With parties, balls, horse racing, and festivities welcoming revelers from all over the world, Derby week is filled with fervent anticipation. When morning breaks on the first Saturday in May, it'a all about the Run for the Roses. Whether donning fascinators and finery for live racing at Churchill Downs, strolling the gorgeous grounds of Keeneland with mint juleps in hand, bar hopping with wagering phone apps on deck, or attending laid back Derby parties, we all want to play along, have great fun, and celebrate a tradition that is uniquely ours. It's simply what we do.
That said, Derby Day can be a very very long day. Without fail, eager morning bloody marys, mimosas, or screwdrivers slowly segue into serious shots of bourbon, gin, vodka, or beer. Gradually, the post times between races lengthen and lengthen. By mid afternoon, our seriously happy libations morph into Mint Juleps (well, just because) while we wait for the start of the most important horse race in the world. Eventually, awash in a haze of bourbon and mint, the racetrack bugler calls the horses to post as a weepy and soaring chorus of My Old Kentucky Home captures the frozen moment in time. It's fabulous, exhilarating, and exhausting.
Derby Day day drinking.
There's always a morning after.
Farmers Market Breakfast Skillet.
While I used a small single serve cast iron skillet, a larger skillet filled with multiple eggs and bumped up ingredients would seal the deal for a groggy crowd.
I trimmed the ends from a bundle of Gary Farm pencil thin asparagus, sliced them on an extreme bias (almost halved). briefly steamed them for 10 seconds, and set the asparagus aside.
Working over a medium flame, I sauteed a few pieces of thinly sliced Browning's Country Ham. When the ham started to crisp around the edges, I added 1 minced garlic clove, 3 chopped Shelby County spring green onions, julienned red bell peppers ( a quarter pepper), a handful of halved grape tomatoes, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper. Just before the tomatoes collapsed from the heat, I kissed the skillet with a splash of fresh lemon juice, nudged the tomatoes and peppers to the sides of the skillet, twirled the asparagus around the edges, carefully cracked a large Elmwood Stock organic egg into the center nest, and slid the skillet into a preheated 400 degree oven for 8 minutes.
When the egg whites set, I pulled the skillet from the oven and dusted the top with cracked black pepper before finishing with flowering chives from my garden.
Knock it back a bloody mary chaser
for a perfect morning after.