Category Archives: Daily Notes

University of Kentucky Basketball Great Frank Ramsey Dies at 86

 

Frank Ramsey, a Kentucky men’s basketball national champion, All-American, and UK Athletics Hall of Famer, died yesterday. He would have turned 87 on Friday.

Ramsey was a key contributor on Kentucky’s 1951 national championship team and one of the stars of the 1954 team that went a perfect 25-0 but declined an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.

In Wildcat Memories: Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats by Doug Brunk, Ramsey discussed his upbringing and his experience with playing for Adolph Rupp. In honor of this basketball great, here is an excerpt:


I was born in the little town of Corydon, Kentucky, which had a population of about 300. Joseph Chandler—the father of Albert Benjamin (“Happy”) Chandler, who went on to become Kentucky’s Governor—lived two doors up from us. He was the postmaster and most every day he would push me in a wheelbarrel on his way to the train station to pick up the mail. Once we reached the train station he’d put the mail in the wheelbarrel and I’d walk back home with him. When I was five years old we moved to Madisonville and I’ve lived there ever since.

brunkCover.inddKentucky is unique because it’s a collection of many small towns. Consequently you get to know practically everybody in town. When I was growing up, the population of Madisonville was probably 5,000. At that time, if you misbehaved at school you had to watch out when you got home because the teachers knew you and they knew your family. If you got in trouble at school the teacher would call your family. Because of this we didn’t have any major behavior-related problems in the schools then. The discipline was there.

[. . .] 

During my junior and senior years at Madisonville High School, the UK basketball team had won the NCAA Championship twice. There was no television at the time so we all listened to the games on the radio. Lexington was a four-hour drive from Madisonville. I’d go up there to visit friends of mine I grew up with who were playing football at UK. When Coach Adolph Rupp offered me a scholarship to play basketball there I jumped at it. At that time pro ball wasn’t even in the future thinking of basketball players like me. We went to college to get an education, in addition to playing the sport. At the same time, since UK was a land grant college, every student had to serve two years in the Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC). I served with the Army Military Police Corp at an army prison and at Fort Knox.

There were only about 5,000 students at UK when I attended so I didn’t have the sense that I was playing for the entire state. At that time UK was the biggest university in Kentucky and it had the greatest coach in Adolph Rupp. I was playing for the school and for the team. As basketball players we didn’t get any special treatment. We didn’t have luxurious living quarters like the players do now. We lived in the dorm like everybody else and ate in the dining hall like everybody else. We were normal students. One semester our basketball team had better than a B average. A lot of the people I attended classes with went on to become governors, bankers, doctors, lawyers, and politicians, and I’m still friends with them.

[. . .] 

Coach Rupp and Coach Lancaster were hard-drivers but they were fair. As a coach you’ve got to be a hard-driver. Kids expect a certain amount of discipline. If you don’t have discipline on a team, whether it’s basketball, football, baseball, or soccer, you’re not going to win. One thing Coach Rupp had was respect from his players. I don’t think it was fear, but we all wanted to please him and we wanted to win.

[. . .] 

I may have earned a bachelor’s degree in business from UK, but I earned a doctor’s degree athletically. I played baseball and I played basketball for one of the greatest coaches ever. Coach Rupp dealt in fundamentals. He taught you how to play the game of basketball. That afforded me a living in the NBA after I completed my military service, and I later used the business education I received at UK to open a bank. I’m grateful for that.

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The Koko and Crane Connection

Hanabiko “Koko,” the gorilla who mastered sign language and taught the world a profound amount about the emotional capacity and cognitive abilities of gorillas, died June 19. The 46-year-old western lowland gorilla passed away in her sleep at the Gorilla Foundation’s preserve in California’s Sana Cruz mountains.

At the preserve Koko met and interacted with a variety of celebrities, including Robin Williams, Fred Rogers, Betty White, and Leonardo DiCaprio. She appeared in many documentaries, on two National Geographic covers, and was also featured in Playboy magazine.

