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Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Yummy Month of May!!!

The month it was the month of May...
And all the flowers sprang up to see...

Louise Moulton

Hi everyone! I had a wonderful trip in Idaho and my flights weren't that bad either. We won't talk about how much the kids have grown else, I will be posting today through teary eyes.

Through the years I have celebrated the month of May with GREAT gusto!!! Here's a rundown.

National Barbecue Month

Fire up those grills, May is National Barbecue Month!!! And, the first week of May is National Herb Week! Try this recipe for Lemon-Thyme Barbecue Sauce and let me know what you think. We love it around here, especially with a delicate fish.
Lemon-Thyme Barbecue Sauce
3 tbs. white wine vinegar
1 tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
5 or 6 green onions, white part only, chopped
2 tbs. chopped fresh lemon thyme (or 2 tbs. regular thyme, plus 1 tsp. grated lemon peel.)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tbs. vegetable oil
3 tbs. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
In medium glass bowl, combine all ingredients. Let sit at least 30 minutes before using. This sauce is best used the day you make it, but will keep, refrigerated, a few days.

Uses:
As a marinade or table sauce for grilled seafood, chicken, or vegetables. Also good over boiled potatoes. Or, double the recipe and use as both a marinade and table sauce.
The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce Cookbook

National Egg Month

Why does the egg industry hold National Egg Month in May, so soon after Easter? Because sales tend to slow at that time. So, May is the time the egg industry reminds everyone about the many benefits of The incredible edible egg™. (National Egg Board)
I find this recipe for Potted Peppers most intriguing. Yes, you cook them on the grill:)
Potted Peppers

4 medium green peppers
8 eggs
1/4 cup vodka
8 drops hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheese, (the recipe suggests processed American but I've prepared it with Cheddar and believe me, it's yummy!)
Salsa or picante sauce (see below for salsa recipe)
1. Remove tops and seeds from peppers. Stand upright. Beat 2 eggs into each pepper. Add 1 tablespoon vodka and 2 drops of hot pepper sauce to each. Top with cheese.
2. Preheat grill for 10 minutes. Bundle wrap each pepper. (see below)
Grill at medium heat with hood closed until eggs are set, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with salsa. 4 servings.

Gas Grill Cookouts

National Salad Month!

"Happiness is like potato salad, when you share it with others, it's a picnic"

A Dish of Salad
To make this condiment your poet begs
The pounded yellow of two hard boiled eggs;
Two boil'd potatoes, pass'd through kitchen-sieve,
Smoothness and softness to the salad give;
Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl,
And, half suspected animate the whole.
Of mordant mustard add a single spoon,
Distrust the condiment that bites too soon.
But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault
To add a double quantity of salt.
And, lastly o'er the flavor'd compound toss
A magic soup-spoon of anchovy sauce.
Lady's Friend Magazine
April, 1867

National Salsa Month

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) Just wouldn't be the same without salsa. Here's a simple recipe for Grilled Tomatillo Salsa from The Tomato Cookbook (2006)
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbs. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1. Grill tomatillos over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, turning until all sides are lightly charred but vegetable is still firm. Remove from heat and cut in half or quarters, depending on the size of the tomatillo. Combine with tomatoes, cilantro and onion in a bowl.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Shake, pour over salsa and toss. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving. Makes 4 servings.

National Hamburger Month

We Americans may have been slow to adapt the hamburger to our way of eating, but now, we have taken those little bundles to heart; literally. Did you know, Hamburger history began in Hamburg, Germany. Following is an excerpt from Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices by George Leonard Herter & Berthe E. Herter (c) 1973.
In 1891 Otto Kuase was a cook in a restaurant back of the waterfront in Hamburg, Germany. He made a sandwich as follows that the sailors who stopped at the port liked very well. Here is how he made it:

First take two slices of bread and lightly butter one face of each. make a thin patty of ground sausage beef and fry it in butter. Fry an egg lightly on both sides in butter. Place the fried patty of sausage beef on one buttered side of the bread, give it a touch of mustard and a slice or two of pickle. Put the fried egg on top of the meat patty, then place the buttered face of the other slice of bread on top of the fried egg.

This sandwich was known to the sailors as Deutsches Beefsteak. With a few steins of beer, a sandwich like this really did something for you.

In 1894 sailors, who had been to Hamburg and visited the port of New York told restaurant owners about Otto's good sandwich. The restaurants began to make the sandwich for the sailors. Pretty soon all the sailors had to do was ask for a "hamburger" and they got what they wanted. Sadly, however, the egg disappeared from the sandwich and catsup, which was cheaper, took its place. Buns were used instead of bread slices to make sandwiches quicker and cheaper.
While the origin of the American hamburger is hotly debated, Seymour, Wisconsin claims to be the home of the hamburger. Each August, Seymour holds a “Burger Fest.” While, Seymour may hold the claim, it looks like the Library of Congress has yet another view of where the first hamburgers in the US were served; New Haven, Connecticut at a place called Louis' Lunch Sandwich Shop in the year 1895. (The LOC website was down as of this writing but here's the info from wiki.)

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

From wikipedia

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month is a celebration of the culture, traditions, and history of Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Congress passed a joint Congressional Resolution in 1978 to commemorate Asian American Heritage Week during the first week of May. This date was chosen because two important anniversaries occurred during this time: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in America on May 7, 1843 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad (by many Chinese laborers) on May 10, 1869. In 1990 Congress voted to expand it from a week to a month long celebration and in May 1992, the month of May was permanently designated as "Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month."
I usually seek out my Asian inspired recipes at Pam's blog, For the Love of Cooking. Since it is Hamburger month, check out these Asian inspired Turkey Burgers too!!!

National Asparagus Month

Don't wait til Asparagus Day (May 24th) to celebrate National Asparagus Month, we've all been waiting patiently for the harbinger of Spring and in my book, Asparagus is surely the way to go...Unless, you would prefer to celebrate...

National Strawberry Month

I was suppose to be sharing my daughter Michele's Frozen Strawberry Jam recipe with you today but, not only didn't I get the recipe yet, I also forgot my glimmering jars of Strawberry Jam in Idaho. Oh yes, there was a full fledged jammin' session in Idaho. I did manage to get a picture for now. I'll be back later on this month with the recipe and the recipes!!!

Strawberry shortcake is one of the most common of strawberry desserts in America and actually dates back to the American Indians. The Indian dish consisted of crushed strawberries mixed in a sweet corn bread. With a few small changes and the addition of cream it became the delicious dessert we know today. (fun facts)
While I'm fiddling with recipes to include, just check out these Cream Filled Strawberries over @ Pattie's Olla-Podrida, Sinful I tell ya...

National Chocolate Custard Month

I had no idea May was National Chocolate Custard Month until I was sniffing around for National Chocolate Parfait Day which happens to be Today! (May 3 is National Chocolate Custard Day) I'm going to have to do a bit more research before I proclaim it on this blog:) It will be tough, but hey, someone has to do it:) While we're on the subject, I may as well mention that National Truffle Day which is tomorrow, May 2nd, is dedicated to the chocolate truffle. Didn't I tell you May was one Yummy of a Month!!!
P.S. Janet over @ Dying for Chocolate celebrated Raspberry Tart Day which also happens to be May 3rd. As for me, I should be back around Wednesday or Thursday with a few surprises, good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze:) Enjoy!

Resources
1. Sprout Your Own Salads
2. Hamburger Cited (previous post)
3. The First Asian Americans
4. Strawberry Fields Forever