Tea in a May Basket

May Day is such a sweet, evocative holiday, one that almost passes unnoticed today. Do you remember picking violets for little baskets to be hung on neighbors’ doorknobs, dancing around the May Pole or seeing the May Queen who wears a crown of flowers? This May Day bring back one of those old traditions with Tea in a May Basket.

To prepare for this “tea,” first think of the people with whom you’d like to share a May Basket. Consider anyone who could use a bright spot in their day, your elderly neighbors, shut-ins, a new mom, a crazy-busy colleague. Since you’ll be delivering tea treats, don’t deliver a May Basket to someone you know won’t be home or at her desk at work. On this same note, while it is fun to leave a May Basket anonymously, wait (in the bushes!) to make certain someone opens the door and finds it.

The next step is to pick a basket. Dollar stores are great places to look for inexpensive baskets. Buy some pretty ribbon while you’re there to weave into the basket or wrap around the handle. Use a piece of fabric to line the basket. Some lace glued to the rim would add another decorative touch. Go as far as your own creativity allows or keep it simple.

Okay, now for filling the May Basket. You must, absolutely must, have a tiny bouquet of flowers. Violets are traditional for May Baskets but they might be difficult to find. Use whatever small, delicate flowers you like. Stick them in a water vial, the kind florists use, or wrap them in a bit of damp paper towel covered with plastic wrap so they won't wilt.

My Tea in a May Basket menu is simple and easy to transport. A Shrimp Roll is quick to make and everyone loves them. Wrapped up in parchment paper, sealed with a pretty flower sticker, it makes a nice presentation too. A light Pasta Salad filled with veggies is another festive choice. Use a half-pint container, the kind you get from the deli, to hold the salad. Add the most perfect piece of fruit that you can find, polish it and tie a ribbon on the stem. Pears or apples work best for this. A Flower Pot Cookie is one of the cutest you’ll ever see and is perfect for adding to the May Basket. And don’t forget the tea! You’ll want to use a tea in bag form, one that comes wrapped. A nice fruity tea from Celestial Seasonings would work nicely here. I wouldn’t recommend giving a loose tea as your friends might not know what to do with it.

Who wouldn’t want to find this Tea in a May Basket hanging from their door! You have two weeks to work on making your baskets and filling them is a snap. The individual recipes start tomorrow.