I have always wanted to throw a Kentucky Derby party, mainly because I wanted an excuse to wear a big fancy hat and drink mint juleps and call it tradition. But the Derby is held in early May, an absolutely jam-packed time for me socially. (A million birthdays, Mother's Day, wedding anniversary, etc.) This year, I bit the bullet and finally got my butt in gear. Eight adults and three little people convened at our house on Saturday to eat huge amounts of food and bet on the ponies.
On the menu:
Ham with bourbon, molasses and pecan glaze (Yes, I totally went there.)
Shrimp dip with dippers (This was my mom's old recipe. Sooo bad for you, but sooo good.)
Deviled eggs (I made mine with just a teensy bit of shallot and some curry mixed in. IMHO, deviled eggs taste best when they are room temperature. It's always a challenge to set them out early enough to achieve room temperature but not so early that you give your guests food poisoning. Just sayin'.)
Kentucky Derby Pie (Sugar, flour, eggs, pecans, chocolate, vanilla, lots of butter, and maybe some bourbon. Just a little. Served with homemade whipped cream. Almost put bourbon in the cream, too, but thought that would be a little much.)
BIG fruit platter
Those awesome little cream puffs you can buy in the freezer section
Mint Juleps (The Early Times recipe from the Kentucky Derby site. Really, REALLY strong. Had to water mine down a bit.)
Things were going swimmingly until I realized that the race wasn't starting until 5:30 p.m. Me? I thought it started at 4. I was hoping that the three tiny persons in attendance could maintain some semblance of good behavior until then. For the most part, I was in luck. Clay definitely had his whiny moments, but overall he did okay. (YAY!) The other two kids, naturally, were perfect angels. Must be nice . . .
At any rate, for the betting, we put all the horses' names in a hat, and we each drew a few names. (We wanted to make sure that every name was taken.) Each guest put some money in the pot, and we were off to the races. Hubs drew Dunkirk and Generals Quarters, and both of those horses had good odds. (I really was hoping we'd get to root for I Want Revenge. Sadly, the horse was scratched from the race at the last minute due to a hot leg.)
We were all surprised when Mine That Bird won at the last minute. (And confused. NBC was running a bunch of weather-related crud at the bottom of the screen, so we didn't even know who'd actually WON until a few seconds after the race ended.)
So Sandi walked off with the pot. With her grand total of $7 in winnings (We split the money between first, second, and third finishers.), she promised to buy herself some nachos at that night's Braves game.
Clearly, she hadn't eaten as much pie as I had!