Wednesday, April 30, 2014

May Day! May Day!

May Day! May Day!

It's not just an SOS sent out by a struggling aircraft or sinking ship. Tomorrow is May 1 or May Day.  When Jill and Brent were little, we enjoyed making and delivering May baskets. For those who don't know about the tradition, May baskets are delivered on May 1. They are traditionally filled with flowers and treats and left hanging on a friend or neighbor's front doorknob. Once the basket is in place, the deliverer rings the doorbell and runs off to hide and watch the recipient's reaction.
My husband's parents lived just two miles north of us when Jill & Brent were small. They were always recipients of a May Day basket. And their over-the-top reactions always thrilled my little cohorts. It wasn't long until Jill & Brent would burst out from the bushes and make their presence known. (I wish I could find photos, but I haven't run across them yet.)
Spring flowers are always a centerpiece of May baskets, but a homemade treat is another welcome addition to the surprise. 
If you don't have small baskets to use for your May surprises, you can make them from items found around your house.

Here are just a few examples:
  • Use a cake mix box and cut it down to about 4 1/2 inches high. Wrap the box with flowered gift wrap, etc.
  • Use a 12-inch doily or pastel construction paper and fold it into a cone
  • Back when Jill & Brent were young, we used the green baskets that fruits and vegetables came in at the grocery store and wove ribbon through the holes. However, produce is now packed in clear plastic tubs instead. You may cut the top off the plastic tub and use the bottom for your flowers and cookies. If you wish, you can add leftover Easter grass or shredded paper to the bottom. You will have to put one cookie in the front and one in the back so that the tub doesn't tip!
  • On each, just attach a ribbon with staples and use the ribbon to hang to the door knob! 
Here's an easy recipe to use to fill the baskets, if you choose to leave a treat along with the flowers. Do you have May Day memories?
Toll House Cookie Bars

2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups chocolate chips (or mini M & Ms)
1 cup chopped nuts (opt.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, cream together butter, sugars and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips (or M & Ms) and nuts, if desired. Spread into greased 15- by 10- by 1-inch pan. bake 20 minutes. Cool and cut into squares or bars.

Today, I'm linked to Wake Up Wednesdays. Click on the link for more recipes from food bloggers across the nation. 


  1. Very cute. I did this as a child. I think its a lost tradition, so I am happy to see your post about this and the hope that people still do this.

    1. When I drove by the local flower shop on the way to accompany at school today, I saw they were advertising May baskets. Maybe there are a few people who still do it. I wish my granddaughter lived just down the road. I'd continue the tradition with her.