As I turn a new page on my calendar, I am greeted with blank spaces glaring back at me. May is supposed to be filled with activity, celebration, endings and new beginnings. But this year anticipated events like the Kentucky Derby, spring concerts, proms and graduations, have been erased, crossed out, rescheduled or cancelled. To stay safe we continue to practice social distancing and our social calendars remain unoccupied and empty. The extra time is providing our family of three some unique ways to celebrate the beginning of May.
May Day Music- For over twenty years my husband and I have been members of the Northwinds Concert Band. And on the first Saturday in May you will find us playing a spring concert at the Florissant Civic Center during the city’s Valley of Flowers celebration. But this year the band won’t “play on” as our season came to an abrupt end due to COVID 19. I miss performing. I miss coming together on a Tuesday night and creating music. And most of all I miss my musical family; a group of extraordinary people who have been there for me throughout my adult life. My family of three enjoyed reliving some of our past concerts by listening to recordings and watching a video of a past Northwinds concert.
The Kentucky Derby- Today, the first Saturday in May, was supposed to be the 146th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Also known as the “Run For the Roses” and as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” because of COVID 19, the three year old thoroughbreds will race on September 5 instead.
In honor of the Kentucky Derby my family of three dressed in our University of Kentucky gear (I’ve grown accustomed to the dress up days during virtual learning) and listened to Kentucky’s state song, My Old Kentucky Home performed by college musicians from thirteen colleges and universities across the state. CLICK HERE to listen.
We didn’t have the ingredients to make some Kentucky Derby staples like mint juleps or derby pie, but we did prepare Kentucky Hot Browns for dinner. The Hot Brown Sandwich is an open faced sandwich made with chicken or turkey, bacon, tomato and covered in a rich creamy Mornay sauce. Created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY in the 1920’s, the sandwich has become synonymous with the state of Kentucky and southern cuisine. CLICK HERE for the recipe from the Brown Hotel. The recipe below is from my mother-in-law and is the one I used. We made accommodations based on what we had on hand and used a hamburger bun for the bread and grilled chicken breast for the meat. I paired my Hot Brown with a Kentucky Vanilla Barrel Cream Ale. Aged in bourbon barrels and brewed in Lexington, it is my favorite Kentucky brew!
After dinner my daughter held her own Kentucky Derby, racing around the house on Peaches the Pony. And even though we were unable to view real ponies on TV, we ended our day watching ponies, “My Little Pony” on Netflix!
My Old Kentucky Home– My daughter and husband gathered around the computer and participated in another weekly family meeting with three generations of his family in attendance. This week ten states were represented and the second generation shared memories about the family’s “Old Kentucky Home,” located on a farm in rural Kentucky. “Oh, the sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home.”