Genuine Kentucky on Twitter

Horse
 

A while back, I decided to stop using the Genuine Kentucky Twitter page and just tweet all of my Kentucky love through my personal Twitter account – you know amongst the baseball, coffee, cats, chocolate, more baseball….

Big mistake.

I really miss having a Twitter account purely for Kentucky, so I’ve brought the Genuine Kentucky Twitter account back to life and have vowed to never let it sit inactive again. I hope you’ll follow by clicking the link.

It’s going to be a very active account with several daily doses of…

  • Kentucky Pictures (LOTS)
  • Land Between the Lakes
  • Kentucky State Parks
  • Kentucky News
  • Kentucky Events
  • Kentucky Restaurants
  • UK, UofL, Murray State, Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky
  • And, let’s be honest.. probably some baseball. By probably, I mean definitely and by some I mean lots.

Follow Genuine Kentucky on Twitter!

Delicious Pictures of the Day from Wasabi Express (Owensboro)

The Best Sushi Restaurant in Kentucky

Sushi at Wasabi Express in Owensboro Kentucky

One of my family’s favorite restaurants in all of Kentucky is Wasabi Express ( 636 Southtown Blvd) in Owensboro. It’s excellent every single time and it’s also uncommonly affordable.

How’s that for a one-two combination?

We’re actually getting a second Wasabi Express in Owensboro (on Highway 54). In fact, it should be opening any day now. I’ll keep you posted and will have a review or 20 up as soon as I’ve tried it out.  IF, that is, I can pull myself away from the one on Southtown.

You know how it is with favorite restaurants, you come to love the surroundings almost as much as the food.

Speaking of the food, I’ll just let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

Click through the gallery below… and, trust me, everything is even more delicious than it looks.

Every. Single. Time.

Also See:

Review: Wasabi Express in Owensboro

Beach Blast at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

Kick off the 2015 Swim Season on May 23!

Ready to go jump in a lake?! Kick off what many people around Kentucky think of as “Lake Season” with the opening of Pennyrile Park’s public beach for 2015. The details, from the Kentucky State Parks, are below.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park invites you to attend the opening of the park’s public beach for the 2015 swim season May 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The park will offer loads of fun activities during the “Beach Blast” beginning with a sidewalk chalk art competition for children and adults.  There will also be a sand sculptor on hand creating a beautiful works of art out of the white sand.

Food will be available for purchase from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the park’s beach shelter. From noon until 4 p.m. the park will have a disc jockey dance party on the beach including announced games and dances.  Tie-dye T-shirts can be made at 2 p.m. at the beach shelter for an $8 fee per shirt. At 4 p.m., recreation staff will host a beach volleyball tournament.

Pennyrile’s beach will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. beginning May 23 through Sept. 7., unless otherwise posted. Guests are expected to follow all the posted rules and regulations.  No pets, fishing or alcohol allowed on the beach. Swimming is only allowed in the designated swim area.

Pennyrile Forest Beach

Pictures Of the Day: Smothers Park in Owensboro

This Park Seems More Beautiful Every Time I See it!

Smothers Park on the Owensboro Riverfront

We grabbed a few sundaes at Sonic last night and enjoyed them on the riverfront. There were a lot of people enjoying Smothers Park last night and the beautiful thing is the ages ranged as widely as the ways in which we were all enjoying the beautiful evening.

  • Lots of families had their children on Lazy Dayz, Smothers Park’s AMAZING children’s playground.
  • A police officer enjoyed the view of the river – I’m sure he was thrilled hat everyone was peacefully having a wonderful evening. Made his job equal parts easy and enjoyable.
  • An older couple (probably in their 70s) cuddled as they watched the sun set in the distance – I couldn’t decide which was a more beautiful sight, them or the sunset.
  • Twenty-Somethings enjoyed drinks from The Creme Coffee Shop on parlor tables by the river as they talked and laughed and laughed and laughed.
  • A young father tried to keep up with two little girls, probably ages 3 and 4. They were a real sight, trust me.
  • Lots of people were taking pictures of one another in front of fountains and one mother, in particular, made me laugh out loud as she begged her young sons for them to “please, please, please be still for just one minute… that’s all I’m asking for one minute..” I’m not sure she ever got her wish.

