I Like the Lady Horses Best

We’ve been pretty focused on dogs lately here at BigLittleMeals. But a couple of things got me off of dogs and (back) to horses (there’s nothing quite like being on the back – bareback, of course – of a horse). While I’m back to horses, Andy in Andy’s Corner is back to Sociology – AND horses. How clever!

First, I saw this article in The Atlantic about the evolution and domestication of horses. According to the author, “They say dogs are man’s best friend, but horses could also claim that title.” It’s a fascinating analysis of horse history and puts dogs and horses – as our helpers and pals – in more of a perspective. For example, did you know that dogs were domesticated 15,000 years ago – and horses weren’t domesticated until almost 10,000 years later?

Then came Mother’s Day and I got a call from my son, Travis, offering to bet on the Kentucky Derby for me in lieu of Mother’s Day flowers! Now I’m not a horse-racing fan, but the decision was simple. Who wants flowers…at least inside and in a vase and from a florist (my apologies to all of you flower-loving mamas out there. To each her own.)?

Rich Strike – the very long shot Derby winner for 2022

You know Andy and I have a ton of fun doing these blogs. We can jump all over the place and there’s no teacher or professor or editor – except ourselves – to tell us that our writing sucks. So I’d like to share the next sequence of events that resulted in this blog so you know just how random our reading and research is.

  1. After Travis placed my $10 bet on Epicenter (yup – way cheaper than flowers!), I started wondering if I should have bet on a filly.
  2. There were no fillies in the Derby this year to bet on – so I researched whether a filly had ever won the Kentucky Derby.
  3. The last (of only 3 fillies) to win the Derby was Winning Colors back in 1988 – 34 years ago!
1988: Winning Colors (a filly) besting Forty-Niner (ironic!) in the Derby
  1. Why don’t fillies win – or even enter?
  2. The answer to the above question is somewhat complicated. Fillies mature later than stallions, so a 3-year-old filly isn’t as strong as a 3-year-old male, and only 3-year-olds run in the Derby. Plus, there’s the “stud” thing. A winner stallion has the potential to bring in way more money as a stud than a mare does as a producer of a foal/year. Finally, the Derby instituted a point system back in 2013 that helps out European and Japanese bred stallions but does nothing to help fillies.

Stay with me here; it’s getting more random 🙂

  1. A week or so ago I skimmed an article in the NYTimes about a 46-year-old poet by the name of Ada Limón and happened to see that she grew up in Glen Ellen (our current home town) and Sonoma – and she lives now in Kentucky. So I read some of her poetry. My favorite? About fillies – and girls. It’s great.
  1. How perfect can this all be…except this is a food/life blog, and I’ve got to factor in food.
  2. I can’t possibly do horse meat – but why?
  3. Why don’t we eat horse meat, at least here in the U.S.? Mr. Beat – who is a YouTube-ing high school teacher in Kansas – has a video about that.

Since I can’t enthusiastically include a recipe for horse meat – or dog – or even cat meat – we’ve got a recipe for a variation on the go-to cocktail while watching horse-racing: the Mint Julep! We’ve even got a Mock Mint Julep recipe. But might I suggest that you enjoy it while you watch next year’s Kentucky Oaks, NOT the Kentucky Derby. It’s a race specifically for 3-year-old fillies. I’ll bet you’ll like “the lady horse swagger.”

My horse Besties, hanging out in the back acreage of our Ft Collins, CO, home in the late 1950’s. Patches – a black and white, pinto, part draft-horse, unregistered gelding, and Fleet – a palomino, purebred, registered Quarter Horse mare. To be perfectly honest, I loved them both equally.

A last minute footnote: Depending upon your feelings about racehorses, you’ll be happy – or sad – to learn that UC Davis has just decided to replace their “elite” racehorse mascot with…ta-da!…a cow. 🙂

Mint Julep con Limón – Cocktail or Mocktail

Mint Julep con Limón - Cocktail or Mocktail

Don’t wait for the Kentucky Derby or the Kentucky Oaks to enjoy this.  It’s the perfect summertime drink – with or without Kentucky bourbon.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 cups loosely packed mint leaves
  • The juice and a little zest from 3 lemons (about 1/2 c lemon juice and 1 T zest)
  • bourbon – if making Mint Juleps; ginger ale or tonic water – if making Mock Mint Juleps
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Make the mint syrup: In a small saucepan, heat the water and sugar together until the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves completely. Add 2 cups of the mint leaves to the syrup and allow the mint to steep as the syrup cools. When cool, strain (or pick) out the mint leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Refrigerate.

You’ll need a lot of crushed ice for this drink – enough to fill each glass almost to the top. We crush our ice in the blender.

Serve the drinks in cups or old-fashioned glasses. To serve mix the remaining cup of mint leaves into the crushed ice and fill each cup almost to the top with ice. Pour about 1/4 cup of the lemon syrup over the ice (more or less to taste). Add 2 oz of bourbon to each glass if making Mint Juleps; add Ginger Ale or Tonic water to each glass, if making Mock Mint Juleps. Stir a little and serve.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Let’s Eat Grandma | Big Little Meals

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love that poem! And the fact that the poet is being interviewed by Ezra Klein today (my crush) is all the better. I also loved the Derby this year and I never watch! That was an amazing race. Cried a bit.

    Like

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