Have you heard of a drought in sports? You know, the drought like Kentucky has not beaten Florida in football for something like 28 years. That my friends is a drought!
Now I had my own drought going on but I have ended that with one great trip to Augusta National Golf Course and The Masters. I had not been to The Masters since 2000 and was riding a 15 year drought when my old college roommate, Dallas Shewmaker, drew into practice round tickets this year. Yes! I was going to get one of those world famous pimento cheese sandwiches. That was the drought I was riding…I could care less about the golf. Ha! Well, not really.
Once you have munched on an Augusta Pimento Cheese Sandwich, well…there are none others to compare it to. They say that Amen Corner was named because once the golfers get through playing those three holes, they say an Amen. I think it was because of the sandwich. I know I always say that after every one I eat and I eat a lot of them.
Thank goodness there were enough concession stands on the course to resolve my cravings for that sandwich about every other hole. Man, what a meal. And thanks to Mr. Bobby Jones, who vowed never to gouge the patrons, the prices are still at 1970’s prices. If only I could say the same about the $28.00 hat I bought!
With the pimento cheese sandwich still on my mind I made my annual trek to the Bluegrass State for some of the finest horse racing around at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington. Please do not confuse this with Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Many folks outside of the state do get confused sometimes. If you have never been to a horse race, Keeneland is the place to start. You will not want to go anywhere else after you have seen the track that touts as its slogan, “Racing as it was meant to be.”
Jane and I made our trip this year to fulfill a promise we made to the daughter of my veterinarians, Drs. Flynn and Susan Nance. Their youngest daughter, Grace, was educated in Athens undergrad but went to Kentucky for her post grad work. OK, it was in Louisville but she did have clinical courses at the University of Kentucky so we are getting her over to blue slowly but surely!
Anyway, I told Grace I would host her at the races before leaving Kentucky and her days were numbered. She brought along her good friend Amanda (from the wine country of Sonoma Valley) and we proceeded to lose money and drink Kentucky Bourbon to our heart’s content. Once again, the main reason for heading to Keeneland included some racing but I had to get my feel of that great bluegrass concoction of Burgoo.
Now in Georgia we have Brunswick Stew and Kentucky’s answer to that is Burgoo. Both, I do believe, in the early days were made mainly with critters that pa caught while out hunting and threw in the pot. Now I am not against that combination, but not many stores carry squirrel, rabbit or other fine species to go in the stew, not even in Kentucky. Also, we have no more pioneer women left who will put up with such a recipe. Man, I miss the wilderness days!
So, as we move into summer I reflect on this past spring when my culinary palate has been quenched with pimento cheese sandwiches, Burgoo, and Kentucky Bourbon – not a bad combination. Throw that in with a couple of beautiful college coeds at the race track and you have a day made only in Kentucky. Giddy Up Go!