Rediscovering ‘Thelma’s Treasures’

UPDATE: Copies of “Thelma’s Treasures” are still available at the Harrodsburg Herald (101 West Broadway, open Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Copies may also be ordered by mailing:

Little Barter Press

465 Balden Lane, Harrodsburg KY 40330

The books cost $19.95. Shipping is $7 for 1-2 copies, $14 for 3-4 copies and $21 for 5-6 copies.  Kentucky residents must add 6-percent sales tax.

Susanna Thomas hopes to bring the essence of Thelma Linton to an entirely new generation with a special twenty-fifth anniversary edition of “Thelma’s Treasures.”

Twenty-five years ago, Susanna Thomas found herself beside Thelma Clay Linton in the frozen food aisle of Gateway in Harrodsburg, far from Thomas’s native home of Manhattan. As they sat with the first copies of “Thelma’s Treasures: The Secret Recipes of The Best Cook in Harrodsburg,” it was the culmination of nights spent carefully calculating measurements and portions, testing ingredients, and capturing the essence of Thelma herself. As the first customers approached, neither Thomas or Linton could have predicted what was to come.

“Thelma’s Treasures” reached far beyond Harrodsburg. Letters and phone calls from all over the country poured in with raving reviews of Thelma’s recipes. Copies of the book flew off the shelves. The original plan was to print 500 copies, 100 to be distributed to family and friends, while the remaining 400 would make up for the publishing costs. Within the first four days 2,000 copies had been sold. Another 2,000 were sold within the following days. Thousands of copies made their way across the country, taking with them a small sample of the woman known all over Harrodsburg for her southern recipes.

Thelma Clay Linton passed away in 2010 at the age of 101, but her memory remains alive for those who still have their copy of her recipes. Thomas says she hopes to bring Thelma’s recipes and love for her community back to the forefront with a new run of the book.

“I think at some point she realized that I really appreciated her culinary treasure trove, and I wanted to preserve it,” Thomas said, “We really became friends.”

Thomas moved to Kentucky in 1984, leaving behind a publishing job in Manhattan. In 1988 she married her husband, Jim, who introduced her to Thelma, and her husband, Sterling. Sterling worked with Jim at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

“They were just wonderful to me,” Jim said, “I have such great reverence for both of them.”

When Thomas met Linton in 1988, Linton was 83 years old and still cooking meals for churches and events around the community. Linton never had any children, and Thomas was concerned the recipes would be lost forever if they weren’t preserved.

“I never intended to have it as a published cookbook, I just wanted to have it for our family,” Thomas said.

“Thelma’s Treasures” is returning for a limited run, mostly for Harrodsburg. Pre-orders are available now at www.thelmastreasuresky.com.

The book will be available for purchase and Thomas will have a special signing of “Thelma’s Treasures” on Small Business Saturday, Saturd

ay, Nov. 25, at The Harrodsburg Herald office from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.

14 Comments

  1. Beverly goodpaster on November 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Interested in a cookbook how much

  2. Lisa Graham on November 2, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I would like to preorder 4 of “Thelma’s Treasures” cookbook. Thank you!

  3. Barbara Hudson on November 16, 2017 at 8:32 am

    I️ have tried to order a cookbook but never could get on the page

  4. Lisa A Langston on January 3, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Hello Mrs. Thomas, I am inquiring about your cookbook “Thelma’s Treasures”. I would like to know how much they are and if you have any available for purchase?
    Thank you,
    Lisa Langston
    [email protected]

    • Harrodsburg Herald on January 9, 2019 at 10:57 am

      We forwarded your contact information to the author.

  5. Dottie Watkins on June 9, 2019 at 11:14 am

    I’ve been searching for this book for a couple of years now. All of my family livers in Mercer County and I’ve had many of Thelma’s recipes at family gatherings. I would love to have a copy of my own, but can’t find one anywhere. Is there a chance there will ever be another printing?

  6. Peggy Pyle on June 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Hi Mrs. Thomas, I’m wondering if there are any Thelma’s Treasures cookbooks available for purchase? Thank-you, Peggy
    [email protected]

    • Debra Derringer on June 29, 2019 at 8:12 pm

      I’m also interested in purchasing a copy of Thelma’s Treasures cookbook, how can I purchase one?

  7. Debra Derringer on June 29, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Are there any of Thelma’s Treasures cookbooks left, I would love to own one

    • Harrodsburg Herald on July 2, 2019 at 10:28 am

      There are still copies available. Instructions for purchasing or ordering a copy can be found in the article.

  8. Kavitha Varghese on September 11, 2019 at 2:17 am

    I’d really like to order the book THELMAS TREASURES: SECRET RECIPES FROM ONE OF THE SOUTHS FINEST COOKS, please? is there any email address to contact

  9. Kavitha V on September 11, 2019 at 2:25 am

    I’d really like to order the book THELMAS TREASURES: SECRET RECIPES FROM ONE OF THE SOUTHS FINEST COOKS, please? is there any email address to contact

    • Harrodsburg Herald on September 11, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      All the contact information we have is in the article.

  10. Mary V Carty on February 24, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    I would like to order some cook books if they are still available. I inherited my mother’s copy and want to get some copies for my nieces. I am not giving up my copies.

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