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Robert Crane, son of the late actor Bob Crane (“Hogan’s Heroes”), interviewed Koko in Playboy‘s December 1986 issue. In his book, Crane: Sex, Celebrity, and My Father’s Unsolved Murder, Robert Crane reveals the backstory of how his interview with the beloved gorilla came about. Here is an excerpt:


Like most people who had read Dian Fossey’s courageous and moving memoir, Gorillas in the Mist, the closest I’d ever been to a real gorilla was sitting in a movie theater watching Sigourney Weaver’s inspired performance in the film of Fossey’s life in the Virunga Mountains.  But now I was proposing a sit-down, face-to-face interview with a gorilla for the world leading men’s magazine. How would Hefner react to having an ape, gorilla gorilla graueri, grace the pages of Playboy?  Rezek shockingly gave me the go-ahead. He was clearly taking a chance but a successful roll of the dice could pay off big in terms of publicity for Playboy.

Dr. Penny Patterson was the director of The Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, and it sounded like she dropped the phone when I requested an interview with Koko, not for Scientific American, but for the legendary publication with a bunny for a logo.

“Are you serious?” she asked.

“Absolutely,” I answered. “This piece will introduce Koko to a whole new audience—an audience with lots of disposable income for donations to research foundations.”

“You know we’re located in the mountains west of Palo Alto.”

“I do. In fact, I think one of your neighbors is Neil Young,” I said, showing my fondness for research.

“Yes,” said the slightly befuddled Patterson. “How much time would you need?  We’re trying to mate Koko with Michael and it’s not going well, so, I don’t want to bother her for too long.”

“An hour and half, tops,” I said, adding, “Koko will enjoy the challenge of the questions.  We’ll need an original photo of her, but nothing too racy.”

“Let me run this by my partner.”  Dr. Patterson sounded both surprised and intrigued by my proposal. She would discuss the matter with fellow gorilla researcher Dr. Ron Cohn, who, it turned out, also happened to be her mate.

[. . .]

Penny Patterson was Koko’s teacher and interpreter in American Sign Language and that aspect of the study was going quite well. Koko was the most celebrated gorilla in the world because she was the first to use any kind of human language.  The interview would go like this: I would ask a question, and Dr. Patterson, using ASL, would sign it to Koko, who would then ponder the question for a bit, sign an answer back to the doctor who would then translate it for me.

In my introduction to the piece in the magazine I wrote, “Koko, 15 years old and 230 pounds, sat poised and ready in her open-air living area. She looked me in the eye and, using American Sign Language, commanded, ‘Show me your teeth,’ which I respectfully did. She was delighted by the enormous amount of gold and silver in my mouth. Her mate, Michael, 13 and 350 pounds, who shares quarters with her, never looked me in the eye—something to do with the fact that I was a stranger and a male.”  During the questioning, I would occasionally glance at Michael who would instantly look away.  At other times, when I looked away, I could feel Michael’s stare boring a hole in me. I asked Koko about her boyfriend.

“Koko, do you think Michael is cute?”

Koko responded, signing with both hands for emphasis.  “Cute, sweet, good.”

“What’s the difference between boys and girls?” I asked.

“Corn there good,” Koko replied, meaning she gets a corn treat because her floor is clean, whereas Michael doesn’t because his is dirty. She added, “Girl people,” since she thought of herself as a person and Michael as an animal.

[. . .]

“Koko, what do you want for your birthday?”

“Earrings. Cookie.”

My time with Koko flew by.  I asked her about being interviewed.

“What do you say when you’re tired of being asked questions?”

“Gorilla teeth. Finished.”

The interview was over. I thanked Koko for her well thought-out responses and for her time. I looked at Michael once more and he quickly turned away.

koko1Weeks later, Dr. Cohn shot a glamorous Koko against a red background for the interview’s accompanying full-page illustration.  Oh, and for those with a more prurient interest in gorilla hook-ups, Koko and Michael never did successfully get together.  Nonetheless, it was a brilliant day in that mountain community, replete with new smells, serious behavioral researchers, and a delightful ape who used communication skills taught to her by humans, but who thought enough of our kind to give us a glimpse into the mind of a gorilla.

On my flight back to Los Angeles, I smiled with amazement and elation as I recounted having been in such close proximity to such an intelligent and majestic animal.  At the same time it was all a bit melancholy knowing that Koko, as pampered as her world was, would never spend two minutes in her wild, natural habitat.

Meet the Press: Katie Cross Gibson, Direct Promotions and Exhibits Manager

Welcome to the first installment of our Meet the Press blog series! To read the series introduction from last week, click on the Meet the Press picture below.

