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 8 The World According to Chinn If Colonel Chinn thought he could just walk away in comfort, peace, and serenity from KHS and return to Mercer County to live a trouble-free life with Cotton in their palatial home atop a hill overlooking the palisades of the Kentucky River, he was sadly mistaken. One of his earliest projects back in Harrodsburg dealt with activities of the Mercer County Humane Society. He always had a soft touch for animals, especially dogs. Prior to his and Joan Brooke-Smith’s involvement, the policy of the humane society was to capture, kill, and then dump unwanted cats and dogs into the local quarry. Not long after Chinn became active in the humane society, there were dramatic turnarounds. For one thing, he talked the Mercer County Fiscal Court into a sizable grant each year to hire additional staff and maintain the newly constructed humane society building.1 This building became one of the first “no-kill” establishments in the state. Colonel Chinn believed the Harrodsburg/Mercer County Fiscal Court, in cooperation with the Bicentennial Committee, should sponsor a fund-raiser to benefit the humane society as well as activities such as Boone Day and Fort Harrod. Chinn concluded that the best project would be a collection of recipes submitted by local residents. He felt this was sure to sell. And it did, especially when word got out that the colonel himself had contributed two “mouth-watering” recipes. Residents of Har- Kentucky Maverick 132 rodsburg had not known that Colonel Chinn was also a chef; after they tried his recipes, they still didn’t know. His first recipe was for beer cheese; the major ingredients were five pounds of Longhorn cheese, one-half a head of garlic (three “toes”), one jar of yellow peppers, two bottles of flat beer (the colonel advised pouring the beer into a receptacle to set a spell), half a teaspoon of salt, and an ounce of Frank’s “Red Hot Sauce”—or two, “if you’re brave.” After blending the cheese, garlic, peppers, beer, salt, and hot sauce, the mixture “will be a dark brown gloop.” (That statement alone should have warned people off trying the recipe.) A large helping of horseradish, the colonel advised, should be added at the last minute. The mixture should be eaten with crackers and a “soothing, nonflammable drink.”2 According to a goodly part of the local community, this recipe from the beloved colonel tasted as awful as it looked. The second recipe the colonel submitted, however, received wide attention, even acclaim. Listed under the main dishes category , it was called Colonel Chinn’s Famous Bully-Beef Frappe, and it was nothing short of sensational. It called for one pound of cooked tough beef, cut from around the hock. The cook was to put this into an earthenware container and then pour over it a quart of one-hundred-proof bourbon and one-fifth of a bottle of rum. The only way to check the dish’s progress was to take sips from the mixture until the preparer deemed the concoction palatable. Then the dish should be placed in the refrigerator for at least twenty-four hours. During that time there should be “generous tastings” to ensure the preservation of flavor. “At least two hours before company comes, remove from refrigerator so that serving can be at room temperature. Having decided it is ready, remove the bully beef from the broth and place on a wooden slicing board. Divide into equal portions and garnish with watercress. Call in all your pets and feed the beef to them—it was never meant to be eaten anyway. However, don’t The World According to Chinn 133 let anything happen to that broth because it’ll cure anything that ails you!!”3 Readers loved this recipe, although it is unknown if anyone ever actually tried to make it. But the colonel achieved his mission: the recipe book was a runaway best seller in Harrodsburg and Mercer County. The recipes may have inspired Colonel Chinn, now KHS deputy director, to create in 1980 the first of what was intended to become an annual event, a “talk meet” to bolster morale at the historical society. Sessions were scheduled for “discussing, discursing [discoursing?], and dis-emboweling” all the problems (be they human or otherwise) in this universe and all others in the galaxy. The first talk meet’s judges remained anonymous for their own safety. This talk meet’s motto...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813161075
Related ISBN
9780813161051
MARC Record
OCLC
911665838
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2015-06-27
Language
English
Open Access
No
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