Do You Remember…

Before second grade Scarlett’s dad made her a mini kitchen set to play with. After all, every Southern born gal needed to know how to cook, right?

Here is a picture of Scarlett and her dad who built her a mini kitchen set from 1960 in Atlanta, Georgia (sorry for the picture quality).

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This was before the easy bake oven which Kenner introduced in 1963, and which Hasbro still manufactured as of late April 2016. You can still buy an ultimate version on Amazon!

The cool thing about Scarlett’s kitchen set is that you had to use your imagination…nothing really cooked anything or kept anything cold but many a hot pot of tea was made and enjoyed with Dad on the back porch.

We would love to share your stories and pictures of an era that has gone by…now kids just use their smart phones and have Uber deliver the “eats” they have purchased using THEIR credit cards. The world has changed for sure.

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Hometown Favorites

This Thoroughbroad get-together would start an interesting conversation about hometowns only one of us was from Kentucky and only one of our gals had lived 13 places in 10 years! It was required that we each bring a dish that reflected our home or favorite state.

West Virginia, Georgia, New York….were represented well. Each recipe was delicious. our conversations wrapped around memories we each had of our favorite towns we had lived in and made each of us wish we had lived there too. Crawdad catching and shrimp seining in Georgia, big city shopping in New York, golfing in North Carolina, West Virginia mud boggin’, Derby favorite in Kentucky …all had stories to tell, but we enjoyed the one Robyn told us and we think you will too.

When Steve and I moved to Princeton WV, the first couples we met both had pickup trucks that they ran through the mud. When in Rome….Soon my car was traded for a F-150 Ford  short-bed with lift kit and roll bar.

One day, we went to an area that had been a quarry. Now, it was a huge lake of mud. One woman tried to drive across but got stuck. I told Steve I wanted to try it. He said to hit the gas and not let up. I have always been accused of having a lead foot so hitting the gas was no problem for me. I made it across and Steve was all smiles. He said that when I let the brake off, the truck literally jumped up off the ground and more or less bounced across the mud.

Soon it was time to move again. I was headed to Lexington KY for the closing of our new house. I stopped at a rest area and headed back to the truck. Since I was wearing a suit with a straight skirt, I had to hike that skirt up to my rear to get up into the truck. The truck was equipped with a CB radio which I did not talk on but sometimes listened. As I headed down the road, I heard a trucker asking if anyone else had seen the redhead in the F150 at the rest area. You never know who is watching. I laughed. I knew I looked good. After all, that truck was my color- green!

A few of the recipes are shared here for you to try.

Cheddar and Nut Ring Surprise (from New York)

1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup mayo

1 small onion, grated

Black pepper, cayenne and minced garlic to taste

1 jar of strawberry preserves

Mix all ingredients except the preserves and put into an oiled ring mold. Refrigerate until chilled then place the preserves in the middle of the ring after you have removed it from the mold. Serve with buttery crackers.

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Quick and Easy Savannah Shrimp Paste (from Georgia)
1 lb cooked shrimp (meat only)
6 oz cream cheese softened
2 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 onion finely minced
salt & pepper to taste
Cream cheese add mayo, grind shrimp in processor and add all other ingredients and freeze…serve as a sandwich spread or on crackers.

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Robyn’s family Recipe for Wilted Lettuce Salad (from West Virginia)

This salad has been a staple my entire life. We never had to fry bacon for the salad because there was always a container of bacon drippings on the stove. Both of my grandmothers and my mother had aluminum containers with strainers for the bacon drippings. In the winter, we used head lettuce. In the summer, whatever leaf lettuces were in the garden. This is also good made with spinach. One way to change up the flavor is to use different vinegars.

6      Slices of bacon

6      Green onions with tops, thinly sliced

2 T.  Apple cider vinegar

1 t.   Sugar

½ t.  Ground black pepper

Head leaf lettuce, rinsed, dried, torn into pieces. Place bacon in large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until brown and crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels. Add vinegar, sugar, and pepper to the bacon drippings. Stir to combine. Combine the lettuce and green onions in a large bowl. Pour the warm dressing over the lettuce and toss to coat. Add crumbled bacon and serve.

