Holiday Memories…

What Do You Eat & When?

At Easter, Robyn and Scarlett were chatting. Scarlett was saying how much she missed the springtime weather of the south coinciding with Easter. Flowers bloom everywhere, and warm temperatures, and sunshine. Then, they began to talk about the menu. At the top of the list was ham. Always ham. The sides were green beans, scalloped potatoes, baked beans,  fresh pea salad, radishes, and homemade rolls. Dessert would be pound cake with fresh strawberries or graham cracker pie. The only drink on the table was sweet tea. You can count on this!

Robyn continued to turn this over in her mind. Why do we have specific foods for specific holidays? Some we never eat at any other time. Think about dressing. Only served at Thanksgiving. Robyn said she could remember dressing with baked chicken a couple of times. Very rare.

Why? There are many factors in the answer. A lot of it goes back thousands of years. Certain foods were only consumed for special occasions. Not all people had meat at every meal. What was available at what time was a determining factor. Pigs were slaughtered during the cool weather of the fall. They were cured in a shed or smokehouse. Then, one of those hams made it to the Easter table. Turkeys were hunted in the fall. This gave them time to reproduce and raise those chicks to ensure more turkeys next year. Hence, turkey at Thanksgiving. Vegetables and fruit were preserved and placed in a cellar for winter. In Spring and summer, you ate from the garden and replenished the cellar. Regional traditions in the US vary depending on the immigrants who settled there.

Robyn says here are some things that are true of her family and the South in general :

Memorial Day- In the old South, this was called Decoration Day. It was the time when families gathered to clean up the family cemetery and place fresh flowers on the graves. The meal was a feast.  Ham, pot roast, potato salad, macaroni salad, collard greens, and assorted vegetables from the garden. Every mom and grandmother brings her special dessert. Later on, the holiday was hailed as the beginning of summer. Break out the grill! Hamburgers & hotdogs with all the fixings, potato salad, baked beans, and blackberry cobbler.

July 4- A repeat of Memorial Day but the grilling gets serious with the addition of ribs and brisket. Barbecue! Homemade ice cream and peach pie are on the menu now.

Labor Day-  The end of summer. A repeat of July 4th. We savor the last of those big slicing tomatoes.

Thanksgiving- It is all about eating. Turkey, dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, homemade cranberry salad (no canned stuff), homemade rolls, and pumpkin pie.

Christmas- It could be turkey, ham, or both. Trimmings were more or less like Thanksgiving. The addition to the menu was mincemeat pie. This is one of Robyn’s favorites. Now Scarlett requests it when she visits. Robyn’s in-laws grilled steak on Christmas. This way, her mother-in-law spent a lot less time in the kitchen. Robyn quickly adopted this tradition.

So, what do you eat and when? It is interesting to ponder but in the end doesn’t matter. If you are with friends or family, it is all good.

The many flavors of the holidays from the 50’s thru the 2020’s are full of colorful memories for The Thoroughbroads!

Blogging From Home For The Thoroughbroad Stories

A poem named Let’s Do This



morning snack

TV news


Let’s Do This

office or sofa

front porch

lap top emails

cell phone messages

to do list

Let’s Do This

shower is on

white blouse


blow dryer & make up

breakfast in a bowl

Let’s Do This

flip-flops & purse

lock front door

errands to run

check mailbox

Let’s Do This

jump into the car

open back window

plenty of gas

watch the cyclists

make deposit & get cash

Let’s Do This

back home

office or sofa

leftovers for lunch

return calls


Let’s Do This

answer emails again

afternoon snack

finish art project

RUN…the vacuum cleaner


Let’s Do This



dinner is made

front porch with coffee

watch the sunset


and we will do it again tomorrow…says Sadie Dog


Sadie Dog

With Age Comes Wisdom

Two years ago, Robyn and Scarlett found a peanut butter Bourbon by the name of Skrewball. Scarlett tried it and loved the unique taste so when Robyn came to visit her in Kentucky, she shared it with her to see if she liked it as much as she did. Her reaction was the same…they both loved the flavor.

Since Robyn’s visit was a little longer than most, she suggested that they experiment with making some unique cocktails with this new find. One drink after another and they were able to create two outstanding ones that they thought were worthy of sharing with others. And, they were worth naming.

One used chocolate syrup drizzled on the inside of a large glass and rimmed with a sweetened graham cracker crusting. The peanut butter Bourbon was mixed with a smidgeon of marshmallow fluff until the concoction was creamy then poured into the glass and a big toasted marshmallow was used as a garnish on the top of the beverage. It was named “Smore 4 me”. While on a good run, they created another they called “Elvis Has Left the Building”

It consisted of emulsifying a ripe banana in a blender with 2 jiggers of the peanut butter Bourbon and served in a chilled rocks glass with a large ice cube ( so it would not melt down quickly and water the drink down, which proved to be no problem since it was gulped down it was so good). The word “Yummy” came to mind quickly!

