For the love of cake

Growing up, for every birthday and every holiday, we had (still do!) something sweet–sometimes many, many sweet things and always cake. Mostly, the sweets were made by my mom, who stayed up all night or many nights in a row mixing, baking, and, when there was cake, decorating. One birthday, I had a Barbie doll cake with white and pink icing–you know, the one where Barbie is dressed in a fancy ballgown made of cake and icing? I’m pretty sure I had that one more than once because I loved Barbie and all of her friends. For my 16th birthday, I had a three-tiered cake decorated with fresh roses; just about every birthday cake was made by mom. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of these lovely handmade creations but, my mom’s love of baking and creating delicious things for the people she loved was firmly passed on to me. Continue reading

Friends, family, & whiskey

Skip and I spent the last couple of weeks in Kentucky and Tennessee—it was hot and familiar. The first week of our trip also happened to include Skip’s birthday, which was the first full day we were in Kentucky; so, what better way to celebrate his birthday than with whiskey? We started the day with a stop at Waffle House for a birthday breakfast then, headed to the Jim Beam Stillhouse in Clermont, Kentucky. We learned a little history about Jim Beam; it all started in the late 1700s when a German immigrant, Jacob Beam, made and sold corn whiskey. Centuries later, we have bourbon and Jim Beam makes an insane volume of product—they are the largest bourbon maker in the world. We also popped over to Willett, small by Kentucky standards but high-volume in comparison to Letterpress. We topped off Skip’s birthday day with a fabulous dinner at Decca in Louisville with some of the best fried green tomatoes I’ve ever had, followed by cocktails at The Silver Dollar.  I’d say that Skip had a pretty good birthday!

The rest of the week included visits to Wild Turkey, Heaven Hill, Maker’s Mark, and Kentucky Peerless Distilling, along with a quick stop at Buffalo Trace in Frankfort, Kentucky. All of the tours were entertaining and the guides were very friendly, we learned a few things and tasted a lot of whiskey! We even managed to squeeze in a day touring a couple of distilleries with some friends who joined us for the day from Cincinnati.

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