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I love to cook but I am not one of those masterful chefs that can instinctually create a recipe on the fly. I absolutely must have a step-by-step guide when I’m in the kitchen. Even if I’ve made the dish a thousand times I still rely on a recipe. That’s why I am obsessed with cookbooks. I have a cabinet full of them. My kids make fun of me every time I’d bring in a new one, “Mooooooooommmmm, don’t you have enough cookbooks?” An eye roll usually accompanies the mockery. (Ugh, teenagers.) Quickly their attitudes change once I’ve cooked from said mocked cookbook.

Pre-COVID I was on a long road trip to Baltimore and had a total brainstorm – what if, instead of a book club, we had a cookbook club?! It was, or so I thought, a brilliant new idea. As soon as I googled it, I realized it was a stroke of genius, just not a new one. Nevertheless, I’ve been wanting to do this for years and the day has finally come and I’ve enlisted some heavy hitters to help guide us. I am so thrilled to announce the launch of Red Barn Mercantile’s Cookbook Club hosted by Cary Kelly from the Cookery and Nancy Pollard from La Cuisine and Kitchen Detail. You heard that right! The two grand dames of local cooking culture will be your guide through a monthly cookbook adventure.

It's a simple concept. Nancy and Cary will choose a cookbook every month. Participants buy the cookbook (ideally from Red Barn Mercantile!), choose a dish they would like to make, sign up for said dish, then bring it to our potluck at the store. At the potluck we will enjoy trying different recipes from the book, Nancy and Cary will lead a discussion about the book, and we get to share our love of cooking with new people. It will be so much fun and decidedly delicious!

Our first book is Katie Parla’s Food of the Italian Islands. Katie Parla is a New York Times bestselling author, Emmy-nominated television host, journalist, and culinary guide. Her latest book is a culinary tour of Sicily, Sardinia, Palermo, and lesser-known Italian islands. “Food of the Italian Islands” serves up over 85 recipes, both original and reimagined, that will have your mouth watering as soon as you open the book. I can’t wait to get my copy!

Order your copy and reserve your spot today! We will send you a follow-up email with more details and a sign-up sheet where you can let us know what dish you'll be bringing. We will see you at Red Barn Mercantile on June 7 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for our first-ever Cookbook Club!