May in Kentucky…

May in Kentucky is all about Derby. Actually, it starts two weeks out with Thunder Over Louisville, the fireworks and air show over the Ohio river in downtown Louisville.

This is followed by the Pegasus Parade, a marathon, free concerts on the lawn, hat fashion shows and more activities throughout the state than you can count before the first Saturday in May, Derby day.

It doesn’t stop there. The racing continues until June, but the betting never ceases here. There is always a way to put your money on the ponies in Kentucky.

May also signals that the party and event season has begun. Kentucky never misses a chance to entertain, whether you are a visitor, neighbor or family, the get-together season is here. The Thoroughbroads enjoyed their regular monthly luncheons, but also couples gourmet dining at various restaurants in town, Louisville orchestra concerts at the zoo, club events and this year an ice cream social at Scarlett’s house in the back yard.

Her home was built into a very high hill, nestled in a background of woods. But at the top of the driveway was a big flat turn around space that was perfect for an event where grills could be set up and some fun could follow. It was decided that the husbands would bring their grills and whatever kind of meat they wanted to cook, drink beer and brag about their cooking skills to each other. A “Grill Out” competition was formed. The Thoroughbroads would bring a salad, appetizer or side dish and Scarlett would supply all the drinks from wine to beer, to a non alcoholic punch, tea and coffee along with the ice cream and all of the fixin’s for a cool dessert.

The day was a huge success. The men enjoyed the competition, the food was delicious and the fellowship even better. It was a great way to welcome the party season in Kentucky. But the story does not end there.

Some of the grills had to be picked up and delivered to the party, not all of the men owned a truck. Scarlett’s and Robyn’s husbands borrowed a truck from one of the other men and picked them up and dropped them off at the top of the hill all in a row for the competition. The day after the party they had to return them all before the two had their regular golf outing on Sundays. The last grill to be delivered was owned by the man they borrowed the truck from, so it would be the last returned. Upon loading it, they noticed the handle had been broken. On a Sunday where would they find a handle to replace it? They drove to every hardware store they could find (remember this was the early 80’s before Lowes or Home Depot had been built in Louisville), it took hours but they finally found one which did not match the broken one but it would work. After attaching it, they realized they would not make their tee time at the course. Louisville is a big golfing community, there would be no tee times left on a Sunday afternoon, so there went their favorite weekend activity.

After the grill was delivered and the borrowed truck returned to the owner, the guys came back to Scarlett’s where Robyn was helping with the clean up after the party and enjoying a girl day. Both were unaware that the men had had all of this difficulty. As they came in the door it was evident that they had not had a good day. After they grabbed a beer and sat down, the girls asked about their golf outing figuring they had not played well. That is when the story of their day began, but the ending was the best. They said that when they finally delivered the broken handled grill all repaired to the borrowed truck friend’s house he was so excited. After they pulled it off the back of the truck and set it on the driveway he delightfully said, “Guys that was so nice of you to put a new handle on the grill before you brought it back to me. That handle has been broken for years and I just never could find one to replace it.” The husbands vowed that day to never borrow anything from anyone again and the “broads” have laughed about it every May to this day.

Here are some of the recipes from the Ice Cream Social for your pleasure.

Carrots and Conversation…

A painting to commemorate this April event.

A holiday month gathering of the “Thoroughbroads”always meant you went home with a few goodies. At this April event, we would enjoy a small Ball jar with a fabric lid cover in pastel colors full of homemade carrot jam, a beautiful recipe card for skillet roasted carrots, a bowl of IBC root beer glazed carrots to enjoy warmed up at home, an Easter card with a personalized note and a carrot cake cupcake to enjoy for our dessert.

We met at Scarlett’s home where the dining room was the perfect setting for a spring Easter luncheon. Antique dining furniture placed against a soft pastel floral wallpaper and a table setting of light blue bordered Lenox china, sterling silver flatware and large crystal goblets full of a banana slushie suggested we would enjoy a great meal. A large pressed glass cake stand held the cupcake gifts to enjoy later over coffee. The centerpiece was a collection of vintage Easter cards with ribbon intertwined among them which made it easy to talk over.

The talk was centered around a new show on television that featured Regis Philburn and Kathie Lee Gifford. They poke fun at one another over their personal lives. The fact it was not overly produced and the entire show not scripted made it enjoyable to watch. Turns out their onstage relationship started in 1985 and lasted 15 years, more than some of the Thoroughbroad marriages!

In honor of the show, we enjoyed Chicken by Regis and Kathie Lee as our main course along with biscuits with the carrot cake jam and roasted carrots. Everything was delightful, including our adult beverage which helped us ring in the month of the Easter Bunny. Many smiles and stories of our childhood Easter egg hunts, new dresses and the Easter meals we enjoyed in the 50’s and 60’s were shared. Looking back on those simpler times than now, our events wrapped around family and what the holiday actually stood for. It was an occasion to spend quality time with one another on a Sunday made for memories.

The recipes follow below:

Chicken by  Regis and Kathie Lee

2/3 cup long grain rice

2/3 cup thin spaghetti

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup broccoli flowerets

1 cup chicken, julienned

¼ tsp crushed thyme

½ cup green onions chopped

¼ cup chopped walnuts

¼ cup diced red peppers

Heat olive oil in a large pan, add rice and spaghetti and sauté 5 min. Add chicken broth and brig to a boil then add remaining ingredients and cook covered for 15 min on med to low heat.

Carrot Cake Jam

1 ½ cups Carrots skinned then pulsed in processor making pulp

1 ½ cups ripe Pears skinned and pulsed in to pulp

1 can unsweetened pineapple chopped small

3 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 pkg Fruit pectin powdered

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

6 ½ cups sugar

In a 6 – 8 quart sauce pot, combine the first seven ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the pears are tender. Stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the pan. Remove from the sauce pan from the heat, and stir in pectin.
Bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in the sugar and return to a full rolling for 1 minute, making sure to stir constantly to avoid boiling over. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle into small sterilized Ball jars and let cool before you screw on the lids. Makes great gifts.

Skillet Roasted Carrots

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb of rainbow small carrots trimmed and cut on the bias

Kosher salt to taste

¼ tsp black pepper

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2Tbsp honey

1 tsp fresh thyme

If carrots are thoroughly scrubbed clean no need to peel them.

Heat olive oil in skillet over med heat. Add carrots and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until they are browned but tender crisp (6-8 min).

Add vinegar, honey and cook stirring until bubbly. Remove from heat and sprinkle with thyme leaves and serve.

Banana Slushies

4 cups sugar

 6 cups water

1 46 oz can pineapple juice

1 46 oz can orange juice

 5 mashed bananas

½ cup lemon juice

5 Qts ginger ale chilled

Serve over crushed ice

How we felt after eating that delicious meal and swigging down those slushies!