Valley Relay cookbook shares recipes for life

Mary Anne Rohrbach gathered memories along with recipes to create the new Relay for Life cookbook. The Fall City resident now has a stack on hand for gifts. - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Mary Anne Rohrbach gathered memories along with recipes to create the new Relay for Life cookbook. The Fall City resident now has a stack on hand for gifts.
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Brian’s baked chicken. Bill’s pumpkin lasagna. Paul’s chili. There’s more to these recipes than just ingredients. There are memories here, of people who live and laugh, share meals and are now remembered in the pages of the newly published Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life Cookbook, “Recipes for Life.”

“They are legacies of love,” said Mary Ann Rohrbach, a Fall City resident and member of the cookbook committee. “This isn’t just a book on the shelf. A lot of heart went into this.”

The cookbook committee sought 350 recipes, and received dozens more than they planned for.

The group spent months typing, filing and proofreading the recipes. The job was a challenge, and Rohrbach found herself moved by the descriptions of the people behind the recipes.

“This is passed on for generations,” she said. “There’s more than just recipes here.”

Each recipe includes the name of the person who submitted it, and many also include the names of cancer survivors — or loved ones who have lost their lives to cancer.

The book itself is part of local efforts to put an end to the scourge of cancer. Proceeds from sales of the books go to the American Cancer Society, and books will be sold in the runup to the 2009 Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life.

“We’re doing it for life,” Rohrbach said. “That’s what we’re trying to promote, life.”

For Rohrbach, it’s hard to choose a favorite among the 380 mouth-watering recipes, for desserts, soups, main dishes, beverages, breads, salads and side dishes in the book.

“I can’t name any particular one, because there are so many,” she said.

“I’m pleased with the excitement that’s generated by this book,” Rohrbach added. “I’m really proud of it.”


Scattered throughout the cookbook are jokes, puns and the occasional “unrecipe,” a kitchen formula or list of ingredients for life, instead of food.

“You have to hunt them up,” she said, flipping past a “diet” recipe that calls for Snickers bars and explains that “stressed” is just “desserts” spelled backwards.

Rohrbach included the unrecipe she learned for “Mom’s Lemonade,” which isn’t a drink at all, but a way of looking at life.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” Rohrbach’s unrecipe states. “Everything we get is a gift from God. Waste not, want not. Turn negatives into positives. You can’t change what was, only what is and what will be. Never give up.”

When Rohrbach was 10, she lost her mother, Inez Leon, to cancer.

“I don’t think any child should have to grow up without a mother,” she said.

Rohrbach has been involved with Relay for Life for eight years.

“Everybody in my family is a cancer survivor,” she said. “If you’ve got cancer, you sit back and be a victim. Or you can get mad, and go out and do something. That’s what I choose to do.”

Finding life

Rohrbach has a whole stack of the new books at home. She’s kept them for gifts for special occasions, reasoning that a cookbook will last longer than a bottle of wine.

“The person that you give it to might not have cancer today,” Rohrbach said. “But she might have have cancer tomorrow.”

Thanks to the book, “she’s always got a resource.”

The cookbook includes a section with information on American Cancer Society services, from transportation to wigs and prostheses, to summer camps for children and men’’s support groups.

Diners had better learn to love beets, cabbage and scallions. Those vegetables are among the top foods, listed in the cookbook, that help fight cancer. Readers can find the list in the front of the book.

There is also general information on Relay for Life, coming up July 11 and 12 in Snoqualmie. A bookmark has information on how to get involved in the 2009 relay.

For future relays, the cookbook group won’t have to print new editions — they can just slip in a new bookmark.

Recipes are indexed by type and by the names of people involved, so family members can quickly find those in honor of their loved ones.

Committee members included Rohrbach, Denise DuBose, Karen DuBose, Anne Loring, Barb Danek, Linda Wagner, Ann Fleming, Cindy Andre, Marika and Caroline Loudenback, Kathy Carr and Teresa Warren. The Oberto Sausage Company donated $1,000 toward the publishing costs.

Read the book

Cookbooks cost $20 apiece, or two for $35, and will be available through Relay for Life team members and at Valley businesses including Jeff Warren State Farm Insurance, Carmichael’s True Value Hardware and the Mount Si Golf Course.

Five hundred books were printed in the initial run.

• To learn more about the books or request a copy, call Mary Anne Rohrbach at (425) 222-5281 or e-mail to

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