Robyn and Scarlett started following this product on social media and noticed all of the individuals used in the company’s social media campaigns were 30-ish. Here they were pushing 70 and could not believe their demographic was not being promoted as customers as well. They took it upon themselves to let the company know how much they loved this Bourbon and even shared pictures and recipes of their concoctions with hopes they might enlighten the company’s marketing guru that they were leaving several potential customers out of the loop. Guess what? No response.

It did not deter the two over-30 gals in their efforts to continue to enjoy the product. Robyn even made chocolate truffles made with the peanut butter Bourbon as gifts at Christmas that year and they were delicious. She even took a beautiful picture all staged with a snowman with fake snow and sent it in with no recipe this time. Still no response!

Currently, there are other peanut butter Bourbons on the market. We can only hope that those companies may recognize that women of all ages are possible customers and their marketing should reflect that. Research shows that women are making a huge surge into the Bourbon market. There are Bourbon associations for women only and there are many Master Distillers of Bourbon that are women, along with a number of female authors publishing books on the subject in recent years.

Scarlett lives in the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, Kentucky and she should know since she has been a follower and promoter of America’s Native Spirit for over 29 years. She has encouraged tourists, clients, and friends to become aware of this historic elixir and the new distilleries that are opening all over, not only in Kentucky, but all over America.

So try out the various types of Bourbon now available and share your thoughts with others as they have today with you. And know that with age comes wisdom that is not always appreciated by some, and that is a shame.

“Smore 4 Me” and “Elvis Has Left The Building” are both pictured here…text us here for recipes.

Gold Dusted Truffle picture we sent to the peanut butter Skrewball Bourbon company. How could they not love this shot? Robyn will not share this recipe and we don’t blame her.

Commiserating Te-Kill-Ya Punch

The “Thoroughbroads” experienced major life-changing events over the years as they met monthly for luncheons in Louisville. Divorces, illnesses, career changes, family crises, and such were shared over a delightful meal, tasty libation, and camaraderie. Women usually want someone to listen to them…not just hear them. We need to share our stories. It helps us to sort things out, make personal decisions, and to heal. We are not always looking for someone to solve the problem, but to show compassion, which will shore us up to meet the issue head-on and find our solutions.

For the “Broads” the meals we eat, the adult beverages we enjoy, and the setting for the get-together are just part of the big picture. The comfort of exposing your inner issues, thoughts, needs, or successes to true friends is comfort enough. Of course, if the issue is large enough, true comrades will stand with you or fight along with you if need be.

Now don’t for a minute think the gals in this group were perfect listeners. Some of us would share an opinion about your dilemma and not all of us would agree. And some of us would just listen and then get on the phone to that “special broad in the group” and maybe say something like, ” WHHHAAATTT???” But that is just normal when you have a group of gal pals together. We tend to gather all of the details and info like the large opening of a funnel and then let it drip down smaller and smaller until we find a resolution we can live with. But, sometimes that drilling down requires a gal to call a bestie in the group and express her shock just to get it out of her system.

I am happy to report that in this group of “Broads”; it always came down to supporting one another. Whether we were on board with the person’s final decision or not, we were on her shoulders…and that was always enough.

Commiserating “Te-kill-ya” Punch Recipe

Based on one of Martha Stewart’s Tequila punches

Watch yourself it can be truth serum!


16 ounces of Jose Cuervo Gold

 ¼ cup Cassis

 ¼ cup fresh lime juice

24 ounces of a ginger beer

12 ounces of Club Soda

Thinly sliced lime slices to use in an ice ring to keep the punch cold

*Margarita salt for rimming the glasses

*Lime peel curl for garnish

Stir all ingredients together in a 4-quart punch bowl then add the ice ring and garnish. **Be sure to temper the punch bowl first with cold water…if you pour super cold or hot liquid into a leaded glass it can crack! Saw this happen at an event with a borrowed antique Waterford lead crystal punch bowl …not good!

A Strawberry Shortcake Thoroughbroad…

A warm November in 1990 took us to Amy’s house for a fall lunch just before she moved to Pella, Iowa. We received the recipes she had used after she moved and she had written on them “ I’ll miss all of you!” and signed them with a smiley face with blonde curly hair. That was her signature then and how we remember her to this day.

Every time we make these dishes, we think of that afternoon and we smile back.

Her kitchen was full of all things strawberry. Strawberry kitchen towels, strawberry salt & pepper shakers, teapot, pot holders, placemats, napkins, canisters, and even kitchen curtains were in the theme of Strawberries. Funny how our dessert was made with peaches!

