A day at the races
May 04, 2012 (Menafn - The Brunswick News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Amy McCloud looks forward to May every year. That's when the Kentucky native is able to bring a touch of her Bluegrass state to the Golden Isles.
McCloud and her husband Greg go all out to give friends the most fabulous Derby Day party this side of Churchill Downs. On Saturday, she'll be at it again.
"I grew up in Louisville and went to the University of Kentucky. I got a job down here and (first) moved to St. Simons Island," she said. "We wanted to bring the Kentucky culture to Georgia. We started doing our Derby Day party about five or six years ago."
From the hats to the drinks to interesting games, the McClouds go above and beyond to set the scene. The female invitees arrive at the couple's Brunswick home decked out in spring-theme dresses and elaborate hats.
"Women love to get dressed up, and there really aren't many occasions that you can do that for here," Amy McCloud said.
"The ladies really go all out on their hats, and there is a lot of room for creativity. The year after the horse Eight Bells had to be euthanized on the track, one lady made her hat with bells and a mourning veil," she said.
"We have a ball. It really is the most exciting two minutes in sports. And then, you have the rest of the time to spend with your friends," she said.
Like McCloud, Jay Anderson has a link to the Derby. The executive chef at Straton Hall Events, based in Brunswick Manor, says that his great-great grandfather, Baron Anderson, was a Kentucky native. An elaborate painting of Anderson's grandfather hangs in the formal dinning room of the manor.
"He made his money in horses and tobacco," Anderson said, gesturing to the painting.
To honor that tradition, Anderson and his business partner, Stacy Bass, are having a soiree to follow the weekend event.
On Monday night, they will throw open the doors of the historic bed and breakfast for a special edition of the monthly event, Mondays at the Manor. For May, the dinner will have a Derby theme.
"We have a supper club here on the first Monday of every month. We serve a four-course dinner and cocktails," Anderson said.
But for those who want to host their own Derby party on Derby Day, Anderson has a few suggestions.
"For the Derby theme, I like to use the silver serving pieces," he said. For table flowers, what else? Roses.
His tablescape ideas also include oversized hats, riding canes and small trophies. "It's about tradition and Southern charm," he said. "But using the silver pieces could even work at a laid back party on the porch."
And while the table design is important, the food is the real star. It starts with serving traditional Kentucky dishes, like a mint dip with crackers, a cheese spread and a corn pudding.
Entree ideas can be bourbon-marinated pork loin or a Kentucky hot brown sandwich. For dessert, derby pie is a must. And Anderson says, there is only one drink of choice.
"You have to have a mint julep," he said.
To bring a Run for the Roses party into the starting gate, here are some recipe ideas:
BARON'S CORN PUDDING
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen thawed whole kernel corn, cooked
4 large eggs
4 cups milk
In a lightly buttered casserole dish, combine flour, salt, and sugar; mix in corn and melted butter.
Beat eggs and add to milk. Stir into the corn mixture. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove and stir with long-prong fork, disturbing the top as little as possible.
Return to the oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat stirring procedure.
Return to oven for 10-15 minutes.
Top should be lightly brown and pudding should be firm.
KENTUCKY DERBY PIE
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
ae cup chocolate chips
ae cup pecans or ae cup walnuts
9-inch unbaked pie shell
Combine all ingredients and mix with fork.
Bake in pie crust at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until brown on top.
KENTUCKY DERBY SPREAD
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces blue cheese, room temperature
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 dash Tabasco sauce
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon
Salt and pepper
Have butter and cheeses at room temperature.
Mix them thoroughly.
Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in enough bourbon to make a spreadable paste.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate 24 hours so flavors can meld.
Add more bourbon if spread appears too thick.
Serve with crackers.
Run for the Roses
Television coverage of the 138th Kentucky Derby will begin on NBC Sports (Comcast channel 730) at 11 a.m. Saturday and move to NBC (Comcast channels 3 and 12) from 4 to 7 p.m. The race will begin at 6:24 p.m. at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Ky.
To attend the Mondays at the Manor Derby-theme dinner at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Brunswick Manor, call Straton Hall at 265-6889.
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