For good reason, we’re very proud of Smothers Park and the beautiful Riverfront here in Owensboro. We love to show it off, too! I hope you and your family will come visit us SOON. Not only are we the Bar-B-Que capital of the world, we’re staking a claim on outstanding riverfront parks.

Come see for yourself!

Click the pictures below for a larger view and see more pictures of Smothers Park in the galleries – including more of Lazy Dayz… truly a one-in-a-million playground.

Fountain at Smothers Park

Battle of Sacramento Reenactment and Events May 15-17, 2015

21th Annual "Forrest's First"

Battle of Sacramento Reenactment
 

The Battle of Sacramento was one of the battles of the American Civil War fought here in Kentucky. The battle took place on December 28, 1861 in Sacramento.

The Confederate cavalry (led by Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest) numbered between 200 and 300. Forrest’s troops attacked and defeated a Union force of 500 under Major Eli H. Murray.

Continued beneath the picture.

Battle of Sacramento Plaque
 

Each year, Sacramento puts on a Civil War Reenactment to end all Civil War Reenactments. Seriously, I believe they top themselves each year.

The festivities begin today (Friday May 15, 2015) and carry through Sunday. All the information you need can be found at the Battle of Sacramento’s Website.  Read about the history of the Battle of Sacramento, check out the schedule and events, look at the awesome photographs… but most importantly, get yourself to the beautiful little town of Sacramento and watch history come to life!

Kentucky Dining by the Lakes

An Especially Delicious Kentucky Book with a Wonderful Side of History

Kentucky Dining By the Lakes

On a recent trip to the Owensboro Library with a couple of my daughters, I grabbed an armful of my usual suspects: cookbooks, books about Kentucky, American History books, and even a few books about Bigfoot (please try not to judge me, I’m sensitive). One book in particular, Kentucky: Dining by the Lakes
covered three of my favorite things in the world…

  1. Kentucky History
  2. The Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley Region
  3. Cooking!

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get home and jump right in.

From the Back Cover: Kentucky: Dining by the Lakes provides and insider’s look at some of West Kentucky’s preferred dining establishments. Chefs and restaurant owners have generously opened their kitchens to provide easy to follow recipes for a sampling of their most popular creations.  Reflecting the diversity of the local cuisine, Kentucky: Dining by the Lakes contains selections as down home as fried catfish and chess pie or as exotic as Entrecote au Poivre and Parfait au Grand Marnier…. 

The book was published in 1997, so some of the restaurants covered are actually no longer around. This makes the book EVEN more valuable, in my opinion, as we’re literally left with a taste from the past.  A great example is the recipe for “Bill’s Coleslaw” from The Pelican.

Not only does the book give a couple of WONDERFUL recipes for each restaurant covered, the reader is given fascinating mini-histories of each establishment.

I don’t want to give too much away because I want you to have the same fun experience I did when I looked through the book (page by page) and saw each surprise along the way. However I do want to sort of whet your appetite a little, so I’ll name a few restaurants and recipes included in the book:

  • Bluegrass Steakhouse and Seafood (Eddyville) – one of the recipes included for this restaurant is a delicious sounding “Greek Salad.”
  • Country Cupboard Chess Pie and Fudge Pie!
  • Miss Scarlett’s Hot Brown (along with several other equally impressive recipes)
  • Willow Pond Vinegar Coleslaw… (this one made me strip my gears with excitement)
  • Kentucky Dam Village Golden Fried Catfish AND Hush Puppies
  • Kenlake State Resort Park Country Ham
  • Whaler’s Catch Crab and Artichoke Spread
  • And lots more – including restaurants around the lakes as well as restaurants in Madisonville, Paducah, and Henderson.

Many more surprises are waiting on each page – again, I just don’t want to give too much away. Part of the fun of Kentucky Dining By the Lakes are the surprises.

