Last year took a lot of the fun out of watching the race, when the #2 horse crossed the finish line and collapsed with two broken front legs and had to be euthanized right then and there. The daughters might not even come to the Derby party this year.

Mom and Charlie and I are still having one, though, and–who knows?–the kids still might turn up, but not watch the race.

Who do I like for the Derby? Jim Beam and Benedictine. Oh–you mean horses in the race. I like Dunkirk, because he’s a purty speckledy-gray. I also like Regal Ransom, because Joanna knows why. 😉

The Jim Beam is for mint juleps, which Charlie always makes. I just brew the sugar syrup and harvest the mint; he puts it all together. I make the Benedictine spread. It has nothing to do with Benedictine monks or Benedictine liqueur; it’s named for Jenny Benedict, a Louisville restaurateur and caterer of the 1800s (I think that’s right), who created the spread. Her original recipe was made with cucumber JUICE only, but we like it this way:

BENEDICTINE SPREAD

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and chopped
  • salt
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • onion juice, finely diced onion or onion powder

Salt the cucumber (not too much) and let it drain in a colander, saving the juice that comes out. Add the cucumber to the cream cheese in a blender, along with onion or onion juice/powder, and blend until as smooth or chunky as you like. If the mix is too thick to spread, add a little of the cucumber juice. The color should be a very pale green. Some people add food coloring, but I seldom do. Serve chilled or room temperature. If it comes out too runny to spread, serve it as a dip. Runny Benedictine also makes a nice salad dressing.

Hope the day goes well, especially for the horses.

MA

Writing prompt: If your main character were asked to bet on a horse race, how would he/she choose a horse?

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