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:http://www.shellyquilts.com      –  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

Red Faces & Yellow Legs

A road trip was in store for the Thoroughbroads, so a short day outing to Harrodsburg, Kentucky was planned with a visit to historic Beaumont Inn for lunch. This destination was noted for Kentucky country fare. Yellow legged chicken and the famous Beaumont inn Prune Cake were just two of the reasons for going. (Yellow legged chicken is what we now call free-range chicken where the fowl have open spaces to roam and are corn or grain fed which turns their legs yellow.


The many Kentucky born and served recipes are worth the trip alone, but their gift shop, a great antique mall and an abandoned church that was turned into a fabulous fabric store makes this a fun destination. Upon arrival at the Inn (originally a school for young ladies – Daughters College), we were greeted by a historian who told us about the place and welcomed us to the restaurant. Our group wanted to know who all had stayed at the Inn in the past. Our guide started giggling and stated, “Well, we have had a number of celebrities but last weekend we had a young couple with overnight reservations but showed up with no luggage only a bottle of wine in a paper bag.”  Everybody started laughing as he looked through our crowd and then suddenly said, ”There she is!” and pointed. All of the Thoroughbroads turned around to see he was pointing at Scarlett, trying her best to hide.

Turning beet red, Scarlett explained that she and her husband both thought the other had loaded the suitcase in the trunk, but left it in the garage instead. The valet had come to get it and Scarlett’s husband just handed him the paper bag with wine to take in. She was so embarrassed while the girls and the historian all laughed. After checking into the Inn and enjoying their dinner the two of them found a drug store and bought undies, T-shirts and some shorts, a toothbrush each and sundries. They came to the Inn because her favorite secret auction house was having a sale early the next day.

At the auction, they had great success, but the sizing in the clothes reacting with the heat of the tobacco barn made them itch throughout the day, so much so, that the auctioneers kept thinking they were bidding on items when they were just scratching their backs or necks. Now her secret antique auction was out…all of the gals wanted to know about it and what she had bought. There would never be any bargains there for Scarlett again.

We talked about the auction over our lunch and were able to get the famous Beaumont Inn Prune Cake recipe out of our server. Many of us decided to substitute raisins for the prunes, so as not to create discomfort if given as a hostess or holiday gift. This dried fruit was gaining popularity in the 80’s due to a big ad campaign for California Raisins. The claymation commercial spilled over to an Emmy award winning Christmas special, a toy line of collectibles which have now found their way into a permanent collection in the Smithsonian. The ’80s were crazy years full of creativity and Rock n’ Roll singing raisins were popular with all generations.


Having stood the test of time, in 2015 Beaumont Inn received the  American Classic Award from the James Beard Foundation (the Oscars of the food industry). Be sure to visit when you travel to Kentucky…it is a must and you will step back in time to a country Kentucky dinner table.


Robyn’s Reward

I was browsing the newspaper ( yes, we actually got info this way in the 80’s ) looking at things going on around town. Newcomer’s  Club had a monthly coffee to welcome new residents. I thought a few minutes and decided that I was going to do this for myself.

On the appointed day, I found the address and parked by the curb. Holy cow! The house was huge! I don’t care how confident you are, walking into a room full of strangers and conversing is not easy. So, I steeled myself and made it to the front door. I was greeted with a smile. I found myself in a room full of welcoming women who were all in the same boat as me, new to Louisville. I met Scarlett that very day and the other Thoroughbroads soon after. A few months later, Pat who became our partner in crime, showed up at a coffee. The decision to attend that coffee ended with friends for life.

The refreshments at the coffee were typical. Cookies, breads, pastries, fruit, coffee, tea, juice. Until, a member showed up with this crustless quiche. It was an instant hit. It is so versatile. Serve as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Serve at room temperature or hot. It freezes and travels well. I cut it into individual pieces, wrap & freeze. Slide it into a ziplock bag and it becomes breakfast at the beach condo. Enjoy!



Mexican Quiche Appetizer

1/2 cup butter

10 eggs

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of salt

8-12 ounces canned, chopped, mild green chiles

2 cups cottage cheese ( 16 ounces )

4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese ( 1 pound )

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat eggs till well blended, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add the melted butter, leaving the dish buttered. Add chiles and cheese. Mix together and pour into the baking dish. Bake uncovered for 45 to 55 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a knife blade in the center. Quiche should be set and knife blade should come out clean. Cut into bite size squares while hot, but allow to cool slightly before removing from pan.

Note: This May be baked and frozen; reheat covered with foil. Individual portions reheat well in the microwave.




Diamonds…Are A Girl’s Best Friend…Or Is A Girl With Diamonds A Best Friend

Diamonds – A Girl’s Best Friend  

The Thoroughbroads met at J.J.’s home in one of the newer subdivisions in the east end of Louisville for a monthly luncheon. The drive was worth it as we passed rolling Kentucky hills and little commercial construction. We always laughed at the “Louisville mindset”…if it is more than a few stoplights; you’re headed to the country. Most of us had lived in cities where you might sit for 20 minutes trying to make a left turn on to a well traveled street and since J.J.’s house was 20 minutes out of downtown…she was in the country of “the Ville”.

