Derby brunch in Florida was a hit with guests

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I am now spending a quiet Sunday afternoon, lounging at the club pool after a wonderful morning of serving a Kentucky Derby Brunch in Florida.

At least, it was our version of a Kentucky brunch. Everyone was so excited to attend and we were so glad to be able to give them a little of the wonderful Kentucky hospitality.  Some of those attending have never been to Kentucky, but I think they may just make it our way.

My husband, Bob, did a great job of providing a make shift horse race with brooms for horses and volunteers to be the jockeys. We even found material at a dollar store that worked well for making the silks. It was a sight to be seen.

The greatest part for me was the gentlemen and ladies who donned their personally decorated hats for our hat contest.  They all looked so elegant even with the ribbon curly cues hanging from their hats.

This is the menu we prepared:

Breads:banana nut bread, bourbon banana bread, blueberry muffins, cinnamon nut coffee cake and pina colada muffins.

Salads and fruits:mixed greens with dried cranberries and honey French dressing, and fresh fruit salad.

Entrée and meats:salsa cheese omelet; hot Brown casserole, roasted potatoes, mountain top bacon, sausage patties and links

Desserts:mini Derby tarts (a Kentucky specialty), mini cheesecakes and mini John Y. Brown tarts

Beverages:mimosas and coffee

I decided to make an ice ring with strawberries and oranges, then poured the orange juice and the champagne over the ice ring. It was pretty.

 Since I did not have mint julep cups, I used silver coated paper cups and placed about five silk roses in each cup for the centerpiece. I bought a dozen fresh red roses (for $5.99) to use on the serving table, with toy horses setting around the vase.

Bob made table name cards for each table with names such as millionaire’s row, the paddock, the feed bag (for the buffet table) and the jockey room, just to name a few. I also printed off color photos of jockeys, horses, ladies in their hats, and articles about the various Derby’s, then placed them around the room.  It helped our guests when we had a little trivia quiz too.

Everyone helped with the clean-up which made it all a wonderful experience.  Oh, before I forget, my new name is Paula, they said. They just don’t know that all Kentuckians are named Paula, but we won’t tell.

By the way, each guest took home a bourbon ball that I made especially for them.

I thought you might enjoy a little gift of one of our menu items, please enjoy these delicious:


Blueberry Muffins


1 3/4 cups flour

6 tbsp. sugar

2 ½ tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup cooking oil

3/4 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 tbsp. sugar to mix with berries

1 tsp. lemon zest

¼ cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400°F. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, and oil.

Add egg mixture, all at once, to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

Next, fold in blueberries that have been mixed with the sugar and lemon peel.

Grease muffin cups, or line with paper bake cups; fill each 2/3 full.

Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven; brush with melted butter and sprinkle on sugar. Serve warm. Enjoy!


Lonnie Sundermeyer is a professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.