Legend has it that Ed McMahon mentioned Knoth’s Bar-B-Que on the Johnny Carson Show back in 1966, proclaiming it to have the best barbecue he had ever eaten. The very next day there were cars in the parking lot waiting for Knoth’s to open, and it has been a popular place ever since.” – Page 92

Kentucky: Dining by the Lakes is available on Amazon for pennies… and I do mean pennies. You can find used copies (which is exactly what you’d find in a library) for less than a dollar.  I’m going to order a copy the minute I take my library book back. Not only do I want to add it to my collection of Kentucky books, I know I’ll use the recipes again and again.

Click through one of the links for more information. You’ll love every single inch of this one.

Wildlife Celebration at Land Between the Lakes

A "Wild" Memorial Day Weekend at Woodlands Nature Station

Bobcat at Woodlands Nature Station (Land Between the Lakes)

The gorgeous bobcat at Woodlands Nature Station

One of our favorite places to spend time in the Land Between the Lakes is the Woodlands Nature Station.  Whenever we’re in the area (which is often), the Nature Station is one of our first stops.

The Wildlife Celebration at Woodlands Nature Station will be held Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday-Monday, May 23-25. Visit with Smokey Bear, gobble with turkeys, and have up-close encounters with native wildlife in the Nature Station’s backyard at Land Between The Lakes. All programs are included with Nature Station admission.

Visitors can learn about animals that make this area their home. We’ll show you how to help preserve wildlife habitats and why it is important,” said Darrin Samborski, Environmental Education Specialist at Land Between The Lakes. “We’re also offering two family canoe trips that weekend for people to view wildlife from the water. We usually see a lot of native birds, mammals, and reptiles along the shoreline and on the water during these outings.”

Weekend Nature Station Events:

Saturday-Monday, May 23-25

  • 10am-4pm                        “I Spy Up High” Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, May 23

  • Scheduled appearances by Smokey Bear throughout the day
  • 11:30am                Talkin’ Turkeys
  • 1-3pm                    Critter Craft for Kids
  • 1:30pm                  Let’s Get Snappy! Turtle feeding
  • 3:30pm                  Animal Tall Tales
  • 6-8:30pm               Sunset Canoe Trip ($25/canoe, reservation and deposit required)

Sunday, May 24

  • 11:30am                Lunchtime for Red Wolves
  • 1-3pm                    Critter Craft for Kids
  • 1:30pm                  Storytime with Smokey Bear
  • 3:30pm                  Bald Is Beautiful: The Bald Eagle
  • 6-8:30pm               Sunset Family Canoe Trip ($25/canoe, reservation and deposit required)

Monday, May 25

  • 11:30am                Fears and Phobias
  • 1:30pm                  Batty for Bats
  • 3:30pm                  A Howlin’ Good Time: Coyotes

All programs are included with paid Nature Station admission; $5 age 13 and up, $3 age 5-12, and free for ages 4 and under. Call 270-924-2020 to pre-register for guided canoe trips Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm. Daily canoe and kayak rentals start Saturday, May 23, 10am-4:30pm, weather permitting.

For more details, call 270-924-2299.

Land Between The Lakes is located approximately 90 miles northwest of Nashville, Tennessee. There are several options for overnight accommodations; camping is available in Land Between The Lakes, as well as at private campgrounds in the area. Lodging is also available at state resort parks, motels, and private resorts in the surrounding area.

Also See:

New Elk & Bison Prairie Pictures Added

This Place Never Disappoints

Elk at the Elk and Bison Prairie, Land Between the Lakes

Elk Passing in Front of Our Car

Another weekend, another trip to the Land Between the Lakes for me and Michael.  Saturday, while in the Land Between the Lakes, I overheard a few workers talking about their commutes and I couldn’t help but think, “I bet we’re here almost as much as y’all!”

This part of Kentucky is just off the charts beautiful and provides endless fun with a million and one things to do. What with Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, three of the best Kentucky State Resort Parks, The Hitching Post, and the Land Between the Lakes ALL within a short drive of one another… who can blame us for being regulars?

Naturally we spent time in the Elk & Bison Prairie – one of my favorite places anywhere. We normally hit the prairie around suppertime, but we were early Saturday. Fortunately, there were still plenty of wildlife to photograph and enjoy.

At one point, we were watching a turkey scratch and roll in the dirt – then, as we slowly began to drive off, he acted like he was racing the car. You haven’t seen cute until you’ve seen a turkey run!

