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Cookbook celebrates Patsy Cline's legacy

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JudySue Huyett-Kempf, executive director of Patsy Cline Historic House in Winchester, stands inside the original kitchen of Cline's Kent Street home. The museum has published a cookbook, which includes Cline's favorite recipes as well as those of family members, friends and performers. — Rich Cooley/Daily

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"From the kitchen of 608 South Kent Street Patsy Cline Cookbook" is $25, and proceeds will go back in to the house where Cline lived and later visited until her death in 1963. — Rich Cooley/Daily

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The book includes recipes, tidbits about Patsy Cline's life and some never before seen photographs. — Rich Cooley/Daily

By Josette Keelor -- jkeelor@nvdaily.com

A new cookbook dreamed up in the downtown Winchester kitchen where the late Patsy Cline spent her childhood caters not only to Cline's fans but also to those looking for some good old country cooking.

The cookbook, said JudySue Huyett-Kempf, executive director of the Patsy Cline Historic House, is a collaboration of family recipes.

On a recent summer morning at the museum house on Kent Street, the new spiral-bound cookbook seemed quite at home resting on a counter in the 1950s style kitchen that saw Cline rise to fame.

"From the Kitchen of 608 South Kent Street Patsy Cline Historic House Cookbook" is published by Winchester Printers.

It's for sale for $25 at the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor's Center and at the Pasty Cline Historic House. Proceeds go toward keeping up the house where Cline lived until 1957 and continued to visit until her death in '63.

After her mother Hilda Hensley moved out, the house remained a rental property until '98, Huyett-Kempf said.

Cline's home has proven to interest not only curious residents of the area or fans conveniently located to make the trip.

"They're coming from all over the world," Huyett-Kempf said. "Every state has been represented.

A disc jockey from Japan recently stopped by during a visit to the Washington area, she said.

Cline is internationally known, Huyett-Kempf said.

Museum hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Beginning Oct. 31, when most other museums in the area close for the season, Huyett-Kempf said, the Patsy Cline Historic House stays open on weekends.

"This is our first full tourism season," Huyett-Kempf said, and so far the museum is doing well.

"The cookbook's been a dream," she said, "and, you know, why not?"

Filling out the pages among Cline's family recipes are others from friends, various entertainers and even museum docents, Huyett-Kempf said.

One recipe is from her mother.

"My mom would make the old fashioned strawberry shortcake," she said. She also included a recipe of her grandmother's called Charlie Ha Ha, a dish made with garden vegetables and hot dogs.

The book includes a recipe for Hensley's Black Walnut Cake.

"[Hensley] would hunt her own meat, killed her own deer," Huyett-Kempf said.
In her cooking, Hensley didn't use measuring utensils, so recipes are adjusted accordingly.
"This is old-time cooking," said Huyett-Kempf.

Another recipe for chicken include the skin, Huyett-Kempf said, adding, "Oh, it was delicious."

Also included in the book are facts and tidbits about the Clines, and the inside flap of the cookbook is lined with the kitchen's original wall paper.

"It's a walk through Patsy's house," Huyett-Kempf said, "and pretending that aromas are all coming from the kitchen."

For more information about the cookbook or the Patsy Cline Historic House, visit celebratingpatsycline.org or visit search for the museum on Facebook.

The museum will have an open house for Cline's 80th birthday on Sept. 8 during business hours. That night a Patsy Jamboree will take place at the Winchester Elks Lodge, from 8 to 11 p.m. at 466 Front Royal Pike. The previous night, at 7 p.m., a Patsy Cline Sing-a-Like and Look-a-Like contest will take place at Granny's Restaurant on Berryville Pike. Deadline for entries is Aug. 20.

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