Thursday, April 28, 2016

Making Merry in the Month of May

By: Annie Chamovitz

From: The Cumberland Creek Mystery Series
Author: Mollie Cox Bryan
Book 5 Title: Scrapbook of the Dead

One of my favorite seasonal holidays is May Day. I'm not certain if anybody else celebrates, but I do. 

When I was a girl, sometimes people left baskets of flowers on doorsteps to celebrate May Day. I’ve done that from time to time. It’s just fun to leave flowers mysteriously for someone isn’t it? It brightens up their day, for sure. 

Have you ever participated in or seen a May Pole dance? It’s loads of fun to dance around the Maypole, but once I saw a group of barefoot ballerinas dancing in the grass around a beautifully decorated Maypole. I’ll never forget it. 
I wonder if most people don’t even really take the time to reflect on the changing seasons anymore. One of the reasons my husband I stayed on the East coast was we really love the seasons here. I love it when the season changes and I try to celebrate in my own way. It was more fun when the boys were little, of course. Now they are like little men and don’t want to run barefoot through the dewy grass on May morning. (It was said that the dew of May Day grass had magical qualities and if women washed their face with the dew, the very next man they saw would be their future husband.)

One  of my favorite ways to celebrate May Day is by making and drinking may wine.  I’ve quite fallen in live with the little Sweet Woodruff plant and flowers that is sometimes used in  homemade May wine. It’s so unassuming, but beautiful—it’s fragrance reminds me of vanilla. (One of my favorites.) Here’s my favorite recipe for making may wine.
May Wine
1 bottle white wine
1 bottle sparkling wine or champagne
½ cup dried organic Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum)
½ cup organic strawberries, sliced or whole
Combine dried Sweet Woodruff with the bottle of white wine, cover tightly, and place in a refrigerator.  Allow to steep overnight. The fresh herb may be used, but dried is preferable because the flavor and aroma increase in the drying process.  Before serving, strain out the Sweet Woodruff and pour the infused wine into a punch bowl, carafe, or other glass or ceramic serving vessel. Add the bottle of chilled sparkling wine or champagne and garnish with strawberries.  Serve in wine glasses or champagne flutes. Ice may be added if desired.

A warning about Sweet Woodruff: it may produce headaches and other toxic effects if high doses are consumed or if it is used long-term.

Check out Mollie Cox Bryan online:
Twitter: @MollieCoxBryan



  1. IW ould like to try this. Thanks

  2. I remember May baskets too. In grade school, we drew names to see who we'd give a May basket too. Of course the teacher got one as well as I went to a small country school. We also had a May Day party and the teacher had a tall pole decorated with streams so we could "dance" around the May Pole.