Friday, May 5, 2017

Kentucky Derby Weekend

I've been so immersed in my preparations for my Shirley Temple presentation this Sunday that I've given little thought to anything else happening.  While sitting at my computer a few minutes ago it occurred to me that tomorrow is the 143rd Kentucky Derby.  I've always thought it would be fun to host a Kentucky Derby tea, but it hasn't happened yet.

I decided to take a break from Shirley Temple long enough to pull together some of my previous blog posts that relate to the Kentucky Derby. Pour yourself a cup of tea and pretend you're at Churchill Down in Louisville, KY.   It's cool and rainy in Michigan, but I'm hoping it's warm and dry in Louisville so all the beautiful hats the ladies will be donning won't get wet.

[Internet Photo]

In 2014 my tea loving friend Linda J. at Friendship Tea blog hosted a Kentucky Tea Tour.  It included a trip to a horse farm in Lexington after Afternoon Tea at Greentree Tearoom.

Linda is the tea consultant at Boone Tavern Historic Hotel so she arranged for us to have a Kentucky Derby inspired tea there.  It was wonderful, beginning with a spoonful of Kentucky Spoon Bread.

~ A cup of Kentucky Burgoo ~

Savories were: Fancy Deviled Egg;  Mini Hot Brown; Tea Biscuit with Country Ham, Apricot Jam, and Arugula; and a spicy Pimento Cheese Sandwich.

The three-tiered server was laden with two kinds of Scones; White Chocolate covered Strawberries and Raspberries; and Desserts on top: Chocolate Bourbon Tartlets; Mini-Race Day Bites; and Mini-Cupcakes with Mint Julep icing.

~ The finale was decorated Horse Shoe cookies. ~

On a previous visit to the Boone Tavern Hotel in 2012 I had a piece of their "Race Day Pie" which is a version of Derby Pie that will be served up in abundance this weekend. Derby Pie is a registered trademark of Kern's Kitchen in Louisville.  It's similar to Pecan Pie with walnuts instead, and chocolate chips are added.   Yummy!

There's been Kentucky Derby themes at some of the tablescape events I've attended. "Run for the Roses" table [below] at the 2013 Festival of Tables. 

"A Day at the Kentucky Derby" was the name of the table at the 2015 Questers [Mah-Naz-Be-Zee Chapter] Luncheon.  It won 6th place.

Another Kentucky Derby tablescape from a Mah-Naz-Be-Zee Quester's Luncheon in 2009.

Mint Juleps will be flowing in Louisville this weekend, but we'll be better off drinking our tea instead! ;-)  The alcoholic beverage [made of bourbon, sugar syrup, crushed ice and mint] has been popular at Churchill Downs since 1938.

I wish I had a DVD of the 2003 movie Seabiscuit or the 1949 version that starred Shirley Temple, or the movie Secretariat that was released in 2010. I'd watch them in commemoration of Kentucky Derby weekend [not that I'm into gambling or a promoter of it]. I was moved to tears when I watched Secretariat for the first time.

[Secretariat Movie Photo]

A photo of me standing in front of a statue of Secretariat during the Kentucky Tea Tour.

Queen Elizabeth II [lover and owner of thoroughbred race horses] and Prince Philip attended the 133rd Kentucky Derby in 2007.  As we all know, the Queen wears and enjoys her hats year-round - not just when she's attending the Kentucky Derby.

Seven US Presidents have attended the Kentucky Derby:  Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush [when he was still vice-president].

For some local trivia pertaining to race horses, Matilda Dodge Wilson's daughter, Frances Dodge Van Lennep, was a pioneer in the harness and saddle world, and became an internationally known horsewoman. After purchasing Castleton Farms in 1945, located in Lexington, KY, she moved Dodge Stables at Meadow Brook to Castleton.  Both farms were famous for horse breeding and producing champions. [Her family sold Castleton in 2001.] After her death in 1971 she was elected to the World Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame.  She would have been a Kentucky Derby attendee.

[Frances Dodge Van Lennep]

Now I must "giddy up" and go back to preparations for my Shirley Temple program!


  1. I've never tried a mint julep but I think I'd prefer tea! A Derby tea would be fun, though.

  2. Such a lot of prep for the tea! A wonderful presentation. Thanks for sharing that. I lived 2 miles from Shirley Temple growing up, and met her many times at functions she and my father worked on for handicapped children in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a great philanthropist among her many talents.


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