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Name: Katie Cross Gibson
Position: Direct Promotions and Exhibits Manager
Hometown: Science Hill, KY
Alma mater(s); major(s), minor(s): University of Kentucky; B.A. in English, Psychology minor
Social media: @KRC_Gee on Twitter

____________________________________________________

Tell us a little bit about what you do at the press.

I handle exhibits. In short, this means that whenever we go to conferences, meetings, and fairs to display or sell books, I register for our booth and ensure that we bring the proper titles and materials (banners, tables, bookends, etc.). On the direct promotions side, I create ads, oversee the production of catalogs, coordinate mailings, and assist with social media and newsletters.

Additionally, I help manage our internship program and the interns’ participation in the Social Media Smackdown competition, and I’ll often lend a hand in carrying out special events. One of my favorite aspects of this position is the variety of it—I always have numerous irons in the fire, and I’m always learning new things.

What’s one of your favorite UPK titles and why?

I’d probably have to say 2009’s What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets, an anthology edited by Jeff Worley. If you’re not familiar with Kentucky’s poetry scene, this book will introduce you to some of the big names. There are a handful of poems and a short bio for each poet featured, so it gives you a good sense of each person’s style. I actually won my personal copy in a giveaway at a hometown senior send-off before I matriculated to UK!

Did you always know you wanted to work in publishing? When you were a kid, did you dream about having a certain career as an adult?

I spent most of my formative years aspiring to be a teacher. When I was very young, I did have the vaguest idea of the trade publishing industry—I thought it was the hip career path to follow if you lived in a “faraway” place like New York City. One of my closest friends and I fantasized we’d grow up to work on a magazine like American Girl, and we’d make-believe sharing an apartment in NYC and commuting to our office on Vespas.

As a girl living in a small town in southeastern/southcentral Kentucky, working in publishing didn’t seem like it could become my own reality until over a decade later. During my college years, I was fortunate enough that a peer mentor mentioned her own internship at UPK. I wound up interning here twice and gained experience in marketing and acquisitions. I owe a lot to those who took the time to offer their advice and experience, and so part of my own mission is to give back—to help others realize that their dream is attainable and that working in scholarly publishing is a path they can pursue, too.

If you were tasked with being a tour guide to someone who had never visited Kentucky before, where in the state would you take them? Any specific restaurants, landmarks, etc.?

Oh, this is a toughie, so I’ll keep it to Lexington! Perhaps we’d go to POPS Resale, ALL of the local bookstores, the UK Art Museum, Charlie Brown’s, the Carnegie Center for a reading, Coffea for a skillet fudge latte, the KY for KY Fun Mall, Street Scene, and SQecial Media—not necessarily in that order.

What’s your favorite word?

Bless (as in a shortened version of “bless their heart”)

Do you have a favorite font? If so, what is it?

Palatino Linotype—it’s like a more sophisticated but easier-going version of Times New Roman.Palatino Linotype

What’s something most people don’t know about you or a random factoid about yourself that you would like to share?

I am a first-generation college graduate from (the outskirts of) Appalachia who writes poetry.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it? Why or why not?

I recently finished Becoming Unbecoming by Una, and I’d certainly recommend it. It chronicles Una’s life as an English girl growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and it masterfully weaves the story of the Yorkshire Ripper into what’s happening to Una. I think it adds a lot to the current conversations surrounding sexual harassment, assault, and rape and how they affect (and have been affecting) women, girls, and society. The illustrations can be so quietly moving and complement the story so wonderfully.

If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?

Because I can’t choose just one, here are a handful of dynamic duos: Sheila and Margaux from How Should a Person Be?, Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane from Daria, and Willow Rosenberg and Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Do you have a personal motto?

I do indeed, and as I am somewhat of a Beatlemaniac, it’s a couple of lines from “Hey Jude” that particularly resonate: “For well you know that it’s a fool / who plays it cool / by making his world / a little colder.”

 

Farewell to a Sports Legend

NewtonC.M. Newton, a giant in the history of the University of Kentucky, the Southeastern Conference, and in the sport of basketball, died Monday, June 4. Newton launched a basketball coaching career that spanned three decades at three different institutions. He began in 1956 at Transylvania College (where he recruited that program’s first African-American player), followed by coaching stints at the University of Alabama (where he recruited that program’s first African-American player and led the Crimson Tide to three straight SEC titles) and at Vanderbilt University, before returning to his alma mater in 1989 to become UK’s athletic director, a post he held for 11 years.

