The Blue Eyed Susan
Everyone knows the mint julep is the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. But what do horse-racing fans drink at the other two events in the Triple Crown — The Belmont Stakes and Preakness? We had no clue until Maker’s Mark asked us to join their “Trifecta Challenge” by coming up with a Maker’s-based version of The Black Eyed Susan – a fruity cocktail named for the flowers used in the blanket that traditionally drapes the Preakness winner.
Ted’s been busy shooting cookbooks, so these are all my iPhone photos.
Those of us who choose to live in Maine are not supposed to complain about the winter. It’s considered bad form, almost like asking a lobsterman how many traps he has or saying “chowdah” when you clearly don’t have a Maine accent.
We moved here from New Jersey three years ago this month knowing full well that the winters would be longer, darker and possibly harsher, but any discomfort would be worth it for the gorgeous summers, clean air, lack of traffic and myriad other benefits of living in this special place.
Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware makes some of the most popular craft brews in the country. Yet many of its fans may be unaware that the brewery’s name comes from Maine. Owner Sam Calagione spent his childhood summers on Southport Island, off of Boothbay (just like I did, although Sam’s much younger so we didn’t meet until years later). Dogfish Head is the peninsula at Southport’s northern end, where Sam, his wife Mariah and their family now have their own summer home. It’s always a treat to run into them on the island.
Utah was never on my list of must-visit places: I don’t ski, and Mormons make me a little nervous. But that was before I knew anything about the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the town of Boulder, and Hell’s Backbone Grill.
A few years ago, my mother-in-law stayed at the Boulder Mountain Lodge for a creative writing workshop. The restaurant is connected to the lodge, and as is the case with everyone who has the good fortune to eat at Hell’s Backbone Grill, it made an impression on her. She returned to New Jersey full of energy for her writing projects and carrying an autographed copy of “With a Measure of Grace,” the cookbook by restaurant owners Blake Spaulding and Jennifer Castle, as a gift for me.
A couple of months ago, a houseguest from Poland brought us a bottle of cherry Nalewka Babuni, which she described as a fruit liqueur. Packaged in a decanter-like square bottle with a handsome polish wood stopper, it has sat, unopened, on our kitchen counter while we have pondered what to do with it.