I’ve been planning this post for a while now. It involves places, food, and wonderful people that have touched my life. Yet, I haven’t been able to exactly figure out how to transcribe the words to express the love I have for the aforementioned items in my head. But, today I am going to try.
I’m not quite sure I have been able to explain how much my life changed approximately two years ago to those around me in my everyday life. It all began when I went on a business trip to a city I had never visited before, Louisville, KY. First impressions were as I expected. Things were super clean, a sensational green, and down right comfy-cozy. The people smiled at you as I would expect a good Southern town to do. There was no running into each other and not saying excuse me, and there were plenty of doors being opened for the ladies. There were real, kind, genuine people fluttering about this new-to-me city.
Throughout the length of my trip there, I sampled a few things Louisville had to offer (never made it to a distillery though, ugh). On the food side, the best thing that strutted past my lips would have to be this Espresso Steak I had at a steakhouse there. The steakhouse was beautiful. I remember a fireplace, huge wine glasses, and classy décor. But, yes, most of all I remember the Espresso Steak. To this day, I haven’t been able to duplicate it in my cooking endeavors. Lord knows I have tried! There were a plethora of other tasty things to strut past my lips (love that phrase, *smiles*), but that one surely stood out over almost all of them.
Secondly, no one can deny the beauty of Louisville. The class, the history, and the roots are undeniable. With that being said, I am sure, that with any local yokels of any city, one would know there are bad parts of town that may not be so pretty. I am also sure that Louisville has them just like Anytown, USA does. But, I never ran across that. Unless you count the view from my hotel room where all I could see was a Harley-Davidson dealership. *big smiles and a giggle* From the man-made waterfall I would pass on the way to the jobsite, to the rolling pastures containing horses that I would pass on the way to the casino, to the comforting hotel room where I once indulged in a ginormous slab of chocolate cake that had been takeout from the evening’s meal. And, yes (!), I got takeout dessert every single lovin’ night! Yum!
My favorite place I visited was a race day at Churchill Downs. No, I’m not going to talk like I know all of the terms for horse racing. But, I will say that it provided me such an invigorating rush cheering on the horses I bet on that day. Thinking of the past and history of Churchill Downs. The beauty that it had seen, the things the walls could tell us, the story of the track, amongst a variety of other breathtaking thoughts. It was unlike anything. The trip was full of moments like that. No, no bungee-jumping or crazy stuff…just moments that will stick with me forever. And, I appreciate every single one of them.
Lastly, and to be honest, I miss the people. We were there to “learn” the jobs of a department that was being transferred to our site. I found this very difficult, as everyone I came in to contact with had a genuine smile with a human story behind it. All of them I will carry in my thoughts, a few of the people I will forever carry in my heart. Some days I wish I could have brought particular ones with me, or that I could have stayed in Louisville.
On to the pie! One day, one of the few and I were discussing my site. Something sparked his interest, and after a short pause, he returned with a recipe for me to try. A recipe that, in the end, turned out to be quite the popular little pie for a town that holds the key to Churchill Downs. The actual pie’s name is Derby-Pie, a trademarked name of Kern’s Kitchen. You can find the story of the official Derby-Pie by clicking here.
The recipe provided to me was actually named Kentucky Chocolate Chip Pie. The cookbook it came out of was described as something like a church or a ladies group would put out. You and I both know I love those cookbooks! They hold so much heritage and love from cooks that have gone before us, and I cherish each and every one I receive.
So, with that being said……It was Derby Day today! Animal Kingdom won, and so did our tastebuds! I made two Kentucky Chocolate Chip Pies (doubled the recipe below) with Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey (made right in Kentucky), and they were so delightfully delicious. Very chocolatey, very nutty, very very good. Enjoy the recipe below…..
Lastly, you guys know who you are that I will forever hold dear. I appreciated your kindness and love that you showed me while I was in your beautiful town. You all gave me inspiration in so many aspects of my life and a kick in the butt to jumpstart my own existence. It was a reminder that the world is bigger than just my little town. I have a life to live, and you gave me that reminder. Thank you!
And, on a sidenote: To the one that provided the recipe…The offer still stands for me to fix you and your absolutely gorgeous family a hearty Southern meal if you guys ever travel this way.
With love and admiration,
(Since I adore cookbooks, here is the recipe in a shot of the actual cookbook page that was sent to me.)