Beaches, Breezes & Booze

Robyn was our world traveler. Not only had she lived in a multitude of towns in the mid west, but she and her husband planned vacations that we all envied. Many of us plan these trips in our head, but not all of us actually travel out of the country often. His work had made it necessary for them to not live long in one place, so I guess it was second nature for her to be an adventurer.

They loved all inclusive island resorts with beautiful beaches, great foreign foods, unique people and an opportunity to relax in the sun, read a book or explore nature. We loved her stories over a great lunch at her home. Many of the lunches she hosted reflected the foods she had enjoyed on one of her island trips. This day would be no exception.

Having come back with a smile and a tan, she met us at the door with The Pusser’s Painkiller. A delicious concoction we enjoyed way too many of. It tasted so yummy you just kept pouring another glass, (the recipe follows).

Well, over a number of grown up cocktails, it becomes truth serum and our wild escapades we did share. She started by telling us about a toga party at the pool, then we all got into the first boyfriends, first kisses and best kisser, first honeymoons or in some cases – second or third, most memorable sexual encounter… you get the picture.

I remember very little, except what I shared due to the alcohol. But, I do remember us laughing ourselves silly and being full of embarrassing questions directed at the storyteller of the moment. Tears of laughter make you remember those special moments spent with your gal pals, no matter what your age, you revert right back to a young girl in high school at a spend the night party and just beginning to become a free spirit.

Free spirits we would all remain, for we were girls of the late 60’s who would become the “Thoroughbroads.”


A special note added from Robyn…As I said before, I moved about 3 hours from Louisville outside of Ashland. I was in Flatwoods. Home to none other than Billy Ray Cyrus. After I was settled in my new home, I suggested the ladies take a road trip and visit me. I invited them to come in April because I knew the hills would be covered with dogwoods in bloom making for a beautiful drive.

Steve and I were just back from Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands. I decided on a Caribbean theme for lunch. When the ladies arrived, we started with Pusser’s Painkillers. A little background on this. Pusser’s is the brand of rum used in this drink. Pusser is a corruption of the word purser. In the British Royal Navy, it is the purser who is responsible for handing out the daily ration of rum. This became mine and Steve’s official beginning of Summer drink. We always fixed it on Memorial Day weekend.

After lunch, I took the ladies across the river to West Virginia ( where I grew up ) for a little shopping. We went to Pilgrim Glass. They got to see glass being hand blown and purchase some lovely pieces. I hope they know how much more valuable those pieces are because sadly Pilgrim is no longer in business. They closed because no young people wanted to learn this skill. As we were leaving, I pointed to the mountain top above us. I told them that’s where the airport is located. Since there is not enough flat land, they chop off the top of the mountains to make flat spaces for airports. No kidding

I was only with this wonderful group of ladies one more time. It was a bridal shower for Scarlett. She had found a great guy and was getting married again. As I sat and listened to various conversations, I felt like a visitor. I was no longer a part of this group.  Time to let go and move on. It was a great run while it lasted.

“The Pusser’s Painkiller”        Without ice, blend shake or stir:

1 oz. cream of coconut              1 oz orange juice

4 oz pineapple juice                   2 oz Pusser’s Rum

Pour into a BIG glass filled with crushed ice and grate fresh nutmeg on top.




Caribbean Chicken & Veggie Kabobs

(serve with your favorite corn bread)

8 large garlic cloves minced

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp dried mustard

2 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp aniseed

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces

4 red onion cut into 1 inch pieces

6 yellow squash cut into ½ thick slices

4 zucchini squash cut into ½ inch slices

1 ½ cups olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

12 bamboo skewers soaked in water 30 minutes

Combine all dry ingredients in small bowl. Place chicken parts in a glass baking dish along with veggies and sprinkle with half of the spice mixture. Add half of the olive oil and half of the fresh lime juice and marinate covered in refrigerator 6-8 hours.

Alternate on skewers the chicken and the veggies.

Prepare the grill for medium heat and season the kebobs with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through to the bone turning them a few times for a lovely char on both sides. Transfer to a platter. Serves 12.


Black Bean & Rice Salad

2 14 ½ oz cans of chicken broth

½ cup water

1 lb package of long grain rice

2 bay leaves

2 15 oz cans black beans drained and rinsed

2 red bell peppers diced

1 green pepper diced

1 medium red onion diced

1 medium bunch of cilantro chopped

½ cup olive oil

3 Tbsp orange juice

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

Lettuce leaves to hold salad

Bring chicken broth and water and add rice and bay leaves to a boil. Reduce heat and cover to cook until liquid is absorbed (20 min)

Transfer rice to a large bowl and fluff with a fork. Mix in black beans, bell and red peppers, red onion, chopped cilantro, oil, orange juice, vinegar, cumin and chili powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (can be made ahead and refrigerated covered) Mound salad on individual lettuce leaves and garnish with some fresh cilantro. Serves 12


This meal can be served with Fried Plantains. We enjoyed the recipe in this added picture…Truffled Banana Fritters




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