Kentucky Proud Evenings

Kentucky Proud Evenings

KY Proud Evenings

Kentucky Proud Evenings is a series of monthly author talks hosted at the Extension Office. Each author is local to Kentucky and is connected to the community and history of the Commonwealth. Each event will have Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud food samples for those attending.  Each session is FREE and will begin at 6:00pm. Register online or call 859-257-5582 to register.

May 15, 2024: Between a Bird Cage and a Bird House by Katerina Stoykova
The fall of the Iron Curtain in the early 1990s ushered in a new tide of European immigrants to the United States. These populations, which hailed primarily from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, were largely adrift in America's cultural melting pot. Laden with their belongings and informed by their experiences, these immigrants became citizens of a new diaspora searching for space to exist in their adopted home.
In Between a Bird Cage and a Bird House, author Katerina Stoykova follows that which "calls / the roaming mind / looking for land" with the shell of her homeland at her back. Through themes of domestic abuse, the death of a parent, the loss of a friend, and the search for cultural identity, the poems in this collection transcend the borders of language and nation-states. As a Bulgarian immigrant, Stoykova weighs the differences between safety and captivity, exploring how one can feel sheltered yet still not feel at home.

May 29, 2024: Foraging Kentucky by George Barnett
Foraging Kentucky is an expansive beginners' guide to safely and ethically foraging in the state. The species covered in the book are divided into three categories: herbaceous plants, fungi, and woody plants. Author, forager, and environmental educator George Barnett shares his extensive knowledge on the proper identification of the featured species, where and when they grow, and how to harvest and prepare them for consumption. Complete with high-definition color photographs, recipes, and short history lessons, this guide is chock-full of crucial information for readers who want to forge an enlightening relationship with the  delectable foods naturally available in Kentucky's great outdoors.

July 30, 2024: Simplicity and Excellence, by Deirdre Scaggs and Elizabeth Kremer Settle
Born at the turn of the twentieth century in Cynthiana, Kentucky, Elizabeth Cromwell Kremer was a woman who strove for excellence in all things. Ever resistant to the constraints of social conventions, at a time when roughly 20 percent of the US workforce was female, Kremer worked her way up the ranks of the service industry. From the home economics classrooms of the University of Kentucky to the fine dining restaurants of Louisville and New York City, Kremer's tenacity, unconventionality, and dedication helped her build a legacy that celebrated the simplicity of good, traditional Kentucky country cooking. In 1967, after taking a twenty-seven-year hiatus from work to raise her family, Kremer reentered the business world at the age of sixty-five to open a restaurant for Kentucky's newly restored Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. Under her guidance, what began as a small sandwich shop flourished into the iconic Trustees' Table restaurant at Shaker Village, which continues to attract guests from all over the world. In Simplicity and Excellence: Elizabeth Kremer from Beaten Biscuits to Shaker Lemon Pie, authors Deirdre A. Scaggs and Evalina Settle compile the first-ever biography of this incredible woman. Each of Kremer's classic recipes is bookended by charming and inspiring stories of her life, drawn from oral history passed down by Kremer's family and friends as well as archival materials. A gastronomic history like no other, Simplicity and Excellence effortlessly paints a portrait of one of the most influential forces behind the preservation of Kentucky's culture through its cuisine.

August 8, 2024: The Coal Miner Who Became Governor by Paul E. Patton
In The Coal Miner Who Became Governor, Patton, with Jeffrey S. Suchanek, details his personal, professional, and political life in Kentucky, starting with his career in the coal industry. After working for his father-in-law, J. C. Cooley, in the 1950s, he partnered with his brother-in-law to establish their own coal company, which they sold for millions in 1978. Patton leveraged his business connections into a political career, raising money for Democratic candidates before becoming the chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party. He first took elected office in 1981 as Pike County judge/executive; he then served a term as lieutenant governor (1991–1995), followed by an unprecedented two consecutive terms as governor. His overhaul of higher education in Kentucky led to his role as the University of Pikeville's president and chancellor, even after his political career.
In this compelling account, Patton reveals the decision-making process for campaign strategies, selection of running mates, postsecondary education and workers' compensation reforms, early childhood development initiatives, and attempts at tax reform. He gives his unfiltered opinion about Mitch McConnell's "scorched-earth political philosophy" and how it has failed Kentucky, and he draws connections between public policy and party machinations during his time in office and the present day. He also addresses his fall from grace—his extramarital affair with Tina Conner and its effects on his personal and professional life.

September 25, 2024: No You Didn't by S.B. Pearce

October 9, 2024: Drama Under the Skin by Juana Moriel Payne
Utilizing local analysis to make global conclusions, Drama Under the Skin uses ritual as a lens to examine race and identity formation of both free and enslaved people of African descent and Indigenous groups in northern New Spain. Juana Moriel-Payne proposes that Baroque-Catholic ideology, as social culture, incited and promoted the participation of those peoples in religious rituals.

November 12, 2024: Forever Belle: Sallie Ward of Kentucky by Randolph Paul Runyon
Forever Belle is the intriguing story of a nineteenth-century socialite, Sallie Ward Lawrence Hunt Armstrong Downs (1827–1896). Beautiful, charming, and kind—but also reckless and bold—she was born in Scott County, Kentucky, to a family of means beset by tragedy—early deaths, suicides, and even murders. Sallie basked in the national spotlight, appearing in newspapers as far-flung as Milwaukee and Charleston, written up for her exploits, which included such scandalous behavior as smoking cigars, dressing in “Turkish pantalets,” wearing rouge, and getting divorced.