Perfectly Pickled

With all of the fresh produce offered at the farmers markets and small grocers in Kentucky in the 80’s, many of the Thoroughbroads would pickle some of the veggies they would purchase at the road side stands or the local Doll’s or Paul’s Produce Markets. Green beans for Bloody Mary’s, green tomatoes or okra for a relish tray and cucumbers for sweet or dill pickles were the typical route the girl’s would take. Now, with the abundance of pickling all types of veggies, fruits and even meats, we are learning how to use those basic pickling techniques we used back then in a more inventive way today.




Have you ever enjoyed pickled shrimp? Have you ever used pickle juice in a cocktail or a popsicle? Have you ever pickled onions, blueberries, peaches, pineapple or even radishes? If not, then you should. They make great additions to a meal or as appetizers or even garnishment for an adult beverage.

Here is a “make your own” pickling spice recipe…

2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp mustard seed, 4 Tbsp coriander seed, 2 Tbsp peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, 2 tsp cloves, 2 Tbsp brown mustard seed, 4 tsp allspice, 4 tsp dill seed, 2 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp cardamom pods, 2 tsp juniper berries

Use this with a warmed white vinegar in Ball jars over freshly washed veggies or cured meats, sealed and placed in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks…Delicious!


For spiced fruits you may want to try this recipe…

In a baking dish, combine  pineapple, apricots, peaches and pears; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger and reserved pineapple juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve warm in a compote dish. Yummy!

Speaking of “Pickled”…some of the best adult beverages we have enjoyed lately have done just that to us, as we try new inventive cocktails created by the mixologists at our favorite bars within Bourbon country. You can get “Pickled” with the very popular Bourbon Milkshakes at the Bardstown Bourbon Company restaurant Bottle & Bond (recently named one of the top restaurants in Kentucky).


This is one of their infamous shakes, a lovely burnt Marshmallow variety with bananas and their fine quality Bourbon will ROCK you world! Be sure to visit them when you come to the Bourbon capital of the World..Bardstown, KY

Making of a Cookbook

Robyn and Scarlett are on a new adventure. They are making a cookbook full of the stories, the recipes and the insights of the Thoroughbroads in the late 80’s early 90’s for future publication. Stay tuned as we take you on our journey of celebrating women’s friendships, mentoring and just plain fun over the years that the gang enjoyed during their monthly get togethers.







Martha Stewart Wannabes

It had been two years since Robyn and Scarlett had gotten together again. Robyn expressed an interest in coming back to the “Bourbon Capital of the World” – Bardstown, Kentucky over the Christmas holidays. Scarlett was all for it. They could collaborate some more on their book about the Thoroughbroads and she could have a holiday gathering in her honor after New Year’s when her friends in town wanted to enjoy some girl time after the holidays. It was set. Scarlett would invite 14 girls who did not know each other in the hopes that 8 would show up. Well, all 14 accepted! She was stunned and tried figuring out how she was going to fit 14 in her downsized house. Fortunately, 11 actually showed up which made for the perfect number she could seat in the living room.

Everyone was asked to bring an ugly holiday ornament, a pair of ugly socks or ugly holiday decor wrapped so they could play Dirty Santa after dinner. All obliged and Phyllis brought a special gift to help with the festivities…an ugly 4 foot tall pink flamingo standing on one leg wearing a Santa hat. We would have won America’s Funniest Videos $10,000 award if Scarlett had filmed 4 of the early guests trying to put this bird together using only a pair of scissors! After many cuss words, they completed the project and it stood as the holiday tree for the party. It will now become a tradition to use the flamingo for every Dirty Santa party in the future no matter who hosts.


Dinner consisted of a sliced Smithfield ham that was glazed with pineapple juice and brown sugar, a sour cream hash brown casserole that M.Sue is known for and was always a hit, a wild greens, cranberry and sliced red grape salad with balsamic vinaigrette, Sister Shubert’s rolls for making a sandwich, if you so desired, with condiments like Duke’s mayo, dark brown mustard or Miracle Whip salad dressing along with a relish tray of pickled okra, pickled green cherry tomatoes, various cheeses with basil wheat thin crackers and a bacon-onion cream cheese ball that Charlie had made finalized the meal. It was accompanied by a Rose Moscato wine, lime and ginger ale punch or a sweet tea and Bourbon slushie.

season debbie

As the girls gathered in the living room to eat, Scarlett introduced each gal pal and asked them to tell a little about themselves so the fact that no one really knew each other would set a level of comfort. It was the ice breaker that the party would need and the adult beverages helped to encourage some to tell something funny about themselves as they went around the room. Dinner was through, so the wrapped gifts were placed on the coffee table and the sweets many had brought were put out to enjoy. Robyn had made a bunch of gold dusted chocolate truffles (of which one gal took 8 home with her when she left)…thank God they had not all been put out or there would not have been any leftover for the 4 day visit! Corn bread, cream cheese, white chocolate cookies that Charlie had made were a hit, the almond cookies Scarlett bought from David at the local institution – Olde Delaney’s Grocery were also popular and the eclairs from Hadorn’s Bakery along with the lemon mini cupcakes were gobbled up as the girls, one by one, picked a gift to open.



