Cooking with Ron—Stews to Chase the Winter Blues

When winter winds nip at the nose, when the clouds spit snow and puddles freeze – that is the time for comforting meals of stew in steaming bowls accompanied by chunks of crusty bread. Stews are an elemental food, harkening back to dim times when a single earthen pot simmered over a fire, the repository for whatever was hunted and...

Cooking with Ron— Corn

Although the focus of this issue is Bourbon, it is important to know that corn has other uses besides forming the backbone of a Bourbon’s mash bill. In fact, of all the agricultural benefits ensuing from the European conquest of the Americas – the so-called Columbian Exchange – the most universally successful has been corn. While it is hard to...

Cooking with Ron—Nashville Hot Chicken

Suddenly, Nashville-style hot chicken is popping up all over in the form of new restaurants or as menu items at others such as KFC and O’Charley’s. In Louisville, Joella’s Hot Chicken and Royals Hot Chicken both opened in the last year, and those restaurants are regularly packed. Those in the know who have long had their favorite Nashville chicken...

Cooking with Ron: Un-fussy Country Ham

A whole ham is a challenge, but here are some ways to appreciate Kentucky ham’s rich flavors without investing a lot of time and money. Everyone should go to a real Derby party blow-out at least once. The kind of party where the women wear cute sundresses and big hats and the men sport bow ties; where the julep cups...

Burgoo — A Kentucky Original

Many Derby visitors hope to dine on regional delights like country ham on beaten biscuits, Benedictine sandwiches, beef tenderloin served with Henry Bain’s sauce (if someone offers you a jar as a gift, take it with thanks and be sure to get the story behind it), and, of course, Derby Pie. If they are fortunate enough to attend an...

Garden of Gourds

Summer squash–zucchini and its relatives in the cucurbita family–strike me as the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables: they “don’t get no respect.” Backyard garden standards nearly as common as tomatoes, ubiquitous at farmers markets, summer squash are often the last items chosen, the go-to vegetable choice only when other options are used up, or unfamiliar. Too often zucchini are ignored in...

Cooking With Ron: Bountiful Berries

To show you how old I am, I remember when fresh berries were markers of the seasons. Strawberries appeared only at the height of spring, in late May or early June, and heralded the coming of summer. Blueberries and blackberries were high summer fruit, and when they were gone, we knew fall was fast approaching. Today, of course, fresh berries...

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