How to Make May Recipes

Learn how to make May 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.

How to Make May RecipesHow to Make May Recipes

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.Family members would learn how to make May recipes for the cookouts after the ceremonies at the cemeteries. 

Everyone would learn how to make May recipes of delicious patriotic foods. 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!


Cherry Cake RecipeCherry Cake Recipe

This year I am turning my red velvet cake into a cherry cake (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.

  • 2 ¼ Cups sugar
  • ¾ Cup softened butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 ¼ Ounces red food coloring
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 ½ Cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 ½ Cups finely chopped maraschino cherries

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.


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.


  • ¼ Cups flour
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 2 Cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Cups butter
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups coconut

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.


  • 4 Cups milk
  • 2 Packages (3 ¾ ounces each) instant butterscotch pudding
  • 1 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 Cups half and half cream
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons maple flavoring
  • 4 Well beaten fresh eggs
  • 1 Cup chopped nuts

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.

  • 2 Pounds boned leg of lamb cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 1/3 Cup cooking oil
  • 1/3 Cup lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon mint leaves
  • 1 Teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic

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.

  • 4 Cups cooked broccoli (tender crisp- boil about 1 minute and drain)
  • 6 Ounces marinated artichoke hearts (drain and reserve liquid)
  • 4 Cups cooked cheese filled tortellini cooled and cooled
  • 1 ½ Cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 ½ Cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Can (6 ounces) ripe olives
  • Salt to taste
  • Tangy dressing (Recipe below)

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir; mix tangy dressing.

Tangy dressing

  • Measure reserved liquid from artichoke hearts; add enough salad oil to make 1/3 cup.

  • Stir in 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon dry basil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons lemon juice and ½ teaspoon pepper.

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.


  • 1 Can (16 ounces) black beans
  • 1 Pound fresh asparagus cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Red bell pepper cut in ½ inch squares
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped onion


  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cumin
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 Clove minced garlic

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.


  • 1 ½ Pounds boneless sirloin steak 1 ½ inches thick
  • Extra oil for brushing
  • 1 Jar (4 ½ ounces) sliced mushrooms drained
  • 1 Medium red bell pepper cut in thin strips
  • 1/3 Cup red wine vinegar/
  • ¼ Cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Clove minced garlic
  • Salad greens
  • Cherry tomatoes

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.


Some of the May recipes like this rhubarb bread recipe were made at home in the kitchen oven prior to the day of festivities.

  • 1 ½ Cups finely chopped rhubarb
  • 1 ½ Cups finely chopped pears
  • 1 2/3 Cups sugar
  • 2/3 Cup cooking oil
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Cup coarsely chopped nuts

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.