Monday, April 22, 2013

On Art

Other people's good art works to inspire me. It makes me feel like I can write better, take better pictures, create better pottery and gardens and lessons. If the art makes me laugh, it makes me feel funnier. If it makes me cry, it makes me feel more alive.

Sarah Heller's "Waste Not" at West 6th Brewery, Lexington, KY
I know not everyone feels this way, and some, upon seeing something great, complain that they could never do that. Jealous, paralyzed, incapable: these are all words I've heard people use to describe themselves when they hear or see something great.

"I could never do that."
"I wish I could paint like that."
"This designer does things I can't do."

Yes, all those statements are true. You can't do that, paint like that, do what the other designer is doing because that is the way he or she works; you can only create the way you create, unless you tell yourself you can't. Then you can't.

All those people out there who have created beauty should prove something to everyone else: Beauty, in its many different forms, is createable. Get to creating.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Opening Day, Spring 2013: Keeneland

By a quirk of fate last week while I visited a friend for my spring break, we ended up with tickets to the private club at opening day of Keeneland's spring season. We were where we never expected to be: in the hats and high cotton.

What those tickets gave us were opportunities for space, for exploring the historic building, and most importantly, for being right up close to the horses as they sped past.

Whether I had bet on the race or not, my heart sped up and chest tightened each time the horses neared the finish line. The ground trembled and the crowd roared.

Despite the wealth that surrounded us in the club at Keeneland, throughout the rest of the campus, all sorts of people were enjoying the day. In fact, hundreds of college kids lined up to put their hats in the ring for scholarships funded by Keeneland. It's the nation's first nonprofit track, with all proceeds going back into the facility, equine research, and into charitable contributions to the community. 

During the Great Depression, the community built this facility on the site of Jack Keene's horse farm. Hal Price Headley, one of the founders, said about the opening of Keeneland:
We want a place where those who love horses can come and picnic with us and thrill to the sport of the Bluegrass. We are not running a race plant to hear the click and click of the mutuel machines. We want them to come out here to enjoy God's sunshine, fresh air and to watch horses race. ("Our Founding." Keeneland Racing and Sales. Keeneland Association, Inc. 2012. Web. 8 April 2013.)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Weisenberger Mills: Midway, KY


Kentucky Grits
You will need:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup stoneground grits (preferably Weisenberger Mills' grits, ground by a water-turned stone at a fifth generation family-run mill on the Elkhorn in Midway, Kentucky)

To make the grits:
In a large pot, stir the milk, water, and salt together and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Once the milk mixture boils, stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, more frequently as the the grits thicken. Cook until the grits become more tender and the mixture is thick and creamy, adding a splash or two of water if necessary to complete the cooking. The length of time to cook will differ, depending on texture of the grits and how old they are, ranging from 25 minutes to an hour.

Serves four as a side dish to something else simple and good.

Here is what the dam looks like with the water moving: