Thursday, May 3, 2012

How I prepare for the Kentucky Derby!

It's really getting exciting around these parts of my Small Town.  Tomorrow is the Kentucky Oaks Horse Race and then, drum roll please......  Saturday is the Kentucky Derby, the most exciting two minutes in sports history!  Kentucky being such a big time Thoroughbred Horse state to begin with and then the famous horse track in Lexington, Keeneland and the superstar of horse racing, Churchill Downs in Louisville, this weekend is M.A.J.O.R.  B.I.G!!  We have been selling dresses and hats the past few weeks like crazy.  Literally, they are flying out the doors.  So now, after a long day tomorrow, I am ready to sit back and enjoy the festivities....  Here's what I've done to get ready...

Checked my herb garden for mint....  must make mint simple syrups for Kentucky Mint Julep's and have plenty for garnishing.
I think I'll have enough.

Cut mint and wash and let it dry.  In a sauce pan, add one cup sugar and two cups water and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves.  Turn off heat and had about a cup of mint leaves.  Let it cool down, remove mint leaves and there you have mint simple syrup.  To make your mint julep, fill a glass to the brim with crushed ice.  Add your favorite bourbon (must be Kentucky Bourbon, this is the bourbon capital of the world, you know) and if it's not made in Kentucky then it's not bourbon.  Add your mint simple syrup to taste, garnish with mint and enjoy. 
Okay, I think I will....  you must make sure that's it's perfect before you serve others.

I get out my Kentucky Derby print and put on my foyer table.  This particular one is from 2010 and is my all time favorite.   
Next, I make a quick fresh flower arrangement so I can use more fresh mint...
I found these white peonies at our farmers market and added lots of mint and the smell is lovely.

I put my Lucky kitchen towel out...
Everyone needs a lucky kitchen towel...

Then I get out my handmade horseshoe soaps and put in all my bathrooms.  These are a pretty green and scented with verbena...
I put out my little Derby garden flag at the end of the driveway...

All that's left is my outfit....
I don't have a clue what I'll be wearing tomorrow, but I know I will be carrying this...

Saturday's menu will include:

Drunken Ribs and Chicken (BBQ sauce made with Bourbon) You can find my recipe here.
Brown Sugar and Bourbon Baked Beans
Homemade Potato Salad
Rosemary Yeast Rolls
and of course, Derby Pie!

I will share pictures and recipes next week.   Hope you have a great weekend and hope that some of you enjoy the Kentucky Derby!

Please don't forget to enter my celebration and surprise giveaway!  You can click on my celebration button on my sidebar, or go here to enter.  Time is running out and you do not want to miss out. 

Hugs, and Happy Derby,


  1. Oh wow have a good time. Those soaps are darling and those drinks look refreshing.

  2. So fun! A few times while traveling thru the area at this time of year, it was fun to see all the prep for the big day.
    Enjoy, and raising a virtual mint julep -- cheers!
    xo Cathy

  3. Wow- how fun!! :D
    That is sooooooo much mint. I can't wait to hear how both races go! Have a great time.

  4. I'll have what YOU'RE having! heehee! Sounds great!

  5. I have never tasted a mint julep, but I imagine sitting in a porch swing in some huge southern home - in the company of Shelby Foote (a bit difficult because he's passed on), listening to that great Southern voice tell me about the Siege of Vicksburg, while sipping a mint julep. lol

    We always watch the Derby. I am always so worried that the horses will get hurt. And I've seen that happen (watching the Kentucky Derby on TV) :-(

  6. Thank you for stopping by "The Redeemed Gardener". Come back anytime! I now your latest follower!

  7. Have a beautiful day, Ginger! I so wish I was there!! Don't forget a hat! xo

  8. Everything is great. Your mint patch is wonderful. You are definitely ready. Have fun!

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  9. Isn't Derby Day fun. I went out and bought a new Kentucky mint plant today as mine didn't survive. Bring on the Juleps :)

  10. I bet the brown sugar and bourbon baked beans are sinful! I hope you are having a great weekend, Ginger.

  11. One of these years I am GONNA make it to the Kentucky Derby. Def on my "bucket list".


  12. I've never had a Mint Julep, but I grow mint, too, and will be trying this!! Thanks, Ginger, for sharing!!

  13. Oh my word! I would have LOVED all that good stuff ~ :-) I'm not a bourbon person...could I add something else? I know, I know ~ wouldn't be a Mint Julep and certainly not appropriate in KY.

    The soaps are adorable! You are so talented. I can only imagine how they must smell...along with the mint and the flowers. If I promise to behave, can I come live with you?



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