Winchester Traditions is a cooking series written by local resident Cameron Correll. Each recipe is inspired by the rich history of Clark County.
I have been cursed with a very unfortunate allergy to nuts and peanuts. This allergy eliminates so many delicious treats from my diet, probably for the better. When April turns to May and Derby season nears, I do have one trick to help enjoy a classic favorite, Derby Pie. My mother-in-law first introduced me to this trick, and I have found it makes a great swap in a dessert that traditionally calls for walnuts or pecans. A simple substitution of crushed pretzels gives the same salty crunch that a nut would in this recipe. If you don’t like pretzels, oats help achieve the same consistency. This trick also works for pecan pie, another southern favorite.
April is National Kite Month. According to the National Kite Month website “April was chosen as National Kite Month because it was the month that perfectly symbolized hope, potential, and joy. As the first month in Spring, it is when most kite fliers are starting to bring their kites out of the closet and prepare for a summer on the beach.” Here in Winchester, we fly our kites over the rolling hills of the Bluegrass. More about this in a moment, but first here’s a bit of kite history.
Ashley Norman’s introduction to molding clay was not intentional rather a requirement for graduating with her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. For her, working in clay was intimidating at best terrifying at worst. She had to give up all control. She says clay is a constant reminder of how outside forces create change. You have to surrender to the elements and the process to create beauty.
Lydon Comstock’s Before Abolition: African Americans in early Clark County, KY (2017) includes information about more than seven thousand black people who lived in Clark County, Kentucky before 1865. One of these inspiring individuals is Fanny Cole, a former enslaved woman and black entrepreneur, or as Comstock refers to her “a most enterprising woman”.
The Civil War Fort at Boonesboro provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy warmer weather, stretch your legs, walk your dogs and brush up on Clark County’s unique heritage.
Walking along the self-guided trail, visitors are greeted with interpretive signs that tell not only the history of the fort and the Civil War, but a history of the overall area including the early settlements, geology, geography and more. Remnants of the fortification walls and trenches overlook a picturesque view of the Kentucky River as visitors are able to stand within the walls of the once occupied Union fort.
Looking for opportunities to celebrate Clark County’s African American history? Look no further than the Bluegrass Heritage Museum. The Winchester-Clark County Unity Committee and the Bluegrass Heritage Museum are honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the museum through February 19th. Special Exhibits highlight local African Americans who have shaped our community.
One of the most important exhibits on display at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum pays homage to Peter Bruner. Born into slavery, Peter ran away numerous times before reaching Camp Nelson, where he enlisted in July 1864. He served with the 12th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery and was only one of over 600 colored troops to have fought in the Civil War. Bruner went on to retire from Miami University in Ohio, and penned his autobiography “A Slave’s Adventures Toward Freedom”. His story was adapted into a play and performed at Winchester’s Leeds Theater several years ago.
Take some time this year to find out why Winchester is the home of original experiences, such as popping the top off a cold Ale-8-One. Named “Kentucky’s Official Soft Drink” this ginger, citrus soda in the green bottle has been bottled by the same family since 1926.
Speaking of original, Clark County is the Birthplace of Beer Cheese! This spicy cheddar dip and spread was first served, in 1940 on the banks of the Kentucky River, at Allman’s Restaurant. Beer Cheese isn’t just delicious, it’s our culture. Heck, we even celebrate it at our annual Beer Cheese Festival each June.