Newton is widely credited for navigating the resurrection of UK’s basketball program after the NCAA imposed three years probation and other sanctions following the 1988–89 season. He also hired Bernadette Mattox as UK’s first African-American women’s basketball coach (in 1995) and Orlando (“Tubby”) Smith as the university’s first African-American men’s basketball coach (in 1997).

He served as president of USA basketball from 1992–1996 and helped select the United States Olympic “Dream Team” of 1992. In 2000 he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

brunkCover.inddNewton reflected on his career in Wildcat Memories: Inside Stories from Kentucky Basketball Greats by Doug Brunk. In honor of this sports legend, here is an excerpt from the book:


Having grown up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida I had never seen snow before I went to Kentucky. Being in such a different environment was quite a culture shock to me. In fact, there were times I was so homesick that I thought of leaving the program and returning to Florida. My teammate Ralph Beard and our team manager Humsey Yessin talked me out of that. They’d say things like, “you don’t want to leave Kentucky” and “we’re here for you.” So I stayed.

As a player I never had a significant impact because I was a substitute. But I always felt a part of something really big. The fact that I played on the 1951 national championship team, the fact that I made the travel squad, and that I was one of the first substitutes off the bench made it palatable for me.

Coach Rupp was very important to me because he motivated in a different way than what I was accustomed to. He motivated by fear, mostly, but he was an outstanding basketball coach. I never did break through that fear of Coach Rupp. For example, I’m the only player that ever played for Coach Rupp who went on to coach against him and won. This was in 1972, during my third year as coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Alabama. We beat the Wildcats 73-70 on our home court. Coach Rupp always considered former players as “one of his boys.” You never were a peer, but I wanted to be a coaching peer of his. When our Alabama team beat him that day I thought that might be a breakthrough on the way to that goal but it wasn’t. After our win he congratulated me and said we deserved to win. Then he said, “but…” — and with that I was transported right back to the player-coach relationship. “You’re trying to do too much offensively,” he told me. “You need to simplify your offense.” He wasn’t being critical; that was just his nature.

My freshman year as a player for UK was Coach Harry Lancaster’s first as a full-time assistant coach. Coach Lancaster actually did more teaching than Coach Rupp did. He was very good to me over the years, and very demanding. He became UK’s baseball coach my junior year and I was a member of that team. He was a task master but he was great to be around. I enjoyed him a great deal.

My teammates and I were student-athletes in the truest sense of the word. We were expected to come in and perform well in basketball as athletes, and we were expected to earn a degree in four years. Today’s players are much more coddled and recruited and different in that respect. I never will forget our transition from the 2,800-seat Alumni Gym, where I played until my junior year, to the 11,500-seat Memorial Coliseum. At the time many people thought Memorial Coliseum was just too big. “They’ll never fill it up,” critics said. But they did. There were similar sentiments expressed by critics and even by some coaches when Rupp Arena was built. Yet today, it’s difficult to find an open seat at any UK game played there. 

I was the head men’s basketball coach at Vanderbilt University in 1989 when I got a phone call from UK’s then-president Dr. David P. Roselle asking if I would consider becoming UK’s athletic director in the wake of an NCAA probation. I had no thought of leaving Vanderbilt for UK or anyplace else. But Dr. Roselle convinced me that I was not only wanted as the athletic director but that I was needed. It was the “needed” part that really got to me because UK had been so good to me over the years. They’d provided me an opportunity to receive an education and to play basketball. I had become a successful basketball coach because of my experience there. So off I went to UK.

[. . .]

The Big Blue Nation is fanatical about UK basketball. The way I see it, their level of devotion is on par with that of fans who follow Alabama Crimson Tide football. They are great fans in every respect of the word. Sometimes I felt like they took it too seriously and took it over the line, and yet you’d rather have that then have them be indifferent. People really care about Kentucky basketball. The Big Blue Nation includes people from all walks of life: alumni, bankers, coal miners, and even some who have never set foot on campus in Lexington. It doesn’t matter; they’re Kentucky fans.