A few bison were near one watering hole and a group of elk were enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the shade.

Whenever you go, always be sure to check around the watering holes – there are several and the animals frequent them regularly, especially in the warmer weather.

See the newest pictures as well as past pictures in the Elk & Bison Prairie Photo Album on Genuine Kentucky.

 

Bison at the Elk and Bison Prairie, Land Between the Lakes

 

Bison at the Elk & Bison Prairie, Land Between the Lakes

Canoeing on Honker Lake… One of a Kind Experience

Yet Another Amazing Thing to Do in The Land Between the Lakes

Canoeing on Honker Lake

Canoeing on Honker Lake

I hate to brag, but I have a couple of phobias. One is water – as in anything outside of a bathtub or wading pool.  Another is snakes – as in… well, as in snakes. I once ran screaming from the room while chased with a rubber snake – all the while knowing it was a rubber snake.

I’m reasonable like that.

And yet, with phobias in tow, I had an absolutely wonderful time canoeing on Honker Lake this past weekend. It was my first time in a canoe since I was a little girl at Camp Currie, and I have to admit I was pretty nervous at first. For one thing, the canoeing would not be taking place in a bathtub and for another, common sense told me snakes were in the neighborhood.

Funny thing is, by the end of the trip, I began counting the days until I could get back in a canoe on Honker Lake! Yes, I saw a few snakes as they swam in the water – furiously trying to get away from the canoes. Don’t tell anyone, but I thought they looked pretty cute with their heads poked up as their bodies hurried them along.  They were more afraid of us than I could ever hope to be of them.

That’s an arrangement that works for me.

Our guides pointed out Osprey nests, ospreys, eagle nests, eagles, herons, Giant Canada Geese, beavers, beaver lodges, and more. Seeing these beautiful animals and birds so close was a beautiful experience.

You just haven’t lived until you’ve been within feet of a beaver slapping the water with his tail so hard that he lifts his body! These intelligent, industrious, and beautiful animals are really something to behold.

As luck would have it, it’s kind of difficult to hold a paddle AND work a camera while staring in wide wonder all at the same time – so I’m afraid my pictures of the eagles and beavers didn’t turn out.

You can rent canoes and kayaks from The Woodlands Nature Station in the Land Between the Lakes to go exploring on your own – but I’d highly recommend first taking advantage of one of their guided tours. In these tours, you’re in your own canoe as are others in the group. The tour guides are in their own canoe and offer valuable information on wildlife, canoeing, and the lake, itself.

I’d like to take a minute or two to give a shout out to all the workers and volunteers in the Land Between the Lakes that I’ve ever encountered. They have been exceptional each and every time.  There’s something that separates them from most workers and volunteers you encounter and that’s passion. Each individual I have encountered in my MANY years of MANY Land Between the Lakes visits has obviously not only cared a great, great deal about Kentucky and the Land Between the Lakes – they’ve had a palpable passion for this region, its wildlife, its conservation, its birds, and its guests.

Their knowledge, upbeat attitude, friendliness, and passion are incredible assets to the Land Between the Lakes. They are above reproach as ambassadors for a region that’s as special as they are.

Read more about Honker Lake on Genuine Kentucky and check out the other pictures from our canoe trip on Honker Lake as well. Trust me on this one – canoeing on Honker Lake is something you’ll want to move to the top of your to do list.

Sunset on Honker Lake

As Country as It Gets: Short Stories from Appalachia by Cas Roberts

A Book About Growing Up in the Appalachian Mountains

As Country As It Gets: Short stories from Appalachia
As Country As It Gets: Short stories from Appalachia
There are understatements… and then there are understatements.  Saying that I read a lot is about as big an understatement as it gets. For me, daily reading includes:

  • the Bible
  • Agatha Christie
  • Kentucky History, biographies, or auto-biographies
  • something “cooking related”
  • American History

The most recent book I read that fell under the category of Kentucky History was As Country As It Gets: Short stories from Appalachia by Cas Roberts.  This wonderful “Genuinely Kentucky” book was sent to me a few months ago in exchange for telling y’all about it. I enjoyed it so much that it’s an absolute pleasure to do just that.

