Arizona Citrus

And as we slowly ease into the new year I find myself dreaming of warm temps, sunshine and citrus. All this because we just returned from a Christmas holiday with family ~ way out west in the Arizona desert.

Photo | Lisa Porter

On this trip I started a new morning routine.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Picking fruit.

Just steps off the patio of the ranch house where we stayed!

Photo | Lisa Porter

 In Arizona's warmer regions, citrus trees are a yard or garden staple. In the Bluegrass of Kentucky they are not. Among the most gorgeous desert botanical landscape were grapefruit, orange and lemon trees. Lot's of them!

Photo | Lisa Porter

The heady fragrance of citrus brings back childhood memories of running through orchards in Arcadia ~ zigzagging past white washed tree trunks ~ while playing outside with friends.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Fresh picked grapefruit adds the perfect shade of pink to the back patio.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Photo | Lisa Porter

Oranges, grapefruit & lemons oh my!

Photo | Lisa Porter

The fruit was not enough. I snipped the branches of waxy green leaves too. They were a welcome addition to the Equipal table on the sun porch!

Photo | Lisa Porter

On the last day I rested ~ at the Spa at Camelback Inn ~ overlooking Camelback mountain.

Relaxing at the Spa at Camelback Inn overlooking Camelback Mountain Photo | Lisa Porter

I dreamt of all those orchards that used to fill up the valley of the sun & the last few hand picked grapefruit I unfortunately had to leave behind.

Camelback_Mountain_Arcadia_1956

Speaking of ~

Click to watch SEE SALT TV

Whether you're in Arizona, Kentucky, or wherever, this Broiled Grapefruit Recipe by Jessica Helgeson over at SEE SALT will put you in a very happy place! Ruby red grapefruit crusted with caramelized brown sugar and drizzled Grand Marnier liqueur.

What a wonderful way to chase the chill away ~

Happy New Year!

When Friends Drop In

December ~ A time when we do our best around here to slow things down a bit all in the honor of friends, family and traditions. Over the years we’ve come to know what we like best. What brings back the fond memories, what makes us the most comfortable, and what makes us the most grateful.
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

December is also a time to celebrate & shine. This year the Thoroughbred Club of America here in Lexington was ready to bring a fresh look to their treetops, tabletops, and time honored traditions. I am honored that they asked me to bring that fresh look to their beautiful club for Christmas.
It was an absolute pleasure!

 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

With my photographs & the sentimental prose of Edgar Albert Guest ~ I'm happy to share the results with you!  
 
"When Friends Drop In" 

 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

It may be I'm old-fashioned, but the times I like the best
Are not the splendid parties with the women gaily dressed,
And the music tuned for dancing and the laughter of the throng,
With a paid comedian's antics or a hired musician's song,
But the quiet times of friendship, with the chuckles and the grin,
And the circle at the fireside when a few good friends drop in.

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection


Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Though I sometimes like an opera, there's no music quite so sweet
As the singing of the neighbors that you're always glad to meet;
Oh, I know when they come calling that the fun will soon begin,
And I'm happiest those evenings when a few good friends drop in.

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection
 
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection  
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection
 
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection


Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

There's no pomp of preparation, there's no style or shame or fuss;
We are glad to welcome callers who are glad to be with us,
And we sit around and visit or we start a merry game,
And we show them by our manner that we're mighty pleased they came,
For there's something real about it, and the yarns we love to spin,
And the time flies, Oh, so swiftly when a few good friends drop in.

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection
 
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Let me live my life among them, cheerful, kindly folks and true,
And I'll ask no greater glory till my time of life is through;
Let me share the love and favor of the few who know me best,
And I'll spend my time contented till my sun sinks in the west;
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection


Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection


Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection
 
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

I will take what fortune sends me and the little I may win,
And be happy on those evenings when a few good friends drop in.
 
Edgar Albert Guest
 
Thoroughbred Club of America | Photo The Lisa Porter Collection

Many thanks to everyone at the Thoroughbred Club ~ I wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a joyous new year!
 
 

  Merry Christmas & thanks as well to
Joseph & Shannon Hillenmeyer for the fireside chats in the pouring rain, beautiful Christmas trees & heavenly greens!

Click to visit Hillenmeyer Christmas Shop Lexington, Kentucky
Photo | Longshadow
 
A very special thank you to my assistant Taylor for making the hustle & bustle so much fun! 
 
Photo | Lisa Porter

 
All rights reserved for content and imagery. Support creativity and creative rights. Credit properly when posting, sharing and blogging.
Thank you.

Woodford Reserve

Kentucky Bourbon Trail via Pinterest

Kentucky is a place where men carry on about the soil, being married to the land and being buried in it. It's also home to the world's finest burley, cradle of the best Thoroughbreds and birthplace of MR's favorite bourbon.

Photo | Lisa Porter

A year ago my daughter mentioned that she had been invited by a gentleman friend to visit The Woodford Reserve Distillery. MR. recalls watching one of my eyebrows raise from across the room. He told me that he admired the way that I casually gathered all the pertinent information – who, what, when, where, and "WHY on earth would you want to visit a distillery?"

Photo | Lisa Porter

This one said it sounded like fun and wanted to go too - of course he did. We took MR. for Father's Day and we all loved it! Some of us more than others.

Photo | Lisa Porter

All Kentucky distilleries are steeped in tradition; Woodford Reserve is a showplace of the distiller's art and Kentucky bourbon heritage. This small, picturesque distillery is nestled along Glenn's Creek at the site where Elijah Pepper, one of the famous early Bluegrass distillers, set up his distillery in 1812.

via Insider Louisville

The L & G on the smokestack goes back to 1878 when James Graham and Leopold Labrot bought the property. 

Photo | Lisa Porter

In 1995, the distillery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2000.

Photo | Lisa Porter

As the founding member of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, the Woodford Reserve Distillery gives visitors a sense of what bourbon making was like in the 1800s.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Photo | Lisa Porter

On our tour, we learned about each aspect of the bourbon-making process, starting with fermentation. Making whiskey at this stage is a lot like making bread. Woodford uses its own unique yeast strain which is added to the mix to start the fermentation process. The average fermentation time for bourbon is three days, but Woodford Reserve ferments for a full 6 days, one of the longest fermentations in the industry.

Woodford Reserve Fermentation Tank Photo | Lisa Porter

According to master distiller Chris Morris, Woodford Reserve has its roots as a 500-acre working family farm with cattle and grain. Here he breaks down five sources of flavor in whiskey to grain, water, fermentation, distillation, and aging.

After fermentation, Woodford Reserve is distilled three times in these massive copper pot stills.

Photo | Lisa Porter

Woodford then ages their whiskey in stone rack houses that date back to 1870. They use a process called cycling which involves heating and cooling the warehouse to manage the maturation.

Photo | Lisa Porter

The summertime heat expands the whiskey, pushing it into the charred layers of white oak. During winter the cold weather draws the liquid back into the barrel.

Photo | Taylor Porter

These cycles give bourbon its characteristic color, flavors and aromas. 

Photo | Lisa Porter

Woodford is aged for an average of 7 years before it’s blended and hand bottled.

That's why it's called "small batch."

Photo | Lisa Porter

At the end of the tour we sampled two of Woodford’s offerings.

Photo | Lisa Porter

and a bourbon ball ~ sweet!

Followed by some golf and a nap. A good Father's Day indeed!

Photo | Lisa Porter

The Woodford Reserve Distillery

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

via wandering tastebud

Don't forget to mind your manners & drink responsibly.