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.
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 can baked beans
1 can kidney beans drained
½ green pepper cut into thin slices
½ cup celery thinly sliced
1/3 cup onion thinly sliced
In a large bowl combine first 6 ingredients then add the rest stir and cover refrigerate overnight.
Bourbon Glazed Ham
1 10 pound ham fully cooked or smoked
¾ cup whole cloves
¾ cup Bourbon
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp dry mustard
2 navel oranges sliced
Wrap ham in aluminum foil and place in a lightly greased 13 x 9 sheet pan
Bake 325 for 2 hours remove ham and raise temp in oven to 450
Unwrap ham remove any excess fat and make ¼ inch deep cuts in a diamond pattern on the top, insert cloves at I inch intervals in the slices on the am
Brush ham heavily with the Bourbon and stir together the sugar, ¼ cup Bourbon, mustard and pour over ham arrange the orange slices on top and secure those with toothpicks lightly baste while it is cooking and bake 15-20 minutes more
Let stand 15 minutes before serving makes 8-10 servings