Happy Monday. I hope all of you moms had a lovely Mother’s Day.
Before I share with you our Kentucky Derby Party news, I want to share this: I was selected by two link parties as a featured post last week! I want to give a shout out to 2 of my favorite blogger buddies. Suzanne @ The Painted Drawer provides awesome tutorials and photos of fabulous furniture makeovers. Check my featured post and other wonderful make~overs at The Painted Drawer.
Kathryn @ The Dedicated House is “hostess with the mostest” at her link parties. See my featured post and others at The Dedicated House.
Now to our Kentucky Derby Party!
It was so much fun. The weather could not have been more perfect (which in Texas means it was not hot) and everyone had a great time. Nyquist, the favorite, won the race and I won $60! Once again, my sweet brother~in~law made an awesome tote board.
I had red roses everywhere.
And, of course, my Derby horse had to have his blanket of roses.
The ladies showed off their hats. We don’t get as wild with our hats here as those attending the actual Derby, but everyone got in the spirit of the occasion. Here are a few of my favorites.
This hat attended last year’s Derby with its owner.
How cleaver is this hat with the horses added, compliments of a grandchild’s handiwork.
And even a few men got into the hat action.
Our friend J—— was declared the spiffiest dresser of the day.
We started the festivities with mint juleps (I shared Sweet Shark’s menu last week. In my newsletter on Friday, I shared a great article and video about how to make a mint julep. If you would like a copy, sign~up for The Bulletin and I’ll send it to you.)
As everyone arrived, got a mint julep, greeted one another, and started placing bets, we offered a few nibbles before race time.
This week I’m sharing a few of my favorite recipes from our party and I’m starting with the Southern Pimento Cheese which is always a big hit. The recipe that I’ve used for years comes from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis. Today Scott spends his time writing and contributing to major food publications, but when I met him in 2003 he was a restaurant chef in Atlanta and the protege of Edna Lewis, the mother of modern Southern cooking. Edna has passed away, but Scott is still cooking up a storm.
The secret to this pimento cheese is the homemade mayonnaise. I love Hellman’s (I’m west of the Mississippi. If you’re east of the Mississippi, I think it’s Duke’s.), but nothing is as good as homemade. (Sorry about the photo ~ I forgot to take the picture before folks jumped in.
The keys to good mayonnaise (If you’ve never made homemade mayonnaise, give it a try; it’s mostly eggs and oil.):
- Your eggs should be at room temperature.
- Add your oil VERY slowly. Don’t get impatient.
- Add your oil down the side of the bowl, not smack in the middle of the egg mixture.
- Adding the hot water at the end of the process gives the mayo its silky smooth texture.
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 egg yolks
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- Place the vinegar, lemon juice, salt and mustard in a bowl (Set it over a towel or in a saucepan so it stays put.) and whisk until the salt and mustard are dissolved.
- add the egg yolks and beat until smooth.
- Place the oil in a liquid measuring cup with a pour spout. Add the oil drop by drop at first, and then in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until all of the oil has been incorporated and you have a very thick emulsion.
- Stir in the hot water until smooth.
- Refrigerate up to one week.
Southern Pimento Cheese
The key to this pimento cheese:
- Use the homemade mayonnaise.
- Use roasted red bell pepper, not the stuff you buy in the little jars.) If you have never roasted a bell pepper, see How to Roast Bell Peppers.
- If possible, use a chunk of cheddar cheese and grate it yourself. You can use the pre-grated, but the block cheese has more flavor.
- 2½ cups grated extra~sharp cheddar cheese (10 ounces)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicier)
- kosher salt to taste
- several grinds of black pepper
- ¾ cup homemade mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped roasted red bell pepper
- Stir together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until they are well mixed and creamy.
- Taste carefully for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Cover and store as needed, refrigerated, until ready to use.
I wish I could share Sweet Shark’s Smoked Salmon; it’s the best ever, but even I don’t know exactly what he does, and he’s not tellin’.
Well, friends, that’s the first recipe of the week. Tomorrow, I’ll share another from our party.
Which recipe would you like? Cheddar Chive Biscuits? Cornbread Salad? Lemon Bars? Chocolate Raspberry Mini~Tarts?