Get on your running shoes–It’s May Day!

May Day.  My favorite holiday of the year.  To me, it’s been a holiday of making homemade May baskets that you fill with candy, flowers, and little trinkets.  The basket is placed on the doorknob of your friend’s house.  You ring the doorbell, and then run as fast as you can back to your house.  If your friend catches you before you make it home, he/she gets to kiss you.  If a holiday celebrates artsy-craftsy gift giving and kisses, I’m in.  When ding-dong ditch is incorporated, even better.

Most kids outgrow these little holidays.  People stop making boxes to stuff Valentine’s in; stop leaving their shoes out for St. Nick, and stop making May baskets.  [Although St. Patrick’s Day never gets left behind–it only gets more fun.]  But I never stopped.  With Peter Pan on my side, I will give out little Valentine’s cards, leave my shoes out for St. Nick, and make May baskets til I die (maybe even longer.  Heaven seems pro-holiday).  And at 26, this year is no different.

My two best friends have always been my targets on May Day.  And Nicky has always taken her role in May Day seriously.  She is determined to catch me.  Lucky for me, our houses are only a couple backyards away from each other so I don’t have too far to run.   But, running through other people’s backyards has not always gone well for me.  In 5th grade, as I ran for my life from Nicky, I ran straight into a dumpster and fell flat on my back.  Things did not fair too well for Nicky either.  As I knocked myself unconscious, a neighbor boy threw a rock at Nicky’s head.  Not sure who “won” May Day that year.  Things were always less dangerous with Hollie.  She lived a half mile away so I would always bike to her house.  Pretty hard to catch someone on her bike.  Still, Hollie isn’t one to give up easily, and she’d try to catch up.  Mind you, that wasn’t too much of a challenge when we lived together in college, sharing a dorm room.  It’s not easy trying to run up a dresser to hide in a lofted bed.

Nicky and me at Hollie’s wedding. [note the creepier in the background. yep. married that one]

Hollie and me on my wedding.

This year I’m hoping for a dumpster and loft free May Day.  Since I don’t live in the same town as Nicky or Hollie anymore, I’ve had to result to mailing their May Day baskets.  Much less satisfying than ding-dong ditch, but who doesn’t love mail?!

So, how do you make this May basket?

First, you need a basket.  You can really use anything.  This year I went with plant pots (from Target), but you could use a cleaned out milk carton (my Mom’s favorite); a cute purse; a vase, mug, a red solo cup. You get the idea.  Then you decorate it.  Let your creativity flow.  I’ve always been a fan of paint so this year I used glitter fabric pant to write “Happy May Day” around the pot and placed scrapbook flower stickers around the middle.

Second, what goes in the basket?  Anything! This year I stuck with the classics.  I made pipe cleaner flowers and curled ribbon that I placed along side the baskets.  Tossing in some fruit snacks, a bouncy ball, and Burt’s Bees, the May Day baskets were complete!

And you got yourself a May Day Basket.  Ready to be delivered! I just have to get on my running shoes first.

 

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The Mother of All Bloody Marys–A Del’s Bloody

This is the Helen of Troy of Bloody Marys.

The holy grail of bloodies.  The Bloody Mary that I compare all other bloodies to.  This Bloody Mary is from the La Crosse bar Del’s.  I have searched in vain for a comparable bloody in the Twin Cities.  And there is no substitute.  Made with classic tomato juice, a heavy pour of vodka, and spiked with couple shakes from a pepper shaker mixture of 23 spices, it’s smooth and gritty at the same time.  And Del’s does not skimp on the toppings.  Dressed with a large dill pickle, an olive, a pickled brussel sprout, and huge chunk of pepper jack cheese along with any beer on tap (go for the Pearl Street Downtown Brown-another La Crosse classic), this Bloody Mary really is a meal in a glass.

Del’s easily wins as my favorite bar in La Crosse, and whenever I am in town, the visit isn’t complete without a trip for a Del’s bloody.  Still, I miss my Tuesday afternoons spent sipping bloodies and pbrs with Leslie. Gah. Growing up is tough!

And if it is not obvious enough already–Del’s wins 5 out of 5 stars.  Maybe 6.

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Chatterbox Bloody Mary

Today I continued my search for the best Bloody Mary in the Twin cities.  We went to Chatterbox for brunch–it’s a fun restaurant in St. Paul that has board games for you to play while you wait for your food.  The special thing about Chatterbox’s Bloody is that they don’t use vodka.  Instead, it has saki.  This change in alcohol makes the drink much smoother than your average bloody.  Still, the toppings are weak.  No cheese, only a baby pickle, and a cherry tomato?!? Really don’t feel like the cherry tomato is necessary since the entire drink has that overall tomato flavor.  Rather have a brussel sprout that compliments the tomato flavor instead of just piling on more tomato.  Still, the chasers at Chatterbox are excellent.  Any type of beer for no additional charge.  Plus large Bloody Marys are half off during brunch.  Cannot say no to that!

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