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Bay leaf watch
Dr. Judith Leonard e-mailed us concerned about the crushed bay leaf ingredient called for in the January cooking column’s Quick Vegetable Soup recipe. She said she learned in home economics that bay leaves in any form have sharp edges and can damage the intestines if eaten. That’s why recipes generally call for putting in a whole bay leaf and removing it before serving.

We feel like we watch our share of cooking shows, and we had never heard of such a thing. So, not wanting to be either too alarmist or too cautious, especially when it involves people’s health, we phoned Dr. Janet Kurzynske, associate professor and extension specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. She acknowledged that, on rare occasions, bay leaves’ sharp edges have lacerated parts of people’s intestinal tract. This is more likely to happen when you try to crush the bay leaves yourself, leaving many potentially sharp edges. Because of this rare but possible hazard, it is best to use the bay leaf whole, removing it from the food item before consumption. She said there should be no problem if you use commercially crushed bay leaves. However, few stores carry bay leaves in this form.

Penn’s pens
The 2004 Kentucky Writer’s Day at noted Penn’s Store in Gravel Switch will be held Sunday, April 25, from 1 to 5 p.m. It will include readings by Frank X Walker, Ron Whitehead, Sarah Elizabeth, and H.R. Stoneback. Admission is free and the event will be canceled if it rains. For information, phone (859) 332-7715 or go online to

Horse day
The Kentucky Horse Council will sponsor the fifth annual Open Stable Day Saturday, April 17. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., participating stables and farms will welcome visitors to tour their facilities. As plans are finalized, the Kentucky Horse Council Web site,, will list farms and stables, provide directions, and list activities planned. For information as either a participating stable or visitor, phone the Kentucky Horse Council at (800) 459-4677, (859) 367-0509, or e-mail

Cycle Poker Run
A motorcycle poker run to benefit the WHAS Crusade for Children will start in Louisville at 11 a.m. eastern time Saturday, May 15. Sponsored by the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives and United Utilities Supply, the run begins at the UUS Cooperative Distribution Centre at 4300 Leghorn Drive. Card draws and breaks will be held in Shelbyville, Brandenburg, and Sellersburg, Indiana, before finishing at the VFW Post at 4809 Poplar Level Road in Louisville. Registration runs from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and fees are set at $15 for a bike and rider, $5 for a co-rider. Cash prizes will include best hand, worst hand, longest distance traveled to participate, and oldest bike ridden the full trip. Festivities will include live music, food, door prizes, and free bandanas for the first 200 registered bikes. For more info phone (502) 451-2430 and ask for John Steier or Alisa Pifine.

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