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Master’s Famous Pimento Cheese (from our golfing girl who moved to Louisville from North Carolina)

Combine in bowl

1 4-ounce jar Pimientos, small

1 1/4 cups Duke’s mayonnaise

1/2 tsp Spanish paprika, sweet

1 8-ounce block Cheddar, sharp

1 8-ounce block Swiss cheese

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Kentucky Butter Cookies

2 Eggs

1/2 cup Granulated sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

1 box White cake mix

1/2 cup Butter

1 tbsp Water

Mix all ingredients together then scoop out a big spoonful size and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until slightly browned on top…you can sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving warm.

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Steve’s Chocolate Cake

 

The story as told by Robyn,  she always made a delicious chocolate cake for husband Steve to take each year when he met up with his hunting buddies in the fall. It was expected that he would bring one every year and so he did…and Robyn has agreed to share the recipe finally. In the mean time… the pictures at the end of the story attest to its “yummyness”!

As you scroll down the pictures you see the plate is licked so clean you can see the Pillsbury Dough Boy engraved in the bottom of the plate…

After Labor Day, the countdown to Thanksgiving began in Robyn’s house. That was the date of Steve’s annual deer hunting trip. Once a year, he made the trek to West Virginia to hunt with the same bunch of guys. Robyn didn’t mind in the least. She used this time catching up with friends in far flung places

Steve arrived home with the buck of his dreams and started preparations to butcher. Next door, five year old Jacob, was watching with interest. Finally, he ventured over. What is that? It’s a deer. Is it dead? Yes. Jacob took off.

A few minutes later, Jacob returned with a red splotchy face and Mom in tow. Mom explained that Jacob thought that Steve had killed Rudolph. Steve got down on Jacob’s level and gave him a hug. I am so sorry to upset you and I would never do such a thing. Steve explained that this could not possibly be Rudolph. Look at that nose. That nose is definitely black not red. This deer came from West Virginia. All of Santa’s deer are at the North Pole resting up for Christmas. Steve went on to explain to Jacob that before there were grocery stores, this was how people got their meat. Jacob seemed satisfied with this explanation and returned to his yard. Whew! Disaster averted and a freezer full of venison.

This was Steve’s dream buck. A perfectly shaped and balanced 10 point. So, that head went to the taxidermist. A few months later, it came back and was installed on the wall of the family room. Robyn looked at it. She said if she was going to be looking at him, he needed a name. Steve immediately said, Romeo! If he hadn’t been chasing a piece of a** , he’d still be alive.

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Perfectly Pickled

With all of the fresh produce offered at the farmers markets and small grocers in Kentucky in the 80’s, many of the Thoroughbroads would pickle some of the veggies they would purchase at the road side stands or the local Doll’s or Paul’s Produce Markets. Green beans for Bloody Mary’s, green tomatoes or okra for a relish tray and cucumbers for sweet or dill pickles were the typical route the girl’s would take. Now, with the abundance of pickling all types of veggies, fruits and even meats, we are learning how to use those basic pickling techniques we used back then in a more inventive way today.

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Have you ever enjoyed pickled shrimp? Have you ever used pickle juice in a cocktail or a popsicle? Have you ever pickled onions, blueberries, peaches, pineapple or even radishes? If not, then you should. They make great additions to a meal or as appetizers or even garnishment for an adult beverage.

Here is a “make your own” pickling spice recipe…

2 cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp mustard seed, 4 Tbsp coriander seed, 2 Tbsp peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, 2 tsp cloves, 2 Tbsp brown mustard seed, 4 tsp allspice, 4 tsp dill seed, 2 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 2 tsp cardamom pods, 2 tsp juniper berries

Use this with a warmed white vinegar in Ball jars over freshly washed veggies or cured meats, sealed and placed in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks…Delicious!

