Oh, has it been windy! Tin turned up on the barn roof, my sister's greenhouse sustained damage, trees down, power outages, etc. But that means March will go out like a lamb.
Time to make plans for the upcoming pretty weather. Let's travel across Kentucky.
Did you know that Kentucky has all types of trails--bourbon trails, fried chicken trails, and barn quilt trails to name a few, as well as horse trails, walking trails, and bike trails.
Kentucky Bourbon Trail-- The original tour stops at 18 distilleries within a 100-mile radius and allows for a tour of the facilities and tastings of special bourbons from our large distilleries not found in stores. The trail is so popular that there is now a Kentucky Bourbon Craft Tour that takes in 350 miles and 19 different, small-batch distilleries. But there's more. Along the Ohio River, there is the Northern Kentucky B-Line. A trail of distilleries, restaurants, and bourbon bars. Six of America's best bourbon bars in the country can be found on the B-Line.
We aren't just known for our bourbon. Kentucky used to be the number one producer of wine. In fact, the very first commercial winery began in Kentucky. And 10 miles from our farm is the oldest wine cellar still in existence at Baker-Bird Winery, and it's a beauty!
In recent years, craft breweries have been popping up all over the state leading to the formation of the "Brew"grass Trail.
Probably Kentucky's most famous cocktail is the Mint Julep served each year at the Kentucky Derby.
Woodford Reserve Classic Mint Julep
2 oz. Woodford Reserve® bourbon
½ oz. simple syrup
3 fresh mint leaves
Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside the glass. To the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon, and crushed ice. Stir. Garnish with more ice and fresh mint before serving.
Culinary Trails --Of course, fried chicken in Kentucky was made world famous by The Colonel, but some of the best chicken in the state has been found for you to enjoy on the Fried Chicken Culinary Tour.
One of my favorite things to eat is country ham. It is truly a skill to cure a ham, and I am lucky to have a dad that knows how. We have enjoyed country ham as part of our Christmas dinner for as long as I can remember. My New York Italian husband was introduced to our country ham during his first Christmas in the family, and his comment was, "prosciutto". Technically, I guess it is; just slice it see-through thin. Several producers and restaurants are listed on the Country Ham Tour.
Other Kentucky culinary delights that have their own trail include Western Kentucky BBQ, Hot Browns, Beer Cheese, and the Sugar and Spice Trail. Mainly located in the Northern Kentucky area, the Sugar and Spice Trail includes sweet shops with unique candies, like bourbon balls, and ice cream, and herb shops with hundreds of blends--both savory and sweet.
If there's not a trail for your favorite Kentucky food, there's probably a festival or both! Look for other delicious food and drink including:
Heritage Trails -- Kentucky became a state in 1792, and it has a beautiful and sometimes bloody past. Follow the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Boone throughout the state, or the history of the Civil War and Civil Rights. Then enjoy the country music highway including Loretta Lynn and Ricky Skaggs. We even have the infamous Hatfield and McCoys.
Artisans -- The state has many talented crafters of pottery, quilts, wood art, paintings, furniture, weavings and other textiles. These are offered throughout the state at craft shows, festivals, museums, and artisan centers.
With the number of lavender growers now in the state, we may need to start a Lavender Trail! Start with the first one -- Lavender Hills of Kentucky.