Sadly I’m not out enjoying this beautiful Oaks Day! I have to work late tonight, but tomorrow I’m finally getting my hair done and traveling home for a Derby party and Mother’s Day. It looks like at least most of the weekend will be nice! After rain for nearly a week, we’re in desperate need of some sunshine.
I have always loved Derby, probably because it’s on or near my birthday. I find it’s a great way to showcase our beautiful state, and I can’t help but tear up when the crowd sings “My Old Kentucky Home.” It’s beautiful.
I’m a big fan of themed-parties and dinners, but, the idea usually hits me last minute. If that sounds familiar, this list is for you.
For quick snacks, country ham and biscuits and mini quiche are big hits. Think Derby brunch! If you want a piece of Kentucky, try your hand at a couple of complicated recipes: the Kentucky Hot Brown (or these Kentucky Hot Brown Bites!) or (Not) Derby Pie!
I know Mint Juleps are the official drinks of the Derby, but they’re not great. If you can’t drink the delicious, heavenly bourbon on the rocks or neat, try my Kentucky Mule!
For years, we’ve played a very simple game: we write all the horses on paper, put them in a hat, and take turns drawing names. We usually each contribute $5, and whoever picks the winning horse wins the money! Drawing the names keeps it fair: instead, everyone would want to choose the favorite!
If your guests wear hats, have a hat contest, as we did at our work Derby lunch yesterday. Our categories included “Most Creative Hat”, “A Horse Should Eat That Hat”, and “Most WTF Hat”. We’re a talented bunch, I tell ya. It was a lot of fun!
Hats! I prefer a fascinator, but do love a big, dramatic hat! Don’t have one? Add some ribbon and/or flowers to a basic headband or beach hat. A little creativity goes a long way!
You don’t need much: some red roses and horse figurines and you’re good to go! To really wow your guests, you can print Derby programs and racing forms here.
Truthfully, all you need to enjoy the race is a bottle of bourbon. 🙂
Do you watch the big race? How do you celebrate?