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For spiced fruits you may want to try this recipe…

In a baking dish, combine  pineapple, apricots, peaches and pears; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, ginger and reserved pineapple juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve warm in a compote dish. Yummy!

Speaking of “Pickled”…some of the best adult beverages we have enjoyed lately have done just that to us, as we try new inventive cocktails created by the mixologists at our favorite bars within Bourbon country. You can get “Pickled” with the very popular Bourbon Milkshakes at the Bardstown Bourbon Company restaurant Bottle & Bond (recently named one of the top restaurants in Kentucky).

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This is one of their infamous shakes, a lovely burnt Marshmallow variety with bananas and their fine quality Bourbon will ROCK you world! Be sure to visit them when you come to the Bourbon capital of the World..Bardstown, KY

Making of a Cookbook

Robyn and Scarlett are on a new adventure. They are making a cookbook full of the stories, the recipes and the insights of the Thoroughbroads in the late 80’s early 90’s for future publication. Stay tuned as we take you on our journey of celebrating women’s friendships, mentoring and just plain fun over the years that the gang enjoyed during their monthly get togethers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martha Stewart Wannabes

It had been two years since Robyn and Scarlett had gotten together again. Robyn expressed an interest in coming back to the “Bourbon Capital of the World” – Bardstown, Kentucky over the Christmas holidays. Scarlett was all for it. They could collaborate some more on their book about the Thoroughbroads and she could have a holiday gathering in her honor after New Year’s when her friends in town wanted to enjoy some girl time after the holidays. It was set. Scarlett would invite 14 girls who did not know each other in the hopes that 8 would show up. Well, all 14 accepted! She was stunned and tried figuring out how she was going to fit 14 in her downsized house. Fortunately, 11 actually showed up which made for the perfect number she could seat in the living room.

Everyone was asked to bring an ugly holiday ornament, a pair of ugly socks or ugly holiday decor wrapped so they could play Dirty Santa after dinner. All obliged and Phyllis brought a special gift to help with the festivities…an ugly 4 foot tall pink flamingo standing on one leg wearing a Santa hat. We would have won America’s Funniest Videos $10,000 award if Scarlett had filmed 4 of the early guests trying to put this bird together using only a pair of scissors! After many cuss words, they completed the project and it stood as the holiday tree for the party. It will now become a tradition to use the flamingo for every Dirty Santa party in the future no matter who hosts.

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Dinner consisted of a sliced Smithfield ham that was glazed with pineapple juice and brown sugar, a sour cream hash brown casserole that M.Sue is known for and was always a hit, a wild greens, cranberry and sliced red grape salad with balsamic vinaigrette, Sister Shubert’s rolls for making a sandwich, if you so desired, with condiments like Duke’s mayo, dark brown mustard or Miracle Whip salad dressing along with a relish tray of pickled okra, pickled green cherry tomatoes, various cheeses with basil wheat thin crackers and a bacon-onion cream cheese ball that Charlie had made finalized the meal. It was accompanied by a Rose Moscato wine, lime and ginger ale punch or a sweet tea and Bourbon slushie.

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As the girls gathered in the living room to eat, Scarlett introduced each gal pal and asked them to tell a little about themselves so the fact that no one really knew each other would set a level of comfort. It was the ice breaker that the party would need and the adult beverages helped to encourage some to tell something funny about themselves as they went around the room. Dinner was through, so the wrapped gifts were placed on the coffee table and the sweets many had brought were put out to enjoy. Robyn had made a bunch of gold dusted chocolate truffles (of which one gal took 8 home with her when she left)…thank God they had not all been put out or there would not have been any leftover for the 4 day visit! Corn bread, cream cheese, white chocolate cookies that Charlie had made were a hit, the almond cookies Scarlett bought from David at the local institution – Olde Delaney’s Grocery were also popular and the eclairs from Hadorn’s Bakery along with the lemon mini cupcakes were gobbled up as the girls, one by one, picked a gift to open.

