Halloweeeeeeeen Fun

Two of the Thoroughbroads…Robin & Scarlett along with their husbands saw each other regularly, as they had all become fast friends. Dinners out, card games and movie nights frequently included another couple not in the “Thoroughbroad” group. One October a devilish plot was carried out on the non – Thoroughbroad couple. They would kidnap Pat & Tony’s cherished yard art scarecrow Herman and hold him for ransom. Over adult beverages…the decision was made to create one of those kidnap notes with cut out letters from newspapers and magazines…which ain’t that easy! It took hours and after a number of beers and glasses of wine, it became quite detailed and full of instructions. Herman would be returned for the ransom of Pat’s famous margaritas and her husband Tony’s nachos on a specific date, or they would never see Herman again. Robyn’s husband came in from the garage with small shavings of firewood to include in the note. They even painted red spots on most of them and claimed they were part of Herman’s bleeding wooden ear.

Now that the plot was in place,  they all piled into the van to go get Herman. The kidnappers were thrilled and some a little loud, due to the adult beverages consumed.  With Pat & Tony’s house close to the street and under a street lamp, there was considerable laughing and noise, as the two couples tried to get Herman out of the holiday décor and into the back of the van without being seen or heard…yeah right.

scare crow

Days went by, nights came and went and not one word about the kidnapping from the other couple. Scarlett was convinced they must not have found the note in the mailbox, maybe the postal worker took it out, they should drop some hints, but Robyn’s husband convinced her not to say a word, they would all just show up with Herman on the proposed due date of his return, which they did.

To their surprise, a big banner draped the front porch reading “Welcome Home Herman, We love and missed you – Tony, Pat, the cat & both dogs!”. As the kidnappers piled out of the van laughing, they were greeted on the porch with Pat holding a silver tray full of her famous margaritas for all. Tony took Herman, kissed him square on the mouth and put him back in the holiday décor. All enjoyed the evening with Pat’s the fabulous drinks and Tony’s famous nachos in the den as he told the kidnappers they would never make it in real life. So much noise was made taking Herman that it woke Pat and Tony up, along with the dogs and cat. They had all gone to the front window and had seen the kidnapping under the street lamp…who else did they know with red hair other than Robyn and who did they know with that loud laugh but Scarlet? Tony went out to the mailbox for the note and their plan was to not say a word, so they had turned the table on the kidnappers by not responding. That drove the criminals  crazy with worry that all of their efforts were for naught.

Thus, the “prankees had pranked the pranksters!” It was decided that night that next time the kidnappers would just toilet paper the yard…

Don Julio Margarita Legendario

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Don Julio Blanco
  • .5 ounce Grand Marnier
  • .5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 wedge lime

How to Make It

Add Don Julio Blanco, Grand Marnier, and fresh lime juice.
Shake and strain over ice.
Salt rim of rocks glass.
Garnish with lime wedge. And Yummy in your tummy good!

 

Sheet Pan Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 12 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and garlic, and cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; stir in taco seasoning. Drain excess fat.
  3. Place tortilla chips in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Top with ground beef mixture, black beans, corn and cheeses.
  4. Place into oven and bake until heated through and the cheeses have melted, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with tomato, onion, jalapeno, sour cream and cilantro.

 

The Russians Are Coming…

Vodka was first and foremost used as a medicine for treating various ailments. Fast forward to the present time and people now drink vodka for leisure and to celebrate significant occasions. With this, it isn’t a surprise to see the number of vodka consumers reaching 43 million in Spring 2017.

This at one time was one of the finest way to demonstrate your wealth. Showing off expensive bottles of Russian Vodka was a status symbol. The $7.25 million-priced bottle called “Billionaire Vodka” from Leon Verres is currently the most expensive, as the bottle comes decorated with almost 2000 diamonds set in gold. The bottle is dressed with a deep black faux fur jacket and you’ll get to know what diamonds taste like if you open it as the 18-liter bottle contains vodka made from an original Russian recipe and is filtered thru diamonds…

It should come as no surprise, because of their love of cooking and eating, that the Thoroughbroads of Louisville participated in other food related activities in the ’80’s. One such group was dubbed “Feast & Frolic”,  a couples dinner. Scarlett was one of the organizers of this group. She and Robyn came up with themes, set menus and recipes, and assigned said recipes to participants. The hostess prepared the main course and the drinks. Because this was a large group, the dinner took place in several homes on the same night. Scarlett kept track of who was where and shuffled us around to ensure that we dined with different people each month. A big job that she did well. And, it filled up fast with a waiting list if anyone cancelled.

