Here's to May and all the new growth it has to offer! Now do this quick read and get out there. There's something coming up for you. I promise.
Boom! Crash! Boom! Crackle! Today we are in the middle of a delightful May thunderstorm. It started in the middle of the night and has continued into an electrifying day. I love the noise. I love the rumbling and the rattling in my comfortable home. And admittedly, I love the adrenaline rush I get each time there's a close hit. One minute I think it's all over as the sky brightens some and then the next minute it's as dark as a full-moon night. The creek is swelling and I am grateful.
Aside from the rumbling and clattering of days like today, May has a soft side too. The Lilacs and the Lilies Of The Valley are just about to bloom. Soon their sweet smell will be wafting through the air wherever we go. Until that happens, I'm delighted with the aroma of the Trailing Arbutus, or what Mom called May Flowers because of their appearance by May 1. In the wee hours of each May Day morning, before the neighborhood woke, she would leave baskets of May Flowers on porches; this, some ancient tradition left from the pagan celebrations of May 1st I'm sure. Now, the Trailing Arbutus are blooming in the woods around my home. On damp warm days like today, they fill the woods with their scent. And the wild leeks. Oh, my. This time of year I travel with a small trowel, gathering new, fresh leeks as I go. I don't need to look too closely. Their aroma leads me to their hiding spot.
And this note can only be complete with a discussion of the tastes of May. The leeks of course go into everything. Scrambled eggs with leeks, potato and leek soup and potato-leek pie are three of my favorites. They are especially good with the wild asparagus I find volunteering itself to be picked in open fields where once an old farm garden stood. I'll see and eat fiddlehead ferns before this month is over. Their delicate taste goes well with just about any dish that needs a side serving. And my May flavor favorite, the morel mushroom. The temporary warm temperatures in April confused this delicate fungus. But I've managed to pick a few pounds and make some mouthwatering treats. Their flavor is so distinct and full that I prefer them on the side or on the top of some of my favorite dishes. I just can't bear disguising the flavor of this granddaddy of all May edibles. Oh, and did I mention fresh spring Walleye? My first May fish fry will complete the grazing opportunities this month has to offer.
Okay, got to go. I'm drooling. I hope your May is just a little Lusty too.
The Lusty Month of May
Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la! It's here! That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear
It's May! It's May! That gorgeous holiday
When every maiden wishes her lad would be a cad
It's gay! A libelous display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks,
Everyone makes divine mistakes, the lusty month of May!
Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
What sweet feelings does its scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating everywhere?
Don't you know it's that dear forbidden fruit?
Tra la la la la! That dear forbidden fruit!
Tra la! It's May! The lusty month of May!
That darling month when everyone throws self-control away
It's time to do a wretched thing or two
And try to make each precious day one you'll always rue!
It's May! It's May!
The month of "yes you may,"
The time for every frivolous whim, proper or im-
It's wild! It's gay! A blot in every way
The birds and bees with all of their vast
Amorous past gaze at the human race aghast!
The lusty month of May!
Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe