I imagine that a lot of people will write about the Kentucky Derby, if not today then soon, since it is almost here. I never paid much attention to the Derby growing up. It wasn’t until I met Sara, actually, that I began to have more than just a passing interest in the race.
For a few years before Sara went to Japan and our gaming group broke up we gamed every Saturday night. Often times we (Sara and I) turned the gaming session into a celebration. We both enjoy cooking and baking and our weekly gaming sessions gave us the perfect opportunity to cook and bake and not end up with piles of leftovers. When special occasions coincided with our Saturday night game more often than not, we invited the gamers over early to participate in whatever festivities we came up with.
Since Derby Day falls on the first Saturday of May Sara and I started talking about hosting a Kentucky Derby party. Sara planned a menu of Kentucky Hot Browns, Corn Pudding, A Run for the Roses Pie and of course Mint Juleps.
But what would a Derby Party be without fancy hats? I bought a bunch of straw hats from Michaels and the cheap silk flowers. Along with the multitude of ribbons I already had, we had the beginnings of a great project. We spent the afternoon hot-gluing flowers and butterflies, ribbons and buttons to our hats.
We all picked our favorite horse and placed our “bets.” The winner would walk away with a pretty gift bag full of old-fashioned hard candy: lemon drops, rock candy, and root beer barrels and taffy. And if no one won then the loot could be shared.
That year started a tradition that I kept even when Sara was in Japan. We’d wear our hats, paint wooden horses from Michaels (I added that in the next year when we needed another craft), we’d watch the pre-race activities and make a delicious dinner.
The girls look forward to the Kentucky Derby now each year. Sure we don’t follow horse racing. Sure we pick our favorites based on their names and what they look like. But we don’t let particulars bother us.
|from left to right: Jess, Sara, Cyra, My sister, Ashleigh, my mom and me.|
PS - you can see photos of the Kentucky Hot Browns and horses that we paint here