The only time we ever saw her upset was the day of the luncheon. She was aggravated with her daughter. She had been running around getting ready for our visit when her daughter said “Mom you have elephant knees.” Were they saggy like elephant skin, were they grey or were they just flabby?

Now as the Thoroughbroads have aged out in our 60s, we all have elephant knees as we get older! Once again Amy remains in our thoughts whenever we look down in the shower or up at our legs in the bath, as we all have elephant knees.

Thank God today we can wear crop pants, leggings, and slim jeans hiding them nicely.

The painting above is by Scarlett who has found her creative side once again. It is named “For the LOVE of Amy.”

Gala Tomato Punch recipe

Her Chutney Cheese Canapes were delicious…stand watch while they broil and don’t burn

Louisville’s La Peche was know for this soup!

This is the Peach dessert she served,,,not strawberries…we were shocked

Our main course

Testimonials for you to enjoy in 2023!

“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 Alabama

AND A NOTE FROM ONE OF OUR LONG LOST (until now) Thoroughbroads in Georgia…we will plan a reunion!

January Blues

Robyn always felt a little down when January arrived. The holidays were over. The anticipation, the parties, the dinners, the gifts, the hustle and bustle, the sparkle. All gone! Sure, it was a new year and a clean slate. However, it was the bombardment received from every morning talk show and magazine. You know what I am talking about. New Year’s resolutions, diets, and exercise. It was constant for the whole month of January. Then it started to ease up.Why? Statistics tell us that of people making New Year’s resolutions, only 75% are still successful after 1 week. At the end of 1 month it is 64% and after 6 months it is 46%. On top of this, the hostess in January was into ‘ healthy eating ‘. The rest of us had never even uttered those words. We used butter and heavy cream quite liberally. Nevertheless, Robyn looked forward to meeting up with the broads. She knew that they would soon be laughing at something.

Our hostess, J. J. was not a bad cook. In her effort to eliminate salt, fat, and sugar things tasted a little bland. She neglected to enhance dishes with other flavors. Today’s menu of Wilted Spinach Salad and Cream of Onion Soup was a pleasant surprise. We could hardly believe it. Butter & half&half  together in one recipe. There was a crusty French bread with margarine for those who wished to indulge. Instead of a rich dessert, we ended the meal with a sweet floral tea and more good conversation. It was good to know that Jan also went off the wagon for a day.

Later on, Robyn and Scarlett confided that they sometimes stopped at McDonald’s on the way home from Jan’s luncheons. Neither has been near a McDonald’s in years, nor given up that butter and heavy cream.

Cream of Onion Soup

4 yellow onions, chopped fine

4T butter

½ c flour

2- 14 ½ oz cans of chicken broth

¼ t garlic powder

¼ t nutmeg

¼ t white pepper

1 t salt

2 c half & half

Sauté onions slowly in butter until soft and golden brown. Add flour, stir & cook for several minutes until golden. Add the chicken broth slowly while continuing to stir. Add spices, cook till thickened. Add the cream and heat through.

Yummy in your Tummy Onion Soup

Uptown Café’s Wilted Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken Breasts

8-8 ounce boneless chicken breasts

2 c olive oil

½ c soy sauce

¼ t ground ginger or 1 t fresh, minced

¼ c sherry

1 lb fresh spinach, washed & stemmed

  1. 8ounce can sliced water chestnuts

8  slices of bacon, crisp & crumbled

4 to 8 hard boiled eggs, quartered

Famous Dressing (this dressing is requested as holiday gifts by a few of our husbands every year!) It is simple and AMAZING!

1 c olive oil

1/3 c soy sauce

¼ c fresh lemon juice

1 t chopped garlic

¼ t fresh ground black pepper

Place chicken in a bowl or shallow pan. Combine olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, and sherry. Pour over chicken and marinate overnight.

Divide spinach among 8 serving plates.  Combine dressing ingredients in a saucepan and heat. Remove chicken from marinade, grill 3-4 minutes per side depending on thickness. Slice and place on top of spinach. Sprinkle each salad with water chestnuts and bacon. Place 2-4 quarters of egg on each plate. Top with hot dressing.

We used fruit with this recipe and garnished with lemons instead of oranges

Feast & Frolic

During the holiday seasons, we invited our Thoroughbroad husbands to join us for a dinner event. Hostess Madlyn provided a menu along with the recipes and each one of us selected what we would make and bring it with us along with a hostess gift. After all, the homes were decorated for the occasion and the extra steps in entertaining the husbands as well as us gals was worth a special gift.

December 19th was a memorable evening. The menu was copying a Historic Williamsburg Christmas. Our hostess named the event “Feast & Frolic” and we did both.

