Another Kentucky Derby. Another year I have not been able to travel to Churchill Downs to cross this must-do Southern event off of my Bucket List.
What to do? Well, I just got out my derby dresses and mint julep cups and pretended that I was there!
I kicked off Derby weekend on Thursday. It was a dark and rainy day in South Florida, but I brought a little sunshine into the day during Afternoon Tea with my Outfit of the Day. The Lilly 'Giddy Up' Del Mar dress is one of my faves. I wore it with white Revas, a white cardi, and carried a white Bermuda Bag. And, of course, pearls.
The Diamond Tearoom in Stuart has the best Afternoon Tea in my area! Their Afternoon Tea includes soup, salad, tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets. Everything was just perfect and I enjoyed the steaming hot fruit and almond tea. If you are ever in the Stuart, Florida area, be sure to visit this tearoom, which is located at 3868 SE Dixie Highway. You can contact them at 772.781.5153 for more information.
The Lilly Derby Day 'Low Riders' print shift is another all-time favorite of mine. I wore this for 'Happy Hour' on Friday afternoon with a white cardi, white Jacks, and carried my white Bermuda Bag.
I always bet on horse/dog #1...makes it easy and I don't have to think! Unfortunately horse #1 "Black Onyx" was scratched. Well, that messed up my karma. I then decided to bet on horse #6 "Mylute"--only because I liked the name and I like cute loot! My horse didn't win but I had a fabulous day!
Of course, I had to sip a little Mint Julep before going to track...non-alcoholic, of course. It is considered proper to drink Mint Juleps with a sterling Mint Julep strawspoon. Simply use the spoon to stir the julep and sip your beverage through the tiny hole at the other end. This is one of the very few times a lady should use a straw to drink a beverage. It's also acceptable to use a straw when you are drinking a coke out of a can, a large to-go cup of sweet tea, or when you've "taken ill and are in the bed."
Miss Janice's Mint Julep Iced Tea*
Celebrating the day...Merlot Hour!
And, I prepared a couple of Kentucky Derby food faves...
The Hot Brown Sandwich is the favorite of many Southern hostesses during Derby. The Hot Brown sandwich was created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville by Fred Schmidt in 1926. It's an open-faced sandwich of turkey and ham, covered in Mornay sauce and bacon and tomatoes and then baked.
There are many different variations and recipes for the Hot Brown...Today I chose to prepare Paula Deen's Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole** Packed full of calories, but definitely a crowd fave!
Benedictine Spread*** is another must-serve dish on Derby Day. Miss Jennie C. Benedict, a Louisville caterer, created Benedictine Spread before the turn of the century. Today I chose to make the spread for tea-style sandwiches and added a drop of green food coloring to the recipe.
Finally, I chose to serve a Derby Pie. Delicious! This pie was the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn, at Prospect, Kentucky. George Kern, manager of the restaurant developed the Derby Pie recipe and Kern's Kitchen bakes these pies today in a small family commercial kitchen.
The Derby Pie is best served by heating it in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Top it off with a dallop of whip cream!
Next year, I will buy several of these pies...A huge hit!
*Recipe for Miss Janice's Mint Julep Iced Tea
10 mint leaves
1 lemon, sliced
1 lime, sliced
3 cups cold, sweet tea
Combine the mint, lemon, and lime in a 2-qt pitcher; crush the lemon, lime, and mint with the back of a big spoon. Stir in the cold tea. Serve over ice with a mint leaf for garnish.
This is a nice refreshing non-alcoholic beverage to sip during Derby time!
*Recipe for Paula Deen's Kentucky Hot Brown Casserole
8 slilces bread, cubed and toasted
1 lb. ham, cubed
1 lb. turkey, cubed
1 cup butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
1 16-oz pkg processed cheese, cubed
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 med tomato, seeded and diced
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish. Placed toasted bread evenly over bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer ham and turkey evenly over bread. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour until smooth; cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly, or until thickened. Add cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour over turkey, sprinkle evenly with bacon and tomato. Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
***Recipe for Benedictine Spread
1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese, softened
1 tblsp mayo
3 tblsp grated cucumber, drained well with paper towel
1 tsp finely chopped green onions
Green food coloring optional.
Blend all ingredients and mix well.