The recipe for the famous pecan pie that originated at the former Phoenix Hotel in downtown Lexington is reprinted in today's Dear Abby column on Page B4. It was a favorite of Pauline Phillips, the original Abby, who first published the recipe years ago after staying at the Phoenix. The hotel opened in the 1820s, and the building was demolished in 1987. It stood on the spot that now is Phoenix Park.
A party in the garden
A garden party is a great way to celebrate spring in Kentucky's capital. The Hidden Treasures of Frankfort party, 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, will be at the Orlando Brown House, 202 Wilkinson Street, Frankfort.
The event benefits Liberty Hall Historic Site and the Garden Club of Frankfort. Tickets are $25. Call 1-888-516-5101 or (502) 227-2560.
The menu includes baby hot Browns, fresh asparagus spears with garlic cream, spicy Jack cheese crisps, basil-tomato bruschetta, creamy citrus tartlets, fresh fruit kebabs, cream cheese pound cake, and chocolate brownie bites. Recipes for the baby hot Browns and the creamy citrus tartlets are at www.flavorsofkentucky.com.
Berry good news
Homegrown strawberries are ripe now.
Evans Orchard, 180 Stone Road in Scott County, and Boyd Orchards on Ky. 169 in Woodford County have plenty of berries this spring.
Evans' market is open 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (502) 863-2255 or go to www.evansorchard.com. You can pick your own at Boyd's. Call (859) 873-3097 or go to www.boydorchards.com for picking times.
The new Cooking Light Cooking Through the Seasons gives these tips for selecting and storing fresh strawberries:
■ Choose brightly colored berries that have their green caps attached. If fully ripe, they should have a potent strawberry fragrance.
■ Store (in a single layer if possible) in a moisture-proof container in the refrigerator for three or four days. To freeze, place berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once the berries are frozen, transfer them to a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag or a freezer-safe container. This way, they won't stick together, and you can measure out small amounts.
■ Do not wash or remove the hulls until you're ready to use the strawberries. Use an egg slicer to cut straw berries into uniform slices for a recipe or for garnishing.
As part of Celiac Awareness Month, you can take the gluten-free challenge: Eat completely gluten-free May 22 and 23.
Celiac disease affects one in 100 Americans. The only treatment is to adhere to a gluten-free diet. The Gluten Intolerance Group provides support to people with gluten intolerances, including celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, to help them live healthy lives. You can sign up at www.gogfchallenge.com.
Pamela's Products, the company that makes a line of gluten-free products, is teaming with the Gluten Intolerance Group for the event. Go to www.pamelasproducts.com.