The winner of the worst gift brought went to Gloriela, who had never played Dirty Santa before…it was unanimous the molting feather rooster ornament was number one. The middle finger ugly socks came in second and M. Sue declared the U of L Cardinal headband with the reindeer ears as third. Being a UK grad and dedicated member of the Big Blue Nation, she placed the headband on her head and proclaimed it was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. Smart phones started snapping her picture as we laughed at her prancing around like Rudolph. The punches had kicked in making the party a rousing success.


Hugs at the door as the girls left assured all had made new friends and Robyn was encouraged to come back to B’town anytime. Scarlett went to the kitchen to clean up only to find that 3 of the girls had put everything up, cleaned the kitchen and filled the dishwasher…all she had to do was drop a soap pod in the dishwasher and turn it on. These girls would be invited back for sure and a follow-up thank you card would be in the mail the next day! Technology and friends have changed haven’t they? In the past it would have taken hours to clean up, most dishes would have had to be washed by hand since you would have used your best crystal, your best gold rimmed china and your covered bowls to store the leftovers. And, the hostess would have done this herself never letting a guest help her in anyway.

Robyn and Scarlett reminisced at how in the ’80’s in Louisville the Thoroughbroads had parties using Martha Stewart’s books on entertaining as their bibles. It was so much more formal back then. We were in our late 30’s and early 40’s and holding dinner parties for our husband’s corporate clients, we participated in gourmet dinner groups monthly, we tried out her recipes in our monthly luncheons and we dressed classic for the occasions. Here, we had a party where the gals came in long tunic tops with leggings, many slipped their shoes off and walked around barefoot after the hostess came to the door without her shoes on, we sat with plates in our laps and if you got up to go get something else to eat or drink you helped yourself. Boy, have times changed and we think for the better as we drank more slushies, laughed about the evening and talked until 3am.


Rose Moscato Punch

2 bottle of Rose Moscato wine

1 can can of frozen lemonade

1 can ginger ale

1 fresh squeezed lime and use a potato peeler to make small slivers of the peel to use for color in the punch bowl in an ice ring.

Bourbon Slushie

4 cups of sweetened tea

12 ounce can frozen orange juice

24 ounce can frozen lemonade

3 cups quality Bourbon

In large bowl with lid combine all ingredients and place mixture in freezer at least 10 hours. Then scoop out mixture with ice cream scoop into wine glasses you can garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or thyme and ENJOY!

M. Sue’s Hashbrown Casserole

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers or plain corn flakes

1 (2lb) bag of frozen hash browns

1 tsp fresh ground pepper and 1 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter melted

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated

1 (16 ounce) cup of sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 and in large bowl combine all ingredients except cracker or corn flake topping. Place in 1×13 casserole dish and add the cracker or corn flakes crushed to the top and bake 40 minutes until bubbly

Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

2 boxes Jiffy blueberry muffin mix

4 ounce cream cheese softened

1 stick butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 and cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs one at a time then add muffin mix and combine till smooth. Fold in Chocolate chips and chill dough for 1 hour. Drop by tablespoon on greased cookie sheet and place dollops 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges of cookies are browned, then remove from oven and let cool 1-2 minutes. Then place on wire rack until completely cooled. Best to keep them in a plastic container with wax paper between layers. Pull out what you need as you need them and place the rest back in the fridge so they do not get warm and start to crumble.

Sausage Cream Cheese Crescents
16 oz bulk sausage cooked and crumbled (any flavor)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 can(s) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or any cheese)

How to Make It:
1st step….Combine Sausage & Cream Cheese together then mix in Shredded Cheese.
Then you need to separate rolls into triangles.
2nd step : Cut each triangle in 1/2 lengthwise, scoop a heaping tablespoon onto each crescent triangle & roll up.
3rd step : Bake at 375 degrees about 15 min (till golden brown). Serve and Enjoy











Fall Y’all

The cool crisp blue skies of a Kentucky fall and the neon colored sunsets in the early evenings make you glad you migrated to the bluegrass state. Upon arrival in early February of 1986, I was greeted with dull grey windy days and nothing of any color was in the landscape. It was so depressing. Coming from the deep south we always had greenery of some type and the skies would be filled with soft clouds on a bright blue backdrop. However, when fall arrived in the Commonwealth I was in awe. I had never seen such color. I now live in Bardstown, KY (the Bourbon Capital of the World) and due to the number of distillery warehouses that emit what we call “The Angel’s Share”, a dark black type of residue from the fermentation of the Bourbon in the barrels, the tree trunks take on a dark black looking bark that next to the brightly colored leaves seems to set the land on fire with color. It is truly beautiful…now when winter arrives we go back to the dreary days I was introduced to, but thankfully that is only for a few months.

