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Celebrations On The River: Derby Day

Posted: May 28, 2007
Today marks the 28th annual Cotton Row Run , a 10K race through the city of Huntsville, AL, and up Heartbreak Hill. In the early 90s I was still running the race. There were days hotter than this one but not nearly so dry. Low humidity can make running more pleasant but radically increases the risk of dehydration. Do I miss running? Yes, I do, but Biofreeze can only do so much.

Yesterday afternoon the gang was glued to the TV for the Indy 500, a tradition in our family as my brother-in-law Billy C. Farlow and his brother both grew up in Indiana. The race festivities always include the traditional Hoosier breaded pork sandwich—a tenderized and breaded pork cutlet the size of a plate that dwarfs even a large Kaiser bun. Yum! 

No occasion goes uncelebrated on Elk River. We were doubly blessed earlier this month when Derby Day and Cinco de Mayo happened to fall on the same Saturday. But such a joyous occasion posed a troubling dilemma. Which should one drink first—a Margarita or a Mint Julep? Some adventurous souls attempted to have both concoctions at the same time, but the majority opted to toast the Kentucky Derby first and then move to the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. 

All the women donned their chapeaux (one of us looking suspiciously like the Cat in the Hat), accepted their Mint Juleps (prepared by the men) in the traditional frosted silver cups, and posed for a photo. Then we all chose a favorite horse, gawked at the Queen, croaked out a pitiful rendition of "My Old Kentucky Home," and settled in for the most exciting two minutes in sports.

That ritual being quickly dispensed with, the group moved to the pier where we continued celebrating Cinco de Mayo with bowls of seven layer dip and bottles of cold Mexican beer. Supper was marked by a return to our Alabama roots, and we concluded the evening with roast pork and old fashioned spoon bread

And here, in her own words, is Miss Eunice’s recipe for the perfect Mint Julep:

“Enough mint leaves to cover the bottom of the cup wih a thin layer. Crush the mint with the tip of a spoon. Add one jigger of bourbon—it doesn’t matter how cheap or how expensive—it will taste the same. Add one teaspoon of sugar—I use two. Fill the cup with crushed ice. Stir vigorously until a thick layer of ice is formed on the outside of the cup. ENJOY! This is a sipping drink, not one to be finished in a hurry.” 

Bon appetite!!!

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SouthPaw says...

I own 2 silver Mint Julep cups but never knew how to make one. Thanks!

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