As a genuine bookworm and book reviewer (on several of my blogs), I find that often what makes a book stand out to me is what it isn’t as much as what it is.  Truth be told, this is usually the thing that separates an “okay” book from a “really good” book.

If you’re going to write a mystery…. write a mystery. Leave the romance to others.

If you’re going to write a book about photography… white about photography. Leave the political commentary to someone else.

If you’re going to write a cookbook… write a cookbook. Don’t tell me what’s “ethical” for me to eat and what isn’t!

You get the idea.  As Country as It Gets is charmingly… well…. as country as it gets. Just as it should be.

Review Continued Beneath the picture.

As Country As It Gets: Short stories from Appalachia

I knew the book was on its way to me and like any good bookworm who is also obsessed with Kentucky history and culture…  I watched my mailbox daily.  I suppose I had a few pre-conceived concepts of what the book would be like, from the title alone.

It lived up to my expectations beautifully and surpassed them once I began “visiting” with the author. I say “visiting” instead of reading because that’s the FEEL he has achieved with this book.  The reader has a feeling of sitting down with Cas over coffee and listening as he talks about growing up in a period of time most of us have only heard about from relatives.

Gardens were where everything you ate came from. Most large families grew extra-large gardens to provide food for themselves.  They canned vegetables all through the summer. Potatoes were hand-harvested, sometimes plowed out of the ground with a horse and a plow.  I have picked up the potatoes in a bucket and carried them to a spot called a potato hill.  This was a circle being hand made by mounding up dirt about a foot high in a circle.  Straw was placed on the spot where the potatoes would be placed.  With potatoes poured in the center it would raise as a pyramid.  Straw was used to cover the potatoes and dirt would be shoveled onto the straw.  Then wood boards split with a  fro and hammer from a Chestnut Oak tree would be used as a single layer standing upright to cover the mound. This did prevent the rain from getting them wet and stopping the freeze during cold spells in wintertime…..

Mountain life in this timeframe was a far cry from life today. We take for granted what we have accomplished. I am grateful for the heritage I have, and the rough times that taught me to work hard for what  I have. – Page 16 (Short Stories from Appalachia: As Country as It Gets by Cas Roberts)

We’re drawn in as he talks about ginseng hunting, moonshining, mule logging, and other “real life” adventures we’ve only seen played out on television.

Several parts made me laugh out loud – especially a section where he talks about “going into town.” Apparently a favorite source of entertainment for young boys at the time was as simple as it was free…. fighting! They’d literally look around for another boy who was also looking for a fight.

Then they’d have at it!

His story reminds me so much of many my husband has told about his childhood. Michael grew up in another part of Kentucky, and during a later time, but fighting was still a favorite pastime apparently.

Can you imagine?! Boys.

Review Continued Beneath the picture.

As Country As It Gets: Short stories from Appalachia

As I said, As Country as it Gets is everything it should be and nothing it shouldn’t be.  It’s warm, wonderful, charming, and a total eye-opener. It’s not long before you realize why many people (our generation and older) are so concerned for today’s youth.  There are exceptions, but kids today don’t work as hard as kids yesterday. They also don’t learn the strong love of and respect for nature… unless, that is, we expose them to it and instill it into them.

Whether you’re a proud Kentuckian, like me, who can never get enough of Kentucky history, stories, and culture or you’re new to Kentucky and are looking for wonderful insight into what makes its people “tick,” As Country as it Gets is the next book you should read.

I actually put off writing about this particular book a few weeks for one reason only – I hope many of you will buy one as a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift for your loved ones. I KNOW these stories would be such a beautiful thing for Kentuckians to read.  And relive.

You can find As Country As It Gets: Short stories from Appalachia on Amazon. You might want to buy several copies – I know you’ll want to add one to your library as well as giving one as a gift.

After I read As Country as It Gets, I had two immediate thoughts:

  1. I wouldn’t change a thing about this book
  2. I want to have more visits with Cas Roberts! I know he has more stories in him – I only hope he chooses to share them with us.

As Country As it Gets by Cas Roberts