Robyn volunteered to host a Russian night during a snowy February. When she received the menu, she checked out the main course, Chicken Pojarsky. Seemed straight forward and sounded delicious. As she said before, “I don’t do trial runs.” she loved challenges.

On to the table setting. Robyn’s first thought was Matryoshka (Russian stacking dolls). She had none and none were to be found in Louisville. Remember, this is before Al Gore invented the internet. If it wasn’t in a local store or a catalogue you happened to have, forget it! Plan B, books by Russian authors. She had a few and picked up some more at the library. Scattered them down the center of the table and added a few candles. Being a lover of classical music, she had a good selection of Russian composers for background music. Check, check, check! One more detail…

You can’t have a Russian themed night without caviar and iced vodka. Robyn loves this combination! One of the guests was in charge of the caviar and she the vodka. A cold bottle of vodka on a tray is nothing to sniff at but Robyn being the clever hostess decided to dress it up.

Robyn’s suggestions: freeze the bottle in ice. You will need a half gallon juice or milk container and fresh flowers or fruit of your choice. Remove the label from the vodka bottle. Cut the top from your container. Place the vodka in the container. Add your flowers or fruit and fill with water. Tip: if your flowers are small, light weight ( will float to the top) add a small branch of leaves or pine twig, etc. to hold them down. You can also do the freezing in thirds to assure the flowers are evenly dispersed. When completely frozen, peel away the carton. Place on a tray with a napkin to wrap around while pouring. Nostrovia!    Here is an example below…

vodka in ice

I have to tell you that the borscht was the least favorite item on the menu. Robyn likes beets so she was happy, but Scarlett, who hates beets, ate all of hers. Preparing the Chicken Pojarsky today, Robyn says she would use smoked paprika. Love it! A glimpse into another culture, good food, and great company made for a very fun evening.

Here is an example of a Caviar and Vodka tasting tray and a way to dress for the Russian evening…(we have to say that we like the leopard look better, but if you like comfort…super cool ideas!) Recipes to follow in next addition to this story.

Russain clothing

9013ce3aee914c6761f1689a27074a35a92ded1af128c0e3cff3e6cb845e568c

The “I Would Never” Party…

Have you ever wanted to throw a party where everybody brings a dish that they eat at home but would never serve to company? Where you dress in your pajamas or old yard comfy clothes? Where you could “let it all hangout”?

Well, the Thoroughbroads did.

Here are a few tips you can use to throw your own event.

  1. Send invitations on a paper towel concealed in an envelope inviting guests to participate by coming in something they would never wear out in public and bring a favorite dish they would never serve company..preferably in a container like the saucepan it was cooked in, aluminum foil, plastic leftover containers, etc.
  2. Decorate your entertainment area with large trash cans turned upside down serving as tables, use an ironing board as a server for paper plates, plastic utensils and plastic cup, leave igloos out to hold ice, beverages, etc. Hang clean laundry on a rope across an entry to a bathroom or the entertaining room, use ladders and 2×4 boards to hold desserts, appetizers or extra dishes. You get the idea.
  3. Give out a great prize for the worst dressed and for the best worst dish.
  4. Buy cheap wines and some bottles of very good wine. Play spin the bottle by placing a bottle of cheap wine on the floor and spinning it. Whoever the screwed on top bottle points to has to open it and take a swig, if they like it they can keep it, if they don’t then give them a piece of paper to write their name on for a drawing of good wines when the game is over.

