bert, she died in 1996. The park at the entrance to the town of Hailey is named in her memory.

McKercher, a much-loved Hailey native and journalist who covered local news, was active in church groups, Little League, Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce, Rebekah Lodge and Hailey?s Fourth of July celebration. In addition, she was a celebrated cook, whose cakes were a specialty in the town for decades. Her long-time home, also the birthplace of poet Ezra Pound, is now the Hailey Cultural Center.

The book was compiled by her sister Billie Buhler, Mike Healy and Jennifer Lomax, and illustrated with drawings by Betsy Pearson.

?It?s a ?fascinating slice of local lore and full of nostalgic and absolutely delicious recipes. It?s a delight to use,? said Sally Boettger, formerly of The Nature Conservancy and now president of the Cultural Center.

The sale of the book benefits the Hailey Cultural Center, a non-profit organization; donations are tax-deductible.

?The response to the book has been very positive,? said Healy, a board member of the Hailey Cultural Center and one of the book?s authors

?The word has gotten out. We?ve mailed books to Oregon and Wisconsin, so far,? he said. ?And I just got an order for 50 from Montana, where a businessman with ties to Hailey plans to give the book to his clients.?

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