The house was full of Christmas décor, trees, garlands, bows, berries, packages, and the smell of a great meal to come.

All of us were dressed in our holiday finery, life in the ’80s was not as casual as it is today so men dressed in suits and ties and the women in heels, velvet, or organza holiday attire. No cut-off jeans with holes in them or scantily clad tops and bedroom slippers like people today. And if there was any writing on your shirt or blouse it was your monogram, not a sport-sponsored logo.

We were greeted at the door with either champagne in flutes or an adult beverage and ushered into the living room where a roaring fire and lit candles and soft holiday music was playing to set the mood. We enjoyed appetizers as there was plenty of seating for all to be able to reconnect with the husbands or comment on a new piece of jewelry one of the broads was wearing or a new hairstyle.

Before we got too involved with each other the “Broads” were asked to come into the kitchen and finalize their contribution to the meal and bring it to the dining table. The table was set with holiday china (which became the thing in the 80s and continues to be purchased today), sterling silver flatware, Crystal glasses, cloth napkins, and a low centerpiece so one could talk to another over the table. A toast was given along with a thank you to our hostess and then the feast began.

We adjourned to the living room to enjoy coffee and dessert and play a game called “Dirty Santa” near the fire. The game consists of bringing the ugliest Christmas item you can find, wrapping it up with no tag as to who brought it. Numbers are drawn out of a basket and the person who gets the number one selects one of the wrapped gifts, opens it and loud laughter follows based on how truly ugly that gift is. The person who draws the number two can either steal that present or take their chances that the next one may not be that ugly. If the gift is stolen then the person who got it in the first place can choose another package. A package can only be stolen once, so you have to think, “ Can I do worse?”

Well, Robyn won as everyone decided that her gift was the worst and so no one stole it. She went home with a side chair cover that looked like a dead animal. She still brings it out every Christmas and it hangs on her hostess chair at her dining table. It brings back great memories of the feasting and frolicking at Madlyn’s house that night with friends while we all lived in Louisville. Try as we might you can not duplicate memories you can only make new ones.

Risole’ Potatoes

From the British Housewife cookbook

6 cups potato balls 2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Cut balls out of large potatoes with a melon ball spoon. Place the balls in a pan of cold salted water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Drain them on a paper towel. Heat the butter and oil in large skillet and add potatoes and saute’ over medium heat for 15 minutes tossing lightly often until they brown all over salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

 A Tea Delight (12 OZ.) :

140 calories, 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (22 g sugar), 5 g protein

This Earl gray tea delight had rich citrus and lavender flavors. Combined with vanilla syrup makes for a light dessert.

Socials vs Social Media…

Spending a couple of months away from home this fall and caring for a friend recovering from hard surgery, Scarlett found herself without internet. This dilemma was due to the rural environment her friend lives in, having a farm an hour and a half from Atlanta.

Armed with a cell phone and laptop, there was little value to both. Since this friend is an avid reader and naturalist, there was no TV. Being non-connected to much outside of the farm has its perks. But adjusting to everyday electronic connections that we take for granted can throw you off your game! Robyn and other gal pals back home were difficult to be in touch with. A letter-writing campaign and an occasional text limited her weekly if not daily contact. It made her realize the value of good friends socializing in person, as opposed to FaceTiming, Zooming, or Facebooking each other. Three of the gal pals decided to bring letter-writing back. 

Getting a new letter from your mailbox and sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea brings friends closer when you are far away. This is unlike the quick short electronic text bites we take for granted. Not saying that we should replace social media with the written word, but rather a letter containing a few fall color leaves for the girl in South Florida, a small gift of a handmade bookmark for the avid reader, or a flat alphabet charm that can be hidden in a letter for a friend whose name starts with a ‘B’, cannot be sent with an electronic text. Perusing the Thoroughbroads fall recipes, we find a few items Robin and Scarlett still make. We came across Scarlett’s mother’s gouda pimento cheese and her crackers, along with Robin’s big chili recipe.

Enjoy them this October and sit down and write that letter to a friend, maybe include a handwritten favorite Fall recipe for them as we are sharing ours with you today!

As we post this, we are in Alabama in the small half bath below the staircase under a TORNADO WATCH!!! We like all smart Thoroughbroads are prepared!

Crack Crackers

1 package of club crackers

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

3 tablespoons melted butter

Mix the dressing with the butter. Pour over crackers on a cookie sheet, making sure the ranch seasoning and butter get on both sides of each cracker. Place these in an oven at 350 degrees, and bake for 5 minutes. Let them cool before serving.

(You can add chocolate chips on top while they are hot for a Christmas version, or add a butter and brown sugar topping for another exciting holiday favorite!)