Kentucky Derby Day

7 May

Are you going to watch the Kentucky Derby today? The old “Run For The Roses”?

It always makes me think of my Grandmother, TG.

She always said that she wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby.

Now, why didn’t we?

It would have been easy enough… but we did not make the trip.

I do regret that. One day, I will do it in her honor.

TG loved hats.

She wore this one:

And this one:

And, one time – while out to eat at a restaurant – she begged to borrow this one:

At the Derby, there are lots of hats to be seen.

Like this:

and this:

and these:

Wait, are those girls drinking Mint Juleps?

Yum! They are lovely, gentle drinks. Being from the South, I have a fondness for the very thought of the Mint Julep. Isn’t that a lovely photo? Doesn’t it make you want to take a sip, and a deep breath of that luscious mint?!

A poetic Southern Gentleman (Virginia Lt. General S.B. Buckner, Jr.) suggests the making of a perfect Mint Julep:

”A mint julep is not the product of a formula. It is a ceremony and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the old South, an emblem of hospitality…”

“Go to a spring where cool, crystal-clear water bubbles from under a bank of dew-washed ferns. In a consecrated vessel, dip up a little water at the source. Follow the stream through its banks of green moss and wildflowers until it broadens and trickles through beds of a mint growing in aromatic profusion and waving softly in the summer breeze.

Gather the sweetest and tenderest shoots and gently carry them home.

Go to the sideboard and select a decanter of Kentucky Bourbon, distilled by a master hand, mellowed with age yet still vigorous and inspiring. An ancestral sugar bowl, a row of silver goblets, some spoons and some ice and you are ready to start. In a canvas bag, pound twice as much ice as you think you will need. Make it fine as snow, keep it dry and do not allow to degenerate into slush.

In each goblet, put a slightly heaping teaspoonful of granulated sugar, barely cover this with spring water and slightly bruise one mint leaf into this, leaving the spoon in the goblet. Then pour elixir from decanter until the goblets are about one-fourth full. Fill the goblets with snowy ice, sprinkling in a small amount of sugar as you fill. Wipe the outside of the goblets dry and embellish copiously with mint.

Then comes the important and delicate operation of frosting. By proper manipulation of the spoon, the ingredients are circulated and blended until Nature, wishing to take a further hand and add another of its beautiful phenomena, encrusts the whole in a glistening coat of white frost. Thus harmoniously blended by the deft touches of a skilled hand, you have a beverage eminently appropriate for honorable men and beautiful women.

When all is ready, assemble your guests on the porch or in the garden where the aroma of the juleps will rise Heavenward and make the birds sing. Propose a worthy toast, raise the goblet to your lips, bury your nose in the mint, inhale a deep breath of its fragrance and sip the nectar of the gods.

Being overcome by thirst, I can write no further.”



P.S. Thanks to this site for the above “recipe”,  and to Google Image Search for the non-family photos which I shamelessly “borrowed” for today’s blog.


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