The back of her home was open to a lovely screened in porch with scenery of trees and peaceful privacy not heard of in most subdivisions. Developers usually sell off every square inch of land for housing and don’t leave the natural beauty of the land. This was an exception. Open and airy inside with lots of windows allowed Mother Nature to show off her wares. The décor was simple with a no clutter look giving it a clean orderly feel. Since she had moved many times with her husband’s career, they had not accumulated a great deal of things and it was refreshing. I believe she was ahead of her time in many ways as today we try to simplify our abodes, we eat healthier, and we exercise more and are a great deal more comfy casual in our dress and décor. It seems J. J. was spot on with this lifestyle long before it became a smart way to live for the rest of us.

We gathered in the kitchen to enjoy a Blue Cheese Spread on toast points with a sparkling white apple wine spritzer and to catch up on what we all had been up to since we saw each other last. We proceeded to the screened porch for lunch. The birds were all about outside and it was one of those slightly cool spring days that made you breathe in the beauty of the upcoming season. This was the first day you could wear that light weight top you had bought at the end of spring last year and it still fit after a hibernating winter. You could pull on those comfortable open toed flats and a pair of twill pants…jeans had not become high fashion with our age bracket in Louisville yet. “The Perfect Fit” Gloria Vanderbilt  designer dark denim jean (with the embroidered swan on the back pocket) came out in 1976. It would be a few more years before you saw the swan on the backsides of many Louisville housewives.

Since the holiday season had just passed, the talk was all about other new fashionable items, such as the “Tennis Bracelet”. In fact, a few of the girl’s showed off their new diamond bracelet Santa had brought them. (Chris Evert, women’s tennis champion, lost a diamond bracelet during a match in the 1987 US Open. Evert asked officials to postpone her match until the bracelet had been found. This sparked the desire for a bracelet like her’s with diamonds in it.) Funny how the only one in our group who played tennis was our hostess and she did not have one. Scarlett noticed the new accessory on some of the girls right off and mentioned that she had diamond news to share.


A gal pal of our’s  from Newcomers Club recently had a couple’s brunch at her home and Scarlett had attended. Scarlett bragged about eating asparagus for the first time in a strawberry and roasted asparagus salad with lime poppy seed dressing. Down South… it was boiled and nasty stuff, so she never ate it, but she had loved it served this way. While the hostess set the dish on the table, Scarlett noticed a new 5 carat square cut diamond ring on Lori’s wedding finger. As she grabbed Lori’s hand, she showed how much she loved it and why had she not seen it before. It was huge and absolutely beautiful.  Lori whispered that she had gotten it for Christmas and was it too ostentatious? Lori was one of the sweetest girls we all knew, she held down the fort while her husband worked out of town a great deal, she was the step mom to a precious little boy, volunteered at many of the Louisville fundraising events and generally one of the best people you could ever meet. Scarlett told her that if anyone deserved that diamond she did and to wear it proudly. Lori hugged her and felt vindicated and confident to wear it in style.


All of the Thoroughbroads were genuinely happy for her and wanted to know all about the ring, how to make the asparagus strawberry salad, the details on the day. There was not a jealous bone in the group and that is why the group stayed together for years. Diamonds are great but showing true friendship for one another is the best gift of all.


Blue Cheese Spread

8 0z cream cheese at room temp

2 oz blue cheese crumbled and at room temp

1/8 tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp onion powder

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp milk

Mix all together in a food processor. Better if made a couple of days ahead so flavors marry.

Serve as a spread on toast points or quality crackers


The Spring Strawberry Asparagus Salad Recipe 

1 container of fresh strawberries (large if possible) and sliced ¼ inch thick.

I large bunch of tender fresh green asparagus with stems cut of at base

1 large bunch of fresh spinach

Take asparagus and drizzle with olive oil, salt and cracked pepper and grill or roast until slightly limp and colorful.

Arrange spinach on a flat platter as a base with grilled or roasted asparagus in the center, arrange strawberry slices around the asparagus and pour Lime Poppy Seed Dressing over the top.


Lime Poppy Seed Dressing Recipe 

In mixing bowl stir together ½ cup honey, ¼ tsp finely shredded lime peel, 3 Tbsp lime juice, 1 ½ tsp poppy seeds, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp ground mace

Beat honey mixture with electric beater on medium high while gradually adding ¼ cup salad oil and continue until thickened. Cover and chill slightly. Stir and then poor over salad for serving. Makes ¾ cup.

