April is the cruelest month, or so T.S. Eliot says. Zelda’s roommate’s acupuncturist (yep) takes a different approach: She thinks April is an emotionally tumultuous time, because the plants are working so hard to break through the soil that it produces a lot of violent and negative energy, which in turn affects everyone’s mood. Whatever the reason — the plants, the poetry, or the fact that this year seems to be all cold and showers and very few spots of sunshine — April had us stressed out at first. But Scout got to go home, and Zelda had two of her bestest buds come visit, and the second half of the month had us fully ensconced in the most wonderful season of all: Derby. We celebrated in true Kentuckian ex-pat style, schooling all our Yankee pals on why this holiday is so important. And so we find ourselves full — of pie, bourbon, and warm fuzzies — and ready to tackle May.
What We’re Doing: The first half of this month saw some of your everyday spring content: some March Madness and Passover, spotlights on Audra Mae and Brittany Howard, a round-up of our favorite New York bloggers, and Volume Two of Zelda’s Required Reading (this time focusing on New York). We even added another Georgian to our growing list of good folks. But by the 17th we were in full blown Derby mode. From recipes (both culinary and cocktail) and playlists to party guides (both for throwing your own and celebrating in New York) and reflections on Thunder and Oaks, we let our Louisville flags fly. Some of you folks told us how much you missed Derby, and we were with you. Our Brooklyn celebration was a great success, true, but it’s never quite the same as being in our old Kentucky home.
What We’re Listening To: This month’s playlist was made for Derby day. From bluegrass classics to rap, rock, and modern folk, we covered all the bases, each track with a Kentucky spirit. Some of the artists are Z&S stalwarts — Houndmouth, The Avett Brothers, Audra Mae — while others were blog newbies, but all are beloved by us, both at Derby and all year long. This is a playlist we’ll be listening to for months to come, whenever we find ourselves on a subway or the street, hungry for a taste of home.
What We’re Watching: Have we told you lately how much we love Crash Course? We’re big fans (Scout may have devoted a good portion of her master’s thesis to the YouTube series…), and we are all for their new mini-series discussing the complicated world of Intellectual Property, hosted by the often mentioned, but until now rarely seen, Stan Muller. Copyright never sounded so good, or so comprehensible. From two internet creators who are often intimidated by the world of proper credits, we salute you.
We also love: Our girl Grace Helbig premiered her E! Network show this month. It’s like a giant, high-budget, weekly version of her YouTube channel, and we’re enjoying it thoroughly. Scout’s binge of the month is the recently ended FX show Sons of Anarchy (all seven seasons available on Netflix), and Zelda has been lamenting the end of Mad Men (*sniff sniff*).
What We’re Reading: We’ve both always been enthusiastic ambassadors for the city of Louisville, but Zelda took her life’s mission to a whole new level this month as she claimed the title of Official New York Times ‘Ville Expert. From our brunch secrets to our favorite outdoor pizza joint, she spilled all to the NYT Travel section, and while it did make her homesick for her favorite underappreciated spot of sunshine south of the Ohio, it was also loads of fun.
We also love: Anne Lamott’s thoughts on life, writing, and the Cosmic Muffin. This lyric ode to the blaring, clicking, arm-crushing subway doors. Jennifer Moses’s journey through the heart of literary Louisiana. The perpetual badassery of certified awesome chick Amy Schumer. This spotlight on Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and a largely unsung feminist hero.
Who We’re Following: The bulk of our Instagram feeds these days is filled with sunshiney selfies, still lifes of iced coffee, and pictures of puppies, babies, and engagement rings from people with their lives far more together than ours. But this month we came across two new additions to our “Following” lists that brighten our phones with humor and insight, respectively. Quarter Life Poetry sometimes hits a little close to home, but its cheery illustrations and self-deprecating vignettes from the life of a twenty-something always make us chuckle. And Last Night’s Reading (already a Zelda favorite via Tumblr) provides us with enough quotable quotes to pass as an active member of the literati, without having to actually leave our apartments. Plus, Kate Gavino’s watercolor portraits are downright charming.
What We’re Eating: It wouldn’t be Derby without the trademark pie, and Zelda cooked up a bunch of it for our big Derby Shindig. Check out her recipe here for chocolate, bourbon, and pecan goodness. We also introduced our Brooklynite friends to the wondrous green world of benedictine. And just before our Derby festivities started, Scout made a quick trip home where she finally indulged (twice) in the dish she’d been craving all month: chicken liver toast with fig and apricot mostarda from her hometown hangout, The Holy Grale.
What We’re Drinking: This month has been very decidedly about bourbon here on Zelda & Scout. We spent half this month introducing you to the wonders of the Derby Festival, so it’s only right that we’ve been drinking mint juleps like it’s our job (we wish). When it comes to bourbon, you can drink it in one of these classic cocktails, neat, or on the rocks, but please, for the love of god, no mixers. That’s just blasphemy.
What’s On Our Wishlist: What do we want? LADIES ON UNITED STATES CURRENCY! Sure, we’ve got Sacajawea and Susan B. Anthony on a few of our coins, but isn’t it high time we had a woman on one of our bills? Check out this campaign to put one of American history’s awesome ladies on the twenty dollar bill (voting for the final round ends May 10th!). We’re also hoping that next year come Derby we will have hats as epic as these. And in the Derby spirit, Zelda is lusting after this print from Rifle Paper Company (which Scout already owns, lucky duck). Also she would like more wall space on which to hang it, and the rest of the RPC catalogue. Please and thank you.
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