May recipes should include recipes for the fun days of summer. Our summer holidays are ones which are traditionally celebrated with picnics.
These holidays bring back many memories when my large family would gather together in our backyard for cookouts.
The morning of Memorial Day was spent at the family cemeteries decorating the graves.
Around noon all would gather together at our house for a great time and lots of food.
In the United States Memorial Day (we use to call Decoration Day) was set aside after the Civil War to honor our soldiers. It was then extended after World War I to honor all of the Americans who died in the wars. It became a ritual for us to remember all veterans at the cemeteries with the display of many American flags.Usually after the ceremonies at the cemeteries, families would gather together for cookouts with many May recipes.
May recipes of delicious patriotic food and visits to the cemeteries also became a ritual for my family. Mom and Dad would never miss going to the cemeteries on Memorial. In our yard, I will never forget the huge row of mix spring flowers. Early in the morning while everything was still wet from the dew, Dad would start cutting these flowers (we never bought flowers back then.) I would watch as he arranged them in Mason jars.
When we all got dressed we would head out to the cemeteries (Understand that this was a ritual before I came along). When we arrived at Dad’s family cemetery we got water from the Church water spicket to fill the jars that were staying at this cemetery. We carefully arranged the bouquets, without stepping on any of the graves, for each of our family members; great grand parents, grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, my brother Jimmy and Sister Beverly. Years later my brother David was buried there; now Mom and Dad.
After leaving Dad’s family we headed on a short drive to Mom’s family cemetery. We did the same procedure there; first finding the water spicket and filling the jars, then carefully placing the vases without stepping on the graves. Here we had our grandmother and grandfather. Mom’s sister Viola, who Mom dearly loved, was buried here; Mom said she was so beautiful and had a beautiful voice. My Uncle Walt was buried here also but he did not have a stone (not then) so Mom had to find his grave. This important annual ritual has left great memories in my heart; one that must continue.
When we arrived back home the aroma of May recipes would greet us at the door. Just like the ritual at the cemeteries. Mom’s ritual was starting some patriotic foods early in the morning suitable for cook outs and picnics. It was funny that we didn’t smell these before we left; but when we got home I couldn’t wait to start the picnic. While we were gone, brothers and sisters and families arrived with more delicious food. Everything was placed in the kitchen and was waiting for us to return; then we carried it all outside to the picnic tables. And the fun began!
This year I am turning my red velvet cake recipe into a cherry cake recipe (or red, white and blue cake) for Memorial Day. It is delicious and decorated with the American flag it certainly is a patriotic food and a beautiful presentation.
CHERRY CAKE RECIPE
I took this from my red velvet cake recipe and turned into a red, white and blue cake; very much one of my patriotic cakes.
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees
Grease and flour 3 eight inch cake pans.
Sift flour, measure again and add cocoa and salt; sift together 3 times and set aside.
Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
NOTE: TURNMIXER OFF BEFORE ADDING RED COLORING OR YOU WILL HAVE A MESS!Add red food coloring and slowly blend in.
Add eggs and cherry juice and beat until smooth.
Add sifted flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to creamed mixture.Combine soda with vinegar and blend into cake mixture.
Divide equally among the 3 prepared pans and bake 35 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
When cooled to warm, remove from pans; frost when cakes are cold.
Combine flour, salt and cream; Cook until thick and let cool.
Cream sugar and shortening; add vanilla.
Add cooled cream mixture to butter and sugar; beat until fluffy enough to spread.
Gradually mix in coconut.
Frost between layers, sides and top; decorate with cherries and blueberries.
When I think of May recipes, I always think of ice cream. When I was little, once in a while during the summer Dad would take us to the local dairy to get homemade ice cream. I would always get maple nut ice cream and it is still my favorite. Quite often we would have ice cream as a dessert at our picnics; always at our annual family reunion picnic.
MAPLE NUT ICE CREAM
Combine in a large mixing bowl the milk and pudding mix; beat on low speed until well blended.
Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until set.
Add sugar, half and half cream, maple flavoring to pudding mixture and mix until well blended.
Stir in the nuts; then pour into freezer can (this can be refrigerated until ready to freeze.
Prepare ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions and freeze.
This year my May recipes for Memorial Day will include lamb shish kabobs. This is a little different from the traditional steaks, ribs and chicken so I thought they would be a little special. This recipe is delicious! Multiply recipe if you are having company and allow for at least ¼ pound for each person depending on appetites.
LAMB SHISH KABOBS
Place cubes of lamb in a plastic freezer bag.
Combine remaining ingredients for a marinade and pour over the lamb in the bag.
Seal bag tightly and marinate overnight in the refrigerator turning bag over a couple of times.
Drain and reserve marinade; thread lamb cubes on skewers.
Place skewers 3 to 4 inches from hot coals; brush with reserved marinade.
Cook about 20 minutes turning and brushing with marinade until desired doneness.
I am also including in my May recipes this delicious tortellini salad. It is cool and refreshing for picnics and cookout. May recipes always include a variety of salad recipes so choice anyone your family likes.
TORTELLINI RECIPE FOR SALAD
In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir; mix tangy dressing.
Mix well and pour over tortellini salad; toss to coat and refrigerate overnight tossing 2 times.
Enjoy your Memorial Day and I hope these May recipes add to your special times. Memories are made through the times we share and the food we eat. May recipes carry special memories and traditions that are important to me.
BLACK BEAN SALAD RECIPE
Heat 1 inch water to boiling in 2 quart pan.
Add asparagus and boil 4 minutes or until tender crisp uncovered; drain.
Mix asparagus with beans, pepper and onion; cover and chill for several hours and serve with dressing.
Combine all dressing ingredients in jar with lid and shake to blend before pouring over salad.
STEAK SALAD RECIPE
Brush steak with oil and sear steak on hot grill on both sides; cook to desired doneness.
Remove from heat and cool; cut steak into 1/8 inch thick strips and arrange in ungreased dish.
Place mushrooms on meat and top with bell pepper.
Combine and blend remaining ingredients except greens and tomatoes.
Pour mixture over beef and vegetables.
Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours spooning mixture over top frequently.
Remove beef and vegetables from marinade with slotted spoon onto salad greens; top with tomatoes.
RHUBARB BREAD RECIPE
Some of the May recipes like this rhubarb bread recipe were made at home in the kitchen oven prior to the day of festivities.
Heat oven to 350F degrees; grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans.
Mix rhubarb, pears, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl; stir in remaining ingredients.
Pour mixture evenly into two pans.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes and remove from pans; cool completely.