I just ran across one of the Thoroughbroad lunch menus where we enjoyed fall recipes.

I will share them with you here and you can imagine yourself in a dining room where you can hear the crackling of a first fall season fireplace, smell the warm apple cider while holding a Kentucky Stoneware mug in your hands and snacking on a warmed brie wheel covered in walnuts and an authentic maple syrup served with ginger snaps to spread the softened cheese. Lunch will be served soon enough. For now, enjoy the company of girlfriends catching up on the latest news each is sharing.


Apple Sausage Stuffing

1 lb sausage

1 cup diced bacon

1 large onion chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1/2 lb sliced mushrooms

2 apples cored and diced skin on

1 cup chopped parsley

1Tbsp each of sage and thyme

1 loaf (1 lb) firm white bread cut into 1 inch cubes

2 cups chicken broth

salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet fry sausage and bacon until crisp, remove both and cut into 1 inch size pieces. Replace in the skillet and add onion, celery, mushrooms, apples, parsley and herbs. Saute stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Stir in bread and add broth and season with salt & pepper. Pour mixture into a bowl and let cool. Spoon stuffing into a well greased 2 qt. casserole dish and cook in 350 oven for 1 hour.


Lou Gould’s Vegetables

6 cups of any 4 firm veggies cut into equal sized squares.

Salt to taste

2 cloves minced garlic

Fresh ground pepper to taste

3 Tbsp butter

1 can Cheddar Cheese soup

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place veggies in a steamer cook until fork tender (about 15 minutes).

Drain then put back in steamer add salt, garlic, pepper and then add the butter. Now stir in soup and blend. Just before serving sprinkle with bread crumbs and grated cheese and put in oven in a casserole dish for 5 minutes.


Magic Cookie Bars

1 stick of butter melted

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup of any nut meat

1 cup of cream cheese (1 bar)

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

1 15 oz can of condensed milk

1 cup chocolate chips

Into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan pour melted butter then add the rest of the ingredients one by one on top of each other reserving the nuts and the cracker crumbs to sprinkle them on top then distribute the coconut and chocolate pieces on top of that and pour the condensed milk on top and spread. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes allow them to cool and then cut into squares.


Golden Milk

2 cups milk

1 cinnamon stick

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp ground tumeric

3 black peppercorns

2 Tbsp honey

In a small saucepan combine all except honey and heat until barely simmering. Remove cover and let stand 5 minutes. Strain, add the honey and whisk to combine and rewarm the milk if needed then pour into mugs. Makes 2 mugs worth.




A Thoroughbroad’s Road Trip

There is nothing like the tagline ” Bourbon Capital of the World” to bring a Thoroughbroad back to Kentucky and to Bardstown for a gal pal visit. Robyn’s 5oth high school reunion in West Virginia meant she could stop in Bardstown and visit Scarlett for a few days. It had been a couple of years since they had reconnected. This trip would be special, they had been bouncing around the idea of writing a book about the early days of the Thoroughbroads the last time they had seen each other…now they would get serious about the project.



Over Boozy Bourbon Milkshakes, at the newly opened Bottle & Bonds restaurant within the Bardstown Bourbon Distillery Co., their idea would come to fruition. Robyn sipped on the Banana Bourbon shake full of bananas, marshmallow cream and toasted mini marshmallows on top…it was not only yummy but a vision of deliciousness. Scarlett chose the Caramel Apple Pie concoction with swirls of caramel drizzled around the glass interior and green apple slices adorning the top. Top notch Bourbon and quality vanilla ice cream made them both smile at each other like they were 10 years old again.   Nothing like a great adult milkshake to get the memories flowing. And, the location stirred their creativity with it’s attention to detail in architecture, interiors, tablescape and their menu items. It was decided that the charcuterie for two would be their lunch as they drank their dessert first!



With a massive soaring glass entry, contemporary furnishings, elegant lighting, floor to ceiling open fireplace and living moss wall, the setting served as the perfect place to get their book details started. They exchanged coveted recipes from their gourmet gals events in the ’80’s. Robyn brought with her many that Scarlett did not have, for Robyn had remained in the group 3 years after Scarlett had gone back to work. Robyn had  moved to Flatwoods, West Virginia from Louisville but still attended the luncheons even though it was a 3 hour drive each month. She planned her hair color appointments with her Louisville stylist for the early mornings before the luncheons. Once you find the right hairstylist, you will follow them everywhere! And besides, that meant you looked great every time you enjoyed a Thoroughbroad get-together.

