I’m just getting around to telling you about my final day at the GE Monogram Experience Center in Louisville. It’s hard to imagine that almost two weeks have passed and I’m still enjoying memories of the wonderful, event-filled time I had there. The last day of our visit was actually only a half day that ended about 11a.m. that morning. Our final morning required us to cook our own breakfast with Chef’s Joe and Brian who provided any ingredient we could possibly want prepped and ready to go. (Oddly we were allowed to singe ourselves but not handle sharp objects –probably just as well.) They were our sous chefs and judges.
Yes this was a cook-off folks! Creative kitchen design types all. There was more delicious food in that room than you can imagine. Oh –and part of the event included a ‘surprise ingredient’ that we weren’t given until that morning. That day we were given goat cheese. Our team created a lovely fritata with a fresh salsa, a hash brown potato patty with cheese and green onions. My contribution was “apple enchiladas” that included the goat cheese.
I don’t think anyone worked off a printed recipe as we were given the notice for the competition just the night before, so we all had to draw from our memories to create our contributions. I had made apple enchiladas before, but the goat cheese was new addition. I have to say, I don’t know how I ever made them without it. They were wonderful! Though it wasn’t the winning recipe, Chef Joe gave me the thumbs up –that was the best prize I could have received!
This is a very easy recipe: I mixed the goat cheese in a bowl with a little sugar and buttered one half of one side of a flour tortilla. (Next time I might steam the tortillas a little before as they would be easier to handle.) I made a filling (like making an apple pie filling) from pre peeled and sliced apples that we received that were previously frozen with sugar, water, a pinch of salt and a lot of cinnamon (’cause I like a lot of cinnamon). In a casserole dish, I filled and rolled each prepared tortilla so that they looked like enchiladas. I poured the left-over filling and juices over the ‘enchiladas’ and baked them in the Advantium Speed Cook Oven for about 10 minutes (basically just heating them up).
While our team didn’t take home the medals, I think everyone did a wonderful job. Everyone finished on time and everyone had great results! Sarah Lloyd’s (http://www.kitchenclarity.com/) team won the competition. She made a fabulous bread and butter pudding that won the hearts and pallets of our judges. The most interesting thing was chocolate bacon prepared by Mark who was also on Sara’s team. Proof that chocolate tastes good with anything –or is it bacon that tastes good with anything? You decide. It was all good.
After the judging, the breakfast, the hugs and fond farewells were made, everyone piled into the van to be shuffled off to the airport that would scatter our group in a dozen different directions to each of our home ports. That is all except for a couple of us. Both myself and Janie B. of Niel Kelly in Portland, Oregon, had a long lull before our flights were to depart later that afternoon.
It was so thoughtful of MEC Concierge Nancy Pollock, who generously provided us with a car with a driver. She had asked me where I wanted to go/do/see while I waited for my flight. I had read previously to my adventure that Louisville was home to more national park acreage than any city in the US. As I had mentioned in a previous post, I was wistfully hoping to see a little “Eastern” fall color. Here was my chance!
So off we (Janie and I) went with our wonderful driver Montana (originally from Hawaii but a resident of Louisville for 39 years after his stint in the service –fell in love with the place and never left). I’d like to mention what a sweet coincidence it was also to meet Janie. We had quite a bit to talk about as we were both graduates of the University of Oregon’s Interior Architecture program in Eugene though at different times. She now works and resides in Portland.
Montana drove us about the old neighborhoods with quaint old homes and tree-lined streets. We even drove through the neighborhood near where Diane Sawyer’s mom lives. He told us on occasion he has driven her and her mom when she comes into town every few weeks or so.
Colors were not as glorious as usual due to the unusually dry, warm weather this year. Though they were certainly more beautiful than anything I get in Central California.
The street this house was on was very competitive about their Halloween decorating. I think this one would win the prize for the most stuff!
One of our stops was at Churchill Downs. It was quiet there on a Thursday afternoon. All closed up -we didn’t even see any horses, but some of the stalls were decked out. They were beginning preparations for the Breeder’s Cup that actually began just yesterday http://ht.ly/35eZl.
Our next tour was to Cox Park along the Ohio River. This is where the beginning of Lewis and Clark’s Expedition is said to have occurred. It was also a good place to see the locks for the river boats on the Ohio. From the Indiana side we were able to see the Louisville skyline.
This is significant to me as my mom’s family has historically resided (and fished commercially) along the Columbia River that divides Oregon and Washington. That is where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark‘s Expedition end up after several years from beginning their trek from what is now Louisville. Significant also for Janie as she lives in Portland, Oregon.
Locks on the Ohio for the steamboats. They have races here.
After it was time to drop Janie off at the airport as her plane left a couple of hours before mine, Montana took me on a driving tour of Bernhiem Forest that is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Louisville. Though there wasn’t a lot of the brilliant colors of Fall that I was hoping for, the scenery was still lovely.
My lovely tour ended after we made a quick trip to the Jim Beam Burbon Distillery http://kybourbontrail.com/index.php/jim_beam/ (along the Kentucky Burbon Trail) that was on the way back to Louisville where I picked up a few souvenirs at the gift shop.
I hope to return to Louisville someday. I hear it’s beautiful in the Springtime!