My First Derby

Before Saturday, I had never watched the Kentucky Derby, even though I grew up just a few hours north of Louisville.  I guess I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.  But after reading Ghost’s charming paen to Mint Juleps, I figured I ought to try one, and check out the race while I was at it.  One of my favorite alcohols + one of my favorite herbs + tons of sugar = what not to like?  The real question is why I’d never sipped one before.  Anyway, the julep was delicious, though my friend R., who’s not such a fan of whiskey, was unimpressed when she tried mine (and by “unimpressed” I mean “totally disgusted”).  We watched at a bar crowded with people in fun hats and at least one legitimate Kentuckian (I know cuz she was singing along to the state song, which was cute.  I didn’t even know that every state had an official song, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard Ohio’s.  Sad.  On the other hand, Ohio’s official rock song is “Hang On Sloopy,” which is quite catchy and fun, so there’s that. )

I knew the actual race wouldn’t last long, but it still seemed absurdly brief, and then for minutes afterward no one in the bar knew which horse had won.  I was rooting against Noble’s Promise (isn’t this event faux-aristocratic enough without names like that?) but had trouble settling on who to root for.  Maybe next year I’ll bet on it.  Mainly I want to go to a derby party again next year so I can eat some derby pie, which sounds amazing.  As with the mint julep, the combination of ingredients– chocolate, pecans, pie crust– seems pretty no-fail.  Actually, I might just have to make one myself.  Easy-sounding recipe here, plus commentary: “I suppose it’s no good for people who don’t like butter and chocolate, but anyone who fits that description probably doesn’t belong at your party anyway.”


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