Derby Divas


Before all of the great additions and renovations to Churchill Downs, back in the late 80’s early 90’s, groups could book a “Day at the Downs” the week before Derby in Millionaires Row. Tickets to the actual Derby were usually all sold out to corporate event planners, sponsors and those who had them left to them in a will,  or you paid a scalper a fortune for them. The Thoroughbroads were members of the Louisville Welcome Wagon chapter, so they attended that annual ” Day at the Downs” event. Millionaires Row was where the stars, celebrities, politicos, horse owners and trainers enjoyed the race day during the Oaks and Derby, so this was always a real treat. Attendance was huge and all were dressed in their finery.

The men wore spring suits, some even seersucker ones. They accessorized with bow ties, braces (suspenders), pastel shirts and straw hats. The women were in silk floral dresses or monochromatic fitted suits. Classic jewelry, tasteful shoes that you could stand in all day and of course a hat added to the attire. The hats were the show stopper though, few came without one and some felt go big or go home was the rule of the day.


Most of the Thoroughbroads had corporate guests to entertain, but Robyn and Scarlett shared a table every year with another couple from Texas. The tickets included a mint julep in a collector Derby glass, a race magazine full of well designed ads that showcased the best Louisville and Kentucky had to offer along with stories on many of the thoroughbred farms and their winning horses and winning prospects for sale. A delicious lunch buffet of traditional Kentucky favorites and access to betting windows in the room with you along with other conveniences made the day effortless.

The horses were beautiful along with those betting on them. Many times, Robyn , Scarlett, their husbands and the Texas couple, Pat & Tony, would pool their bets on a long-shot. Sometimes they would even bet on the first horse coming back over the finish line after the race. They would scream and holler out on the balcony and confuse everyone watching since the race had already been won. It was amazing how many of those on confused lookers would join in randomly picking a horse’s number out of the straw hat and putting in their two dollar bet to join in on the creative fun. Those pots usually paid better and you didn’t have to know anything about the horses. With enough mint juleps you will bet on anything.

This day however, Tony from Texas and Scarlett decided to pool their money on a grey long-shot to Win Place Or Show by paying $2 on each spot across the board, which would mean $6 per bettor. It is supposed to always be good luck to bet on a grey and this one was wearing pink silks along with the jockey, so Scarlett was convinced this one was a winner. Sure enough, as the gates opened that horse took off…and off and off…not a great sign, for he would lose his stamina if he gave it all he had that early in the race. Well, he kept going and the lead kept growing and as he rounded the last turn, Tony from Texas kept saying” Scarlett, Scarlett, Scarlett!” but Scarlett could hear nothing over her loud screeching and jumping up and down in those tasteful high heels. They had already figured out that if their horse won they would win $1500.00 each. Not bad for a $6.00 bet. As this lovely grey animal, all dressed in pink, got closer and closer to the finish pole Scarlett screamed louder and Tony from Texas kept saying ‘Scarlett!” but alas, tragedy would strike. The horse just fell over on the track, the jockey was not hurt but the horse did not get up, in fact it didn’t even move. All were confused as other horses passed by and another won that race. Track personnel, trainer and owner along with an ambulance came to the scene and a big white cloth barrier was put up around the horse and people…it was grim. All fell silent in the stands and on the balconies. The jockey could be seen pacing back and forth with crop in hand and very distraught. The ambulance drove off, the barrier was removed and the people walked away head bent.

One minute things can be going your way and another not so much. It was not the loss of the race, it was the loss of the animal, which was a loss of a dream. Scarlett and Tony from Texas turned and hugged each other tightly and for a longer than usual length of time that day. As life would have it, over the years long hugs would be doled out among these 6 friends. They would be given for the loss of a job, the loss of one’s health, loss of a parent, a couple moving to another state and the loss of a husband. Long hugs from good friends get you through difficult times. Strong friendships are something to be cherished.

Only 3 of the “broads” still live in Kentucky, but I bet all of us on Derby day sip on a mint julep or two and remember our “Days at the Downs”…memories that will last our lifetimes.


Derby Week Fare Recipes You Can Enjoy Serving Guests

Benedictine Dip or Spread

Remove seeds from 1 cucumber, grate and drain well by pressing all of the liquid from the cucumber. Add the liquid only to an 8 oz. pkg. of softened cream cheese. Stir in 1 tsp. of lemon juice and a small finely grated onion to taste. Add just enough quality Mayonnaise (we like Duke’s) to help it spread easily. Then color with one drop of green food coloring and chill before using. This is a Kentucky favorite!

Crab Muffins

1 6 oz. can of quality crab meat

1 jar of Kraft Old English Cheese

2 sticks of softened butter

A dash of garlic salt & a dash of Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. of Vermouth or Sherry

1 can of chopped water chestnuts

1 pkg. of Thomas English Muffins

Mix all ingredients together and spread on opened English Muffins and place them on a cookie sheet interior side up. Bake 20 minutes at 350 until muffins are crisp. Pull them out and cut them into eights and serve. DO NOT MICROWAVE! They do freeze well for later use too.


Seafood Salad