Our party was a “white trash” event and we did all of the above. The women came  pregnant & barefoot, with teeth missing and hair in curlers and one came in a burlap sack tied to her bra straps! She also carried a BIG clever in one hand and a roll of uncooked cookie dough and shared slivers with everyone. (She was the wife a a bigwig at GE and shocked us all and declared immediately our winner for best outfit. She went home with a cheap aluminum sauce pan and was thrilled.)) Many of the men came in their boxers or bathrobe with black socks and flip flops. One gentleman had made an appetizer extravaganza by mounting toilet plungers upside down on a plywood base. The plungers were filled with chips and dips and the contraption also had a square mounted stand for the aerosol cheese spreads he brought…needless to say, he won a prize for his inventive idea..the biggest jar of dill pickles we could find.

For an ice breaker we played a game. Dollar store items were placed on a table and everyone was asked to tell us what a redneck would use them for…to our amazement our local police officer got them all right!  He won two redneck recliners… two webbed strap chairs bought at a yard sale. When we asked him how he guessed correctly on each item, he reminded us that as a police officer he had seen it all.

vintage-webbed-lawn-chair-aluminum

imagesInstead of providing you our recipes  we are referring you to this Great resource material! Hilarious and most of the food is good believe it or not…. we used it for a number of the dishes. Just remember that the serving dish you use is imperative to the white trash theme…sauce pans, aluminum foil, Tupperware or paper plate adds to the ambiance of the evening.

trailer trashCasual dress is required.

boozeAdult beverages are best served in a bucket and sharing out of your own glass a must.

indexAerosol cheese is a delight.

a002b147f1c576b82bcc2b7a01323533-301x306who knew?

A funny anecdote:  Some of the guests rode together and in full “trash” attire, stopped by a home for sale that was having an open house and they all went in together. They told the homeowners and realtor that they were relatives of the neighbor down the street that was hosting a family reunion party. Scarlett, the hostess, nearly died when she found that out.

It truly was a fun evening and after she recovered from the night of fun, she didn’t even mind picking up all of the empty beer cans the boys had thrown out the front door in this classy neighborhood…after all, she had distinguished herself as the perfect hostess by placing two big truck tires at the edges of her driveway entrance and filled them with pansies and had hung the clean laundry between two trees in the front yard signifying that this is where the “trash” are partying tonite.

24tire-planter Do let the grass and weeds grow up a bit before your event. That way your decor fits right in with your theme. Oh, and be sure to invite the neighbors so they don’t call the homeowner’s association on you!

A Trip to Tuscany…in our mind

A new story from Robyn of Thoroughbroad fame, the recipe and more about the perfect dish for those hot summer evenings with an adult beverage and friends! Tuscan Chicken Dip…yummy.

Recently, a post from Stacy’s Pita Chips showed up on my Facebook feed. It was a contest for a dip. I thought that it might be fun. The first thing that came to mind was a pasta sauce recipe from my days with the Thoroughbroads. This sauce is always in my freezer but you will have to wait for our cookbook to learn more about that. So, I mulled it over thinking how best to get those flavors into a dip. Gathered my ingredients and set about creating. Got it done, placed it in a pretty dish, and snapped some photos. Then, I put it in the refrigerator to let the flavors mingle overnight. The next day I did some tasting and decided to tweak it a bit. Then, I wrote out the recipe and went to the website to submit my masterpiece. I thought I had a good chance because it was a little different. Only one problem, I missed the deadline!! Well, you just can’t rush that creative process. Friends enjoyed my labors and pronounced it delicious. Even worthy of an award. Hope you enjoy it too.

Tuscan Chicken Dip

2 T Olive oil

1 Boneless chicken breast, diced **

1 Mild Italian sausage link, diced

3 Slices prosciutto,diced

1/2c. Sun dried tomatoes, dice

1 T Basil

2 t Rosemary

1 t Sage,rubbed

1 t Garlic

16 oz Sour cream

8 oz Cream cheese, room temperature

Add olive oil to skillet and cook chicken breast until juices run clear. Remove from pan, let drain on paper towel, cut into a small dice, let cool, then measure 1c. Add diced sausage to skillet, cook till lightly browned, remove to paper towel to drain and cool. Add tomatoes, prosciutto, and herbs to skillet. Stir to combine and release the flavors of the dried herbs. Drain and cool on a paper towel. Place sour cream and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Beat with mixer just to combine. Stir in all ingredients just till blended. Place in a container and refrigerate overnight. Serve with pita chips or your favorite cracker.