Within 3 evenings of staying up til 2 AM in Bardstown, blocks from My Old Kentucky Home, the girls had lost their voices, but the book plans were now in the works. Many other trips would be needed in order to compile the stories, share the fun, the dishes served, the recipes, artwork along with the photography they would need to complete it.  It would mean these two friends would see each other more often than they had since leaving Louisville.


As they parted with their list of “things to do” they hugged, cried a little and told each other “I love You.” and meant it. Parting was bittersweet, but knowing they had made a commitment to each other and the project, they left comforted in the knowledge that neither one would ever let the other get away from them again…never!

Robyn Robyn

Scarlett  Scarlett

A Long Way

One of the Thoroughbroad road trips took us just around the block from Scarlett’s house. This beautiful fall morning we would visit the well known Kentucky Quilt Curator, Shelly Zegart at her home off River Road in Louisville. Her lovely contemporary home would “wow” us and showcased her quilt collection in perfect harmony with the modern flair of the house. Full of natural light coming through soaring sheets of glass, white walls and orderly exhibits of Kentucky Folk Art, the home was mesmerizing. A roof line shelf highlighting a row of handmade children’s chairs stood directly across from brilliantly painted primitive wooden animals that stood as sentinels offering protection of those in the house. Instead of paintings, large quilts were hung from floor to ceiling, each on its own wall for your appreciation. We were honored to be witness to her lovely collections of handmade art.

Upon arrival we were greeted with Good Morning Punch,  cheese straws, Benedictine crust-less tea sandwiches and fresh fruits. We nibbled while she spoke of the who, what, when and where of each quilt she had selected from her very large collection to show us. Each one represented a time in Kentucky history and the lives of the female crafters. Utilitarian in nature, quilts tell stories by the use of fabrics available at the time, the usage of embroidery, the type of stitches used and the patterns and colors they present.

Ms. Zegart’s knowledge and desire to share it with others had brought her to the forefront of the Kentucky Folk Art Movement. Former Miss America and First Lady of Kentucky, Phyllis George Brown, had been the catalyst of this movement by gaining the opportunity to bring the state’s back roads folk artists to Bloomingdales in New York for a special showing of their works. It became a big hit and so, their art was now valued by those outside of the state. Many items have been placed in multiple art museums and their works are still highly collectible. Quilts were just one of those artistic expression collectibles.

One of the quilts we saw that day was not only unique but quite beautiful. It was not made by women of Kentucky, but she wanted to share her recent find with us. The message it sent and the story connected to it was breath taking. Shelly had heard about it and took months tracking it down and then purchasing it. Squares each representing a hand embroidered message by a group of early feminists applied to a bright orange background with black highlighting. Susan Elizabeth Daggett, for whom the quilt was made to celebrate her 30th birthday, chose to remain single in the 1870’s, as did a large number of her friends. Their work in the Young Ladies Aid Society in Canandaigua, NY, and their long standing friendship through the years was a force for women’s activism and choices. The messages were unique as they reminded her to be her own person. The messages brought tears to our eyes, because of these women and others, we were the recipients of freedoms they had fought for. With gloved hands we touched the quilt honoring the makers of a gift that helped change our world. Funny how 30 plus years later we are still fighting for gender equality and respect. The quilt is currently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.


In the 80’s, as we looked at the quilt, we were hearing on television and radio ” You’ve come a long way baby.”, a tagline used to promote a slim line cigarette for ladies only in a pink and gold-toned box. We were being sold through commercials and magazine ads that women had made great advances. True, but it is only now that we see many women running for political office and winning regularly, that we have females on the Supreme Court, women astronauts who have gone into space, women CEOs of large companies, anchoring evening news casts, successfully landing commercial jets in emergencies, serving in high ranking military positions and all still fighting for gender equality.


Yes, we have “come a long way baby”, but we are aware we have many more miles to go.

For additional information on Ms. Zegart’s collections and on this particular quilt, visit:      –  The “ Old Maid, New Woman” article showcases this lovely piece of history.



Cheese Straws

1 cup margarine softened

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese softened

½ tsp salt

1 tsp Tabasco sauce

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups crispy rice cereal

In large bowl blend margarine, cheese together until creamy add salt hot pepper sauce, flour and mix well. Then stir in cereal. Form 2 inch balls rolls and place on ungreased baking sheet then press them flat. Bake at 375 for 10-15 min. Makes 6 dozen. May be frozen for later use.


Good Morning Punch