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'Betty Crocker House' has a new cook in the kitchen

Historic Valley Center property opens to the public for free once a month as Brick n Barn.

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. — Betty Crocker is a household name, but did you know she lived in Valley Center? 

In this Zevely Zone, I step back in time into her famous kitchen. 

How is it possible to scour the county for fun, feature stories for twenty years and just now find out about the Betty Crocker House

That is where I met Marlise Kast-Myers. She and her husband Benjamin are the proud owners of the historic Betty Crocker Estate. "You are going to be blown away are you ready? Come on in," said Marlise.

Credit: Brick N Barn

In 1941, Agnes White, who was the original Betty Crocker, purchased the property. "This is actually Betty Crocker's dress, Agnes White wore this," said Marlise. 

Marlise and her husband bought the place five years ago. "I live here, this is my house, now do you notice anything missing. A TV, I don't have a TV," said Marlise.  

Credit: Brick N Barn

But she does have Betty Crocker's old gloves, jewelry, and purse. 

"This is going to blow your mind, look at that Agnes White Tizard, the real Betty Crocker," said Marlise while showing me the engraved purse. "I mean isn't this phenomenal? So, here's what's crazy, when we moved in here, we didn't know all of this history, we went to the Historical Society and they said oh we have a box for you. Here is Betty Crocker's clothing," said Marlise. 

"She had the first cooking show in the world in our kitchen. This is it. This is the kitchen. This is the Betty Crocker kitchen!"

Credit: Brick N Barn

The home has had several owners during the past century, but its most famous occupant was Agnes White, the original Betty Crocker. Although she cooked, created recipes, and appeared on network radio, her status locally as a cooking icon was not generally known until after her death in 1979 at age 84. She is buried at the Valley Center Cemetery.

Marlise bakes with Crocker cookbooks and memorizes Betty's recipes and history. "Here she is in all of her beauty," said Marlise showing me old black-and-white pictures. 

"This is our house, it was an old dairy farm," said Marlise. 

An old farm was brought back to life with 63 rescued birds. "Those are my peacocks," said Marlise when her birds started squawking. "Can you tell them to be quiet we are trying to shoot a TV segment?" I laughed. "I tried to tell them, I tried to tell them," said Marlise.

Credit: Brick N Barn

Just beyond a gaggle of turkeys, stands an old barn called Brick n Barn. One weekend a month, the public is welcome to visit the barn for free. "We have food trucks lined up," said Marlise.

The weekend festivities include hosted workshops, local artisans, handmade works, an onsite bakery, and poolside pampering treatments. Brick n Barn  also invites local animal rescues to bring their dogs to find forever homes. 

In five years of operation, Brick n Barn  has become more than an antique experience. With nearly 2,000 people in weekend attendance, they have created a destination where you can stroll garden pathways, sip an espresso, and build friendships in the midst of the Brick n Barn community.

Credit: Brick N Barn

"Everything looks new when you come to each show," said Marlise. "This I think would be Betty Crocker's favorite area right here." Marlise Kast-Myers just might be the new Betty Crocker. "Oh wow, those are some big shoes to fill," said Marlise. She's already cooking up some new material. "Don't let your buns burn, ha, ha, ha, I don't know what she'd say," said Marlise.


Visitors are not allowed to tour Betty Crocker's old home, but they can explore most of the estate's nine acres. Brick N Barn is open for free one weekend a month for visitors. For information click here.

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