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The winner of the worst gift brought went to Gloriela, who had never played Dirty Santa before…it was unanimous the molting feather rooster ornament was number one. The middle finger ugly socks came in second and M. Sue declared the U of L Cardinal headband with the reindeer ears as third. Being a UK grad and dedicated member of the Big Blue Nation, she placed the headband on her head and proclaimed it was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. Smart phones started snapping her picture as we laughed at her prancing around like Rudolph. The punches had kicked in making the party a rousing success.

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Hugs at the door as the girls left assured all had made new friends and Robyn was encouraged to come back to B’town anytime. Scarlett went to the kitchen to clean up only to find that 3 of the girls had put everything up, cleaned the kitchen and filled the dishwasher…all she had to do was drop a soap pod in the dishwasher and turn it on. These girls would be invited back for sure and a follow-up thank you card would be in the mail the next day! Technology and friends have changed haven’t they? In the past it would have taken hours to clean up, most dishes would have had to be washed by hand since you would have used your best crystal, your best gold rimmed china and your covered bowls to store the leftovers. And, the hostess would have done this herself never letting a guest help her in anyway.

Robyn and Scarlett reminisced at how in the ’80’s in Louisville the Thoroughbroads had parties using Martha Stewart’s books on entertaining as their bibles. It was so much more formal back then. We were in our late 30’s and early 40’s and holding dinner parties for our husband’s corporate clients, we participated in gourmet dinner groups monthly, we tried out her recipes in our monthly luncheons and we dressed classic for the occasions. Here, we had a party where the gals came in long tunic tops with leggings, many slipped their shoes off and walked around barefoot after the hostess came to the door without her shoes on, we sat with plates in our laps and if you got up to go get something else to eat or drink you helped yourself. Boy, have times changed and we think for the better as we drank more slushies, laughed about the evening and talked until 3am.

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Rose Moscato Punch

2 bottle of Rose Moscato wine

1 can can of frozen lemonade

1 can ginger ale

1 fresh squeezed lime and use a potato peeler to make small slivers of the peel to use for color in the punch bowl in an ice ring.

Bourbon Slushie

4 cups of sweetened tea

12 ounce can frozen orange juice

24 ounce can frozen lemonade

3 cups quality Bourbon

In large bowl with lid combine all ingredients and place mixture in freezer at least 10 hours. Then scoop out mixture with ice cream scoop into wine glasses you can garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or thyme and ENJOY!

M. Sue’s Hashbrown Casserole

1 can cream of celery soup

1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers or plain corn flakes

1 (2lb) bag of frozen hash browns

1 tsp fresh ground pepper and 1 tsp salt

1/3 cup butter melted

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese grated

1 (16 ounce) cup of sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 and in large bowl combine all ingredients except cracker or corn flake topping. Place in 1×13 casserole dish and add the cracker or corn flakes crushed to the top and bake 40 minutes until bubbly

Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

2 boxes Jiffy blueberry muffin mix

4 ounce cream cheese softened

1 stick butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 and cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs one at a time then add muffin mix and combine till smooth. Fold in Chocolate chips and chill dough for 1 hour. Drop by tablespoon on greased cookie sheet and place dollops 2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges of cookies are browned, then remove from oven and let cool 1-2 minutes. Then place on wire rack until completely cooled. Best to keep them in a plastic container with wax paper between layers. Pull out what you need as you need them and place the rest back in the fridge so they do not get warm and start to crumble.

Sausage Cream Cheese Crescents
16 oz bulk sausage cooked and crumbled (any flavor)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 can(s) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or any cheese)

How to Make It:
1st step….Combine Sausage & Cream Cheese together then mix in Shredded Cheese.
Then you need to separate rolls into triangles.
2nd step : Cut each triangle in 1/2 lengthwise, scoop a heaping tablespoon onto each crescent triangle & roll up.
3rd step : Bake at 375 degrees about 15 min (till golden brown). Serve and Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.