Happy May Day!
It's no mistake that my post is on Sunday, May 3rd. Today is the official May Day at my alma mater, Bryn Mawr College; it was always celebrated on the Sunday just before or after May 1st.
Bryn Mawr is a school steeped in traditions. The list is long, but they include Lantern Night (a a welcoming of the freshwomen into the academic community of Bryn Mawr; we get our lanterns with owls, BMC's mascot), Parade Night, Hell Week (it really did feel like hell; it can be yours, too, for the bargain tuition price of $30,000 per annum! But it is worth it; hell week has a twist, but keeping the secret is another tradition), Teas (parties), and the Senior Steps & Senior Row (walk on, up or down either, and tradition has it you will not graduate).
But May Day was everyone's favorite, in part because it signals the end of the semester, but mostly because it is a day of dancing, partying, lolling on the grass with friends (no small deal at a school where Sundays are universally intense with study), and dancing around the Maypole:
I should add that the grandeur of the Maypole dancing is countered shortly afterward by an unofficial Mayhole dance, a wry feminist response to the traditional English fertility rite. It's a hoot.
Then there's the food. Bryn Mawr was unlike other colleges in that the cafeteria food was consistently good, and very often great. Rather than one enormous cafeteria, Bryn Mawr has multiple dining halls, and much of the food was made in-house (instead of being purchased en masse from Sysco). We had special dinners throughout the year, but May Day was the big blowout, beginning at dawn with strawberries and cream, followed by more strawberries and cream, and more strawberries and cream. Plenty of other delectables played accompaniment, but none surpassed the simple joy of the strawberries and cream.
It's been more than a few years since I've marked the day in any way, but after seeing a clip of maypole dances on CNN on the 1st, I picked up a packet of strawberries for Sunday breakfast.
Since I am loathe to miss my morning yogurt, and because (often to Kevin's chagrin, I like to mess with classics), I put a twist on my May Day memory: Greek yogurt whisked with honey and cardamon, topped with a no-cook blender coulis of strawberries and honey.
Oh me oh my; this is exemplary of a recipe that is greater than the sum of its parts. I'm already making plans to serve this to guests, it's that good. Happy May Day.
Cardamom-Honey Yogurt with Strawberry Coulis
2 cups nonfat yogurt (regular or Greek-style)
4 tablespoons honey, divided use
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 and 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled
Whisk the yogurt, 3 tablespoons of the honey, and cardamom in a medium bowl until blended. Divide yogurt between two short glasses.
Puree the strawberries and remaining tablespoon honey in a blender until smooth. Divide over the yogurt. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve. Makes 2 servings.