Mays Featured Holidays and Recipes

There are three great days in the month of May that I would like to talk