Saturday, May 5, 2018

Derby Day Dishes

Are you ready to watch tiny, tiny people try to hold onto horses running in a great big circle, desperately hoping that nobody slips and breaks some bones?

As you may have guessed, I'm not exactly the biggest Kentucky Derby fan in the world, but I realized my copy of The Courier-Journal & Times Cookbook (Lillian Marshall, 1971) has a whole Kentucky Derby menu, as The Courier-Journal is Louisville's newspaper.

So what do --Louisvillians? Louisvillites? -- recommend for a Derby Day party?

It's quite a spread:

That's a spring leg of lamb front and center, surrounded by an ice cream sundae for 25, salami slices rolled around cream cheese, a fruit thing that might pass for a forehead enhancement on a particularly flamboyant Star Trek alien, and a cauliflower that got too close to Regan MacNeil.

Of course, the only thing most of you are thinking about is in the bottom right-- the mint juleps. Just in case you need the recipe:

Fun Fact: When I was a kid, I had a Mint Tulip Strawberry Shortcake doll. I always wondered what the heck a mint tulip was supposed to be... I mean, I knew what blueberry muffins and butter cookies were, but mint tulips? And now, 30-some years later, I'm smacking my forehead and realizing the toy line couldn't openly admit to naming a kids' toy after an alcoholic beverage.

If you're curious about what got hosed all over the cauliflower, it's not actually a gift from Pazuzu:

It's watercress blended with onion, vinegar, mustard, mayo, and sour cream because why enjoy a simple sour cream sauce when you can make it look like pond scum instead?

If you want a supremely time-consuming way to waste good alcohol, the fruit platter was made for you:

Yay! Spend a whole morning arranging fruit and lacquering it up with lemon-gelatin-wine glaze while all your friends are day drinking.

The menu will, in any case, get everyone sufficiently ready to celebrate. If the mint juleps and wine-soaked fruit aren't enough, the sundae is packing a little something special too:

It wouldn't be Kentucky Sauce without a good shot of bourbon.

If you're a fan, enjoy the race and the bourbon! Bourbon just tastes like nail polish remover to me, so you can have your fun in peace without me pestering you.


  1. I'm a little suspicious of any recipe that instructs you to let it "ripen". I also didn't realize Kentucky had an official sauce. Now I'm going to have to start googling names of different states with the word sauce. (Illinois has recipes for horseshoe sauce - quite appropriate for derby day!)

  2. On a totally unrelated (to this particular blog post, but related to your blog in general) I found the T-shirt you need.

    1. Ha! Funny, but the first part is untrue if I'm the one wearing it.

    2. Yeah, that first part is not true for a lot of people. They just want to draw you in so they can feed you something really disgusting and watch your misery as you try to be polite.

    3. That's true. We're a very passive-aggressive people!

    4. Yeah, they know (so do I).

    5. Ha! They've covered their bases.

  3. Nice Exorcist reference! I spied that Normancy sauce recipe, what do you think consistutes as tart jelly? No dirty jokes!
    BTW, the Strawbery Shortcake series is AWFUL. She didn't deserve a reboot

    1. I guess I'm not allowed to say tart jelly is whatever kind that tart keeps on her bedside table, then!

      I haven't seen the series, but I've seen the classic-style toys they're selling now. I'm sad that Blueberry Muffin's signature hat has disappeared.