** Shortcut- Start with rotisserie chicken

Tuscan Chicken Dip

June Blooms

With June comes garden tours, planting annuals, filling containers with blooming flora, bringing out the patio furniture, enjoying the warm or this year HOT weather and a cool beverage on a front porch with friends. Being in Bourbon country, many think of this spirit as a fall/winter pleasure, but with all of the “mixologists” jumping on the Bourbon wagon,  we are enjoying all types of refreshing beverages made from the brown liquor. The Kentucky Mule for one,

  • 2 oz Woodford Reserve bourbon.
  • 12 oz Fresh lime juice.
  • Ginger beer, to top.
  • add a sprig of rosemary as a stir stick and pour over ice

KentuckyMule_720x480

The Bourbon Melon for another. Tropicana makes a new Watermelon juice in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Mix the container with 1/2 pkg of Jolly Rancher Watermelon Jello right out of the box, 2 bottles of Ale-8-One and 4 jiggers of Bourbon. Shake vigorously to melt the jello and serve over crushed ice. Makes 4-6 tumblers of adult beverage.

81B3SpovlRL

The latter was perfect for hosting a few Master Gardeners on a recent front yard drive by garden tour of a run down neighborhood in downtown Bardstown, KY (currently being revitalized with the hopes of being the Bardstown “Garden District” in ” The Most Beautiful Small Town In America” and “The Bourbon Capital of the World”).

What makes a small town the best is not always the way it looks. The way you are treated by those who live there can make it the best. That is what Bardstown does well. And, that is what is happening in the downtown area of Henrytown recently.

One of the Thoroughbroads downsized into a small bungalow in that run down neighborhood and decided she could be a catalyst for change. She recruited her next door neighbor and off they went door to door leaving anonymous notes thanking homeowners who were working on their properties and front yards. The word got out that someone was appreciative of their efforts…only they did not know who. Next, plants started appearing on their front door stoops with a card marked The Henrytown Pride Project. Then, a benefactor heard what was going on and donated a number of heirloom lilies and iris, so those started appearing on steps and the number of homes showing headway started multiplying. Within 1 year 31 homes had refurbished their curb appeal, rentals started coming up for sale (because property values were increasing) and young people started buying their affordable first homes and learning how to enhance them with gardens.

The project took off and now neighbors know neighbors, they are sharing not only plants with each other, but dinners and adult beverages on the porches that once sat vacant. In a world where all you hear is bad news daily, it is refreshing to know that with a little bit of encouragement instead of chastising others, you can see the change you want just by being the change yourself.

Robyn comes to visit Scarlett every chance she gets, they sit on the front porch and enjoy a drink with these neighbors. All think Robyn should move from Alabama back to Kentucky and become a member of The Henrytown Pride Gang. Who knows what the future will hold, but “The Most Beautiful Small Town In America” will always be here for her with open arms.

7b94d586ab82798eca7819fc0ff52a93

After all….The Thoroughbroads would be proud that they continue the tradition of hospitality, Kentucky style.

 

What do you say….

Just a few of the comments we have had from our visitors that are enjoying the Blog…

Please tell us what you think!

” Robyn, your blog is so fun! I like that there’s a theme of the Thoroughbroads but that it is not overkill. Very Cool!”   Jane from Alabama

” Scarlett, you make me want to meet Madlyn! She sounds like so much fun. I felt like I was at the table with you guys during the Halloween meal. I really like the way you paint a picture and make me seem to be sitting right there with you. And cool recipes.”   Paul from Kentucky

“This is a blog you want to step inside (and EAT)!”   Amanda from Alabama

“Scarlett, I want to see more pictures of you and Robyn and the other Broads. I really enjoy the way you tie an experience in with the recipes and historical photos. I want to know you gals better. Great job.”   Colonel from Kentucky