UPK75: 75 Years of the University Press of Kentucky

The word “exhibit” usually has a very specific connotation to those in the UP world. Exhibits are events—conferences, book fairs, craft markets, etc.—where publishers rent space to display and/or sell their titles. Some exhibits are geared toward selling books directly to the public, and your booth might be behind a chocolatier’s and across from a painter’s. Others occur during academic conferences and are primarily for meeting with potential authors and scholars in the field.

However, just a few short weeks ago, we were tasked with preparing for an exhibit of another sort—a showcase of our institutional history. We won’t dive too deep into the details in this post—if you missed our latest entry about the exhibit and other 75th anniversary initiatives, you can find it here—but the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning graciously partnered with us, lending us space in their second floor foyer to erect a display commemorating the past 75 years.

UPK75 debuted two weeks ago during the May LexArts Gallery Hop. Despite the rain, there was a wonderful turnout, and we were happy to share a night of celebration and camaraderie with our loved ones, fellow staff members (past and present), authors, and community partners.

If you weren’t able to make it to the Carnegie Center for the UPK75 opening, you missed out on a special night, but not to fear—the exhibit will remain on display through early July. We encourage you to stop by the Carnegie during its business hours to take a look in person.

And if you live too far away to make the trek to Lexington, you’re in luck, as we’ve captured a few of the evening’s highlights in the slideshow below.

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Thanks again to those who helped make this exhibit possible, as well as our Gallery Hop reception attendees and everyone who has visited the display. Our 75th anniversary celebration is far from over, though, so make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on UPK events and happenings!

University Press of Kentucky Celebrates 75 Years

Three quarters of a century ago, what would become University Press of Kentucky (UPK) got its start in the history department at the University of Kentucky. Now, over 2100 books later, we are celebrating that history with a special LexArts Gallery Hop exhibit—UPK75—opening on the second floor of the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning today from 5 to 8 pm. There will be entertainment, light refreshments, and book signings with several prominent Kentucky authors, including George Ella Lyon, Mike Norris, Richard Taylor, David J. Bettez, and more. The UPK75 exhibit will remain on display until mid-July.

Earlier this year, state appropriations for UPK were eliminated from the biennial budget, but the press will continue. In a statement released by University of Kentucky’s President, Eli Capiluto, he pledged to work “with our partner institutions to identify ways to sustain the financial viability of the press over the long term.” An open letter from Provost David W. Blackwell, Interim Dean of the Libraries Deirdre Scaggs, and our director, Leila W. Salisbury, outlines the long-term goal “to chart a strong path forward for UPK.”

With the support of the University of Kentucky, consortia partners, authors, and citizens throughout the commonwealth, we look forward to continuing to serve Kentucky as well as readers across the globe. “I’m deeply grateful for the many expressions of support for the press this winter,” said Salisbury, “from university administrators to librarians to educators to readers across the commonwealth. What became clear during the budget process was just how many people value what we do at the press. And that is a marvelous place to start the next seventy-five years of our history.”

The UPK75 exhibit will showcase our rich history through artifacts, book displays, historical documents, and more. The centerpiece is a timeline of that history, with artifacts and information illustrating key moments. Each of our four directors are highlighted, from Bruce F. Denbo, who was hired in 1950 and led UPK through the transition to a consortium representing fifteen different member institutions, to current director Leila W. Salisbury, who began working at the press full time in 1994 as assistant to the director. Among other items, the timeline will include our original analog database, letters and correspondence regarding the press’s founding, and interesting ephemera.

The exhibit will also include several specialized displays focusing on various aspects of press history and book production. A grouping of information on, material by, and artifacts from UPK founder, Thomas D. Clark (1903–2002), includes one of his canes, photographs, and a number of historic documents. It tells Clark’s story as it relates to the press and beyond, including his work in the UK history department and his role in founding the Kentucky Archives Commission in 1957. Other displays include artwork from renown folk artist Minnie Adkins that was featured in Mommy Goose: Rhymes from the Mountains, by Mike Norris and archival materials related to book production, including plate negatives, F&Gs, and bluelines.

