May Musings

May Musings

It was a difficult decision this month – should I watch the Coronation of the Kentucky Derby? It’s true, people gussy up for the Kentucky Derby, and the hats the women wear at each type of function are generally splendid. On the other hand, the Kentucky Derby has better drinks. In the end, I opted for the Coronation because I wanted to see what all of the royals were wearing.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. I hope that each of you had a lovely day. Mother’s Day is always a day that reminds me of when my sisters and I were youngsters, and we would get together to make a special breakfast for my mother. My father’s idea of special breakfast generally consisted of lox, bagels, and sliced cucumbers along with Danish. On Mother’s Day we’d make French toast, or rather, we would try to make French toast. My father would have to help out since some of us weren’t quite tall enough to put the pan on the stove top. We would be responsible for the eggs and milk and stirring up the ingredients. We’d take turns
putting the bread into the mixture. My mother would always act surprised, although how she couldn’t know what we were doing, as I reflect back, is impossible since we didn’t have the common sense to whisper. A bit later in the day my grandparents would come in from Manhattan and my father would start his stint with the grill. This required serious effort from all of us since my father’s use of the grill was frequently a contest of wills. Will he get the coals
lit? Will he get the meat cooked through and through? Will he lose his temper with the grill and have to be placated? Eventually all would be resolved, and we would sit down to eat with the grilled steak and the potato salad and cole slaw from the deli and Kaiser rolls from Andre’s bakery around the corner from West 96 th Street and Central Park that my grandparents brought.

Good memories! Happy Mother’s Day to us all!

The following is a recipe for a cake that we very likely might have made in honor of either the Coronation or the Kentucky Derby:

Lady Cake

3 Tbps milk
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups sifted cake flour
¾ cup sugar (use superfine sugar)
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ + salt
13 Tbps unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 F.
In medium bowl, mix milk, eggs, and vanilla.
In large bowl combine dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend.
Add butter and half the egg mixture.
Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moist.
Increase speed to medium for 1 minute to aerate and develop cake’s structure.
Scrape sides and gradually add the remaining egg mixture slowly beating for 20 seconds.
Prepare pan by lining with parchment and grease again and then flour.
Scrape batter into prepared pan (loaf pan at 8” x 4”) and smooth surface with spatula.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes.

Mint Julep

Put on your hat, kick off your shoes, sit on the patio with a great read, and sip away! You too can be at the Derby or a royal – you choose! This recipe comes from the Happy Hour Calendar.

Large bunch of fresh mint
½ fl. oz. simple syrup
2 fl. oz. bourbon

In the bottom of a julep cup, combine 8 – 10 mint leaves and half the simple syrup.
Gently muddle the mint, being careful not to bruise the leaves. Fill the julep cup with crushed ice, mounding it over the top. Slowly pour the bourbon over the top of the ice, followed by the remaining simple syrup.
Spank several whole mint sprigs between both hands and tuck them
into the cup as garnish.
Serve with a short paper straw to better enjoy the fragrant mint.
(Recipe by Lance Mayhew from Whiskey Made Me Do It)

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