“I Bookmarked It!”   a classmate from West Virginia

“I really like the way you blend the stories with the recipes. I suspect that Scarlett and Robyn are not the real names and one of them is named _____? I’m not much of a cookbook fan, though–I look up recipes on the Internet rather than in books, and when I read stories I prefer to just read the stories. That’s probably typical of a man. Although I’m not a typical man. Typical men don’t read and don’t cook, right? I admire your creativity!”   Warren a non fundamentalist

“I need to try the chocolate cake recipe!”   Alice from Alabama

“How much fun is all of this? So many nice touches & fun narrative.”   Marlyn from Florida

Robyn, I am about to head to bed but I wanted to let you know I have started reading the Foodie Friday Friends blog. I love it! I started at the last post and read backwards. I read the post First Meeting for the book. Oh my, I’m ready for a road trip. Now off to bed and dreams of amazing recipes and meals shared with friends!”   Connie from Alabama

 

Like Everything Else Change Is “A-Comin'”

To give you some context to compare Derby in the ’80’s to Derby 2019, take note. Robyn & Scarlett and most of the Thoroughbroads were in their 30’s and 40’s in the ‘80’s. It was pre-cable TV ( you still had only a few stations and MTV had just been invented). Dallas was the most popular TV show and the question of the decade was… Who Shot J.R.? M.A.S.H. ended its longtime run with 123 million viewers watching at parties or the ONE small TV in a bar. And, a sports network (ESPN) became more and more popular as interest in watching sports at home became available. The hand held video camera and the remote control were the rage in this decade… the Kentucky Derby on television was just starting to hit its stride. With that background for a comparison, it is amazing how much the Derby of the 1980’s is a fading memory.

On a recent trip to Kentucky (the week before Derby 2019), Robyn enjoyed looking at the local Louisville magazines all show casing what to wear to this great event, how to travel to it, what you could eat and drink at all of the preliminary parties & events over the Derby Festival Days along with the actual Run for the Roses. It was almost like the Derby she remembered was held on another planet.

The events have all grown in size and splender. The fashion targets the same 30-40 age bracket, but the styles have become much more “in your face”. Gone is the classic, conservative, genteel look replaced with brighter colors in multiple patterns and bigger bolder creative hats on both men and women. You travel now by big stretch SUV’s and so called celebrities have taken the spotlight instead of the trainers, jockeys and horses. It has become KENTUCKYWOOD! Said best when Robyn noted that everyone seems to be in a costume.

Of course some things have stayed the same or at least recognizable. The mint julep is still the drink of choice, but beer and the “Lily for the Filly” – a more fruity cocktail, are available for those who do not abide Bourbon. The food has highly improved with Louisville becoming a Foodie destination now and the Downs itself is even more beautiful with ease of access to it and within it…those improvements are very well received by all. The Downs is just plain beautiful now. Thurby (the Thursday before Derby) and the Oaks on Friday are where you will see the locals. Much less crowded and the last couple of years has had the best weather. You can actually see a horse up close on those days!

If you get a chance to come to Kentucky the week of Derby or during the pre-week’s activities you should do so. It is definitely a Bucket List item. It gets bigger every year, but the sentiment, pageantry and fun still exist…it has changed to meet the age bracket that works to live instead of lives to work. Who knows what it will be like when the children of these young people are old enough to attend. If we are still around, I bet it will be awesome/epic or hip/cool.

 

Finlandia® Oaks Lily®

The Official Drink of the Kentucky Oaks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 oz. Finlandia® Vodka
  • 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Cranberry Juice

Preparation: Once the ingredients are mixed, place the pinkish cocktail in an Official Oaks Lily® glass (stemless wine glass) with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with a blackberry and lemon wedge.

finlandia-vodka-oaks-lily-lifestyle-300

These are delicious ALL Spring & Summer!

DerbyTall_1_sml

Cool Men’s attire by Vineyard Vines a major sponsor of the Derby.

Mesmerizing-Tea-Party-Dresses-And-Hats-97-In-Mermaid-Prom-Dresses-with-Tea-Party-Dresses-And-Hats_large And take a look at the fashions for 2019 and the hats…colorful and bright.

pink-hummer-limo-hire-derby1 And, the bigger the brighter the better for arriving at Churchill Downs in 2019.