Sunday, November 7, 2010

More about Shelbyville

More stories about Shelbyville Kentucky and my trip last weekend there with some very amazing artist. I think if you took all the talent in that hotel for just that weekend it would be brighter than an exploding Star. I couldn't believe my eyes with all the fantastic sculpted heads and the embroidered faces were just amazing. Everyone brought boxes of fabric to work with and even that made my head just whirl. I got to see some work from Judy a wonderful quilt artist from Canada. Then there were pictures of work and did I say there were some amazing jewelry there too. Doll makers do like the bling bling of jewelry too.

One afternoon, I went to lunch with Susie, Linda (who sat across the table from me) and Peggy who I met many years ago at AFIC & then EDAC. Annie had told us about this fantastic restaurant in downtown Shelbyville called the Science Hill Inn. We were told it only served from 11 am until 2:30 so we hussled to find the place. WOW! is all I can say. It was in an old Victorian brick building that had galleries inside. We walked into the dining room and instantly it was like I was transported back to the 1950s. White linen table clothes were on every table covered with an assortment of china and glass. A crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling and in a few tables were groups of women dressed to the hilt. There the four of us were, some still having left over paint on our shirts (me!). The staff were all dressed in black. The women had white aprons with a white maid's cap. The men all had white shirts and black coat tails with black bow ties. We were seated in such an elegant environment, that all of us realized we were a bit under dressed & prepared for this event. For event it truly was. Our waiter was the most fascinating man. He smiled all the time presenting us with menus and telling us the history of the Inn. He then very proudly told us that he'd worked there for 37 years. Then the food started to arrive even before we'd ordered.

This is the bread basket. It was the most delicious breads and corn fritters I'd ever had. Susie tried one of the fritters and beamed back a big smile. Everyone enjoyed ordering things from the menu that you would be hard pressed to find in Columbus Ohio or even New York City. I had heard about this dish called the Hot Brown for years. My friend Kate grew up in Kentucky but now living in New Jersey constantly has given me grief over not trying this dish when I was in Lexington. So I thought, I'd finally be able to tell her enough with the" you gotta eat this when in Kentucky" speech. How was it, you ask??? Delicious is the word. From every mouth of cheesy cheese sauce to the turkey hidden under all that cheese sauce I felt my mouth gasping with pure enjoyment. Kate, you are so right...yes, I are! It was wonderful. The only thing I felt bad about was that I didn't have room for desserts...oh! and we were late for class by an HOUR, but who cares...we had the teacher.

One more thing about Kentucky food that I'd pass on to you. We had people from every point of the globe at our small conference. Several of the women constantly complained that everything was fried. In unison one dinner, four of us're in Kentucky...what did you expect??? To me it was pure and simple comfort food from my childhood. Fried and hot is what was at our dinner tables almost every single night...and it was delicious and taste good and did I say it tasted! Some places I've traveled, I've had the dish of the region...some are wonderful, but most are blah bland. But I guess growing up with a family from Southern Ohio where corn is plentiful, every thing either is fried or covered in rich gravy, and there ain't no counting of calories. And yes...I picked up my accent that weekend. I sounded like a native in Kentucky. Not hard considering Portsmouth where my family is from is "spittin" distance. I am going to try to let my Appalachian accent die down for now. I really need to stop the "you'all".

I did spend some of my free time working on my Inspiration necklace for Artbeads. I finished it a couple days ago, but after wearing it, I didn't like the straps! and am starting again. Don't know if I'll make the deadline, but as Chris said "an Artist sometimes has to destroy to create". But, yes...I did cringe.


abeadlady said...

I lived in Kentucky for 3 years so I know what you mean about the food (yum) and the accent. LOL Sounds like you had a great time.

Katie B said...

Tis a good thing I was NOT there. I become so annoyed at people that complain when they are some place other than their warm womb homes.
ENJOY life.
Get an idea that Life is there for US !
I am glad you enjoyed the Hot Brown and even gladder (is that a word?) that I was right!
Next on your list is Beer Cheese.
And you must go to Claudia Sanders' restaurant!

Anonymous said...

I just started following your great blog and had to stop at this post regarding Shelbyville, KY. I had no idea there would be a big art show there! I spent summers visiting my relatives at my uncle's dairy farm in Shelbyville. It was a great place. And you are right about KY food, you will LOVE beer cheese and try spoon bread in Berea KY it is to die for!

Anonymous said...

If you haven't been to Berea in Eastern KY you should try to make a trip. Gorgeous small town with an artist's college there. They sell a lot of the artist's wears in the shops. And seriously the spoon bread is to die for.