Welcome to Kentucky

Every state is worth exploring. Each holds its own history, unique customs and interesting people. The more we learn about the world around us, the more well rounded we become as people. Today is National Kentucky Day. Let’s explore.

The Great State of Kentucky – what we know, should know and might not know.

Louisville, Kentucky is home to the oldest annually held horse race in the country – The Kentucky Derby. It is also the first and most famous leg of the Triple Crown. But we all knew that, right?

In 1883 at the Southern Exposition held in Louisville, Thomas Edison introduced the public to the electric light bulb in a big way. It is estimated that more than 4,500 light bulbs were used to illuminate the exhibition hall at night.

How would you like to view the largest collection of ventriloquist dummies? All you need do is head to the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. I don’t know about you, but this would creep me out just a bit. Especially if the dolls began to talk!

On August 21, 1955 the Sutton family went to the Hopkinsville Police Station to report a terrifying story of their encounter with alien beings. When the news got out, people began to descend on the little farm, hoping to experience an other worldly alien encounter of their own.

Kentucky laws that make you wonder why –

  • You can be fined up to $100.00 if you carry a reptile into a church during services.
  • All motor scooters, cars or helicopters must come to a full stop before occupants can hunt from them.
  • It is against the law to place ice cream in your back pocket. There is no mention of keeping ice cream in your front pocket.
  • Persons between 90 and 199 pounds, while wearing a bikini, must have police protection to walk along any Kentucky highway
  • In Owensboro, Kentucky, a woman must obtain her husband’s permission before buying a hat.

The state motto is United We Stand, Divided We Fall. That is ironically interesting when you look at registered voters in Kentucky, 45% are Democrat, 44% are Republican. The current Governor in Kentucky is a Democrat, yet Kentucky sent Republicans to represent them in Washington.

Finally, during the pandemic, the most searched recipes in Kentucky were those for Roast Chicken. And according to Taste of Home Magazine, the dessert that best represents Kentucky is Strawberry Cake. With that, I give you a Kentucky Celebration in food.

Kentucky Supper
Lemon-Stuffed Rosemary Roast Chicken
Oniony Green Beans
Stove-Top Herb Stuffing

Mema’s Strawberry Cake with Crushed Strawberry Frosting

Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken
6 lb Chicken Roaster
1 Red Onion
8 tablespoons Butter
4 Garlic Cloves
2 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary
2 teaspoons Cracked Pepper
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
4 Lemons, divided
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
Rosemary Sprigs for garnish

Heat oven to 425-degrees.

Remove neck and giblets from the chicken. Pat bird dry with paper towels. Tuck wings under the breast, set chicken aside.

Peel and slice onion into thick rounds. Break onion apart, layer the bottom of a cast iron skillet with onions. Place chicken in the skillet on top of onions, set aside.

Place soft butter in a bowl. Set aside.

Strip Rosemary needles from the stems. Finely mince needles, add to the butter. Peel garlic, press directly over the butter. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cut 1 lemon in half. Set aside half of the lemon, juice remaining half over the butter. With a fork mix butter to create a flavorful compound.

Rub the cavity of the chicken with a small amount of compound butter. Gently lift skin from the meat, place a small dab of butter on the breasts. Spread the remaining butter evening over the chicken. Make sure to the compound butter on the underside and all around the legs and wings.

Cut reserved lemon half into a wedge. Cut remaining lemons into wedges. Place wedges inside the chicken.

Pour stock around chicken to create some steam. Place skillet with chicken to roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes.

Without opening the oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue to roast for about 75 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove skillet from the oven. Tent with foil to retain heat and let bird rest for 10 minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board. Carve chicken, arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with roasted lemons and some fresh rosemary sprigs as desired.

Oniony Green Beans
1 (16 oz) bag Frozen Green Beans
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 tablespoons Butter
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt to taste
Pinch Black Pepper

Empty frozen green beans into a colander. Gently rinse under cold water to thaw. Set aside to drain.

While the green beans drain, cut onion in half from tip to root. Reserve half the onion for another purpose (such as the stuffing). Peel remaining half, mince and set aside.

In a stockpot over medium heat, melt butter. Once foamy, add onions. Sauté until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add green beans and chicken stock. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Heat, stirring occasionally, until green beans are tender and heated through, about 20 minutes.

Drain off excess liquid. Transfer green beans to a serving bowl and enjoy.

Stove-Top Herb Stuffing
1-1/2 Yellow Onions
4 Celery Ribs
1/4 cup Butter
2 Cloves Garlic, pressed
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Sage
1/2 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning
2 cups Chicken Stock
2 boxes Herb Bread Cube Stuffing
Parsley for garnish

Peel and finely chop onions, set aside. Trim ends from celery ribs. Clean rips, dice and set aside.

In a large stock pot or Dutch Oven with lid, melt butter. Add onions and celery, cook over medium heat until tender and translucent.

Remove from heat. Peel and press garlic over the onion mixture. Season with Thyme, Sage and Poultry Seasoning. Add chicken stock. Return to medium heat, warm until stock just begins to boil.

Remove from heat, add bread cubes, stir to blend and fully moisten cubes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Cover, let rest for 10 minutes while the bread absorbs the liquid, the bread cubes soften and the flavors marry.

While the stuffing sits, snip some parsley. Transfer stuffing to a serving bowl. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Mema’s Strawberry Cake with Crushed Strawberry Frosting
Strawberry Cake
3 large Eggs, room temperature
1 cup Strawberries, finely chopped
1 box White Cake Mix
1 (3 oz) package Strawberry Gelatin
3 tablespoons Sugar
3 tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Whole Milk

Heat oven to 325-degrees. Grease the bottom of two 8-inch cake pans. Line pans with parchment paper; then grease the paper. Set aside.

Place eggs (still in their shells) into a large bowl of hot water. Let eggs come to room temperature in the water for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

While the eggs warm, clean, hull and finely chop strawberries, set aside.

In a bowl, whisk cake mix, gelatin, sugar and flour until blended. Set aside.

Place eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a mixing paddle. Add oil, mix until frothy. Add water and milk. Beat for about 1 minute. Add cake mix blend. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, increase to medium and mix for 2 minutes.

Fold in strawberries. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the heated oven until tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, place pans on a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from the pan, remove paper and let cakes cool completely.

Strawberry Frosting
5 cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 cup Strawberries
1/2 cup softened Butter

Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl, set aside.

Clean and hull strawberries, place in a blender and “crush” berries, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk, cream soft butter. Whisk in berries.

Slowly add sifted powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, until desired spreadable consistency is achieved.

To assemble cake, trim cake top to level. Place cut side down on a cake plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cake.

Trim second cake, place on top of the first layer, cut side down. Frost top and sides of the cake. Cake is ready to serve. For a more sturdy cake, refrigerate for about 20 minutes before slicing.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

7 thoughts on “Welcome to Kentucky”

  1. We lived in Louisville when my husband was stationed at Fort Knox several years ago – loved it! Thank you for this and the great memories it brought with it!

    Liked by 1 person

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