Kentucky Derby 2012 … Another Race, Another Party, New Friends, Old Friends, Open Floor Plans

       It is a tradition at our house to have a Kentucky Derby Party.  This started in our former neighborhood and after the “hosts” moved on, we kept the tradition going…about 30 years.  And yes, some of the same original Derby Partiers…still attend or call in from current destinations.  Tradition includes…red roses….dozens…I love buying myself red roses..and so much less expensive today since Trader Joes and Whole Foods stock cut flowers.  Derby glasses from Churchill Downs with the past winners, Mint Juleps, Derby Pie, Hats, and race information posted on our walls…$5.00 Bets and the race is on.  We always hope our patch of mint is up, glasses are ordered in time for delivery, and the house is ready for guests…inside and out…We never know what the weather may be on the first Sat. in May.


We try to do something different each year.  This year as always, red roses ….and white fence with grass and horseshoes, old silver pieces, and an old feedbag.  The large green glass plates are one of the best investments my neighbor and I have ever made in our shopping ventures…$1.00 per plate.  We each have 24 so they are great for entertaining.  Christmas green, Easter, showers, gourmet groups….these plates have been carried over the drive between our houses on ice, through the wind, rain, hot, sunny days…for many years…

                      Derby Pie… 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 c. flour, 2 eggs, 1 stick of butter, 1 c. chopped pecans, 6 oz. chocolate chips, and 1 tsp. of vanilla.  Mix flour and sugar.  Beat butter until creamy, add eggs, and stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream.  We have slowed down….I used to make 6 pies…we are down to 3 pies.   Derby Pie and Mint Juleps always on the menu.




This year George made Kentucky Bourbon Sweet Potatoes…6 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes.  Mix 1 c. brown sugar, 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 c. of bourbon, 1/2 t. vanilla…heat until just starting to boil.  Pour over potatoes in baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

We also had ham sliders…Jarlsberg or Cheddar Horseradish cheese spread…Pasta Salad and Spinach Salad completed the menu.  This is always a fun time for us…and I hope for our guests.  Preparation time is not nearly what it used to be…I can now schedule my work…real estate vs. teaching, two little girls are now out on their own, and Evite has speeded up invitations.

OPEN floor plans..important when entertaining….I always mention that when interviewing a new buyer.  Do you like to entertain?  Do you have frequent family events?  Are you planning on letting your children entertain?  As a teacher and parent of 2 girls, I wanted an Open Floor plan with some privacy but yet open so I could always be on “parent duty”.  We have always had large groups in our house…George and I like to entertain, and we wanted the girls to know their friends were welcome.  George made the Pasta Dinners for the tennis, lacrosse, and cheerleader teams.  Study groups would work on our kitchen island on projects…knowing you really can’t damage granite counter tops…science projects, glue, poster board, and paint…Hardwood floors are so easy to keep clean with spills, etc.  Our finished basement…”lower level” is even open with no door….the element of surprise is often a great deterrent of poor choices.

I am now working with my new assistant…Henry.  He is fast, sweet, and loves people.   More info. to come soon.






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Filed under Entertainment, Family Matters, Home Design Has to be Fun, Recipes

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