Other initiatives for our 75th anniversary:

  • Cricket Press has designed a new 75th anniversary emblem.
  • UPK is a sponsor of Book Benches: A Tribute to Kentucky Authors, a collaborative public art project organized by Arts ConnectLexArts, and The Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. A bench designed by artist Lora Gill and inspired by Crystal Wilkinson’s novel The Birds of Opulence will be permanently installed outside our offices on South Limestone Street.
  • A new and expanded second edition of The New History of Kentucky, by James C. Klotter and Craig Thompson Friend, will be released in October, bringing the flagship history of the commonwealth up to date.
  • UPK has initiated two new imprints with partner organizations. We will launch Andarta Books in conjunction with Brécourt Academic, publisher of the journal Global War Studies. Andarta Books will develop new books in military history and launch with books on the Battle of the Atlantic and WWII Yugoslavian prisoners of war appearing next year. Also next year, we will begin publishing a new imprint devoted to Appalachian creative writing with Hindman Settlement School—additional details to come later this year.
  • We were accepted to host one of Lexington Public Library’s Tiny Libraries, which will be permanently installed in front of our offices on South Limestone Street.
  • Horses in History, a new series edited by James C. Nicholson, will launch this fall with Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing’s Most Famous Cold Case by Milton C. Toby. The series will explore the special human-equine relationship, encompassing a broad range of topics, from ancient Chinese polo to modern Thoroughbred racing. From biographies of influential equestrians to studies of horses in literature, television, and film, this series profiles racehorses, warhorses, sport horses, and plow horses in novel and compelling ways.
  • We are partnering with Kentucky Humanities on its Kentucky Reads project for 2018, a statewide literacy initiative centering on Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, All the King’s Men. In conjunction with the program, we will publish Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion, by Jonathan S. Cullick, a Warren scholar and professor of English at Northern Kentucky University, who will participate in several events as part of Kentucky Reads.

“We’re committed to developing books that explore Kentucky and its citizens from new perspectives and to working in even closer partnership with our consortia and community partners, as they help us better represent the rich geographic and other diversities of the state,” said Salisbury. “We look forward to further strengthening our profile as a relevant and service-oriented operation that allows Kentucky to tell its own story.”

Derby Down on this “Bourbon Dessert”

BOURBON PARFAIT

It’s the most Kentucky time of year: Derby season! If you’re anything like us here at UPK, you’ve got a big sweet tooth, with a penchant for creating your own concoctions for special events. And, like us, you’ve already worked your way through our classic cookbook BOURBON DESSERTS (available here), and are itching for more ways to incorporate some oak-y, caramel-y goodness into your baked goods. Well, you’re in luck! Our intern spent a day and a half in the kitchen slinging sugar and butter to combine these two recipes into something to holler about. It involves some nutty, sweet-savory cookies and fluffy, rich chocolate mousse. Combined together, they make a unique parfait that’s a little bitter, a lot sweet, crunchy, creamy, and best of all, bourbon-y. Tell your party guests to hold onto their hats.

You’ll need:

A batch of “Spicy Chocolate Mousse with a Whiff of Bourbon” (pg. 108)
A batch of “Brown Butter and Bourbon Biscuits” (pg. 44) {ed. note: you won’t need the whole batch for this recipe, but trust us, you’ll want to hang onto the extras.}
Whipped cream, preferably un- or lightly sweetened.
Four to six mason jars

1. In clean mason jar, crumble part of a cookie into the bottom of the jar. This will form a base for your parfait.
2. With a piping bag, layer mousse over cookies.
3. With a separate piping bag, layer whipped cream over mousse.
4. Add new layer of cookie crumbles and repeat until jar is full to interior.
5. Dollop whipped cream beyond the rim of the jar to create inviting, fluffy cloud of deliciousness.
6. If desired, top with crumbled cookies. (Or chocolate syrup, or caramel, or pralines, or…)

Some tips:

1. If you’re making this all at once, like we did, brown the butter for the cookies first. It’ll cool to room temperature while you’re making the mousse. (If you’re in a big hurry, throw it in the fridge to save even more time.) Then, chill the mousse while you’re whipping up the cookies! #lifehacks

2. Use a piping bag for Instagram-worthy layers with no side-smearing! Don’t have a piping bag? A Ziploc baggie will do in a pinch. Just add your filling, seal shut (squeezing as much air out as possible as you do), and cut off a corner. Using a decorating tip? Simply nestle it into the bag, then cut off just enough of the corner so that the tip peeks out. Then add your filling, and get to piping!

3. Smaller mason jars work best here, in terms of portion control. (But who are we to judge?) It’d look just as appetizing in a bowl or, if you want to get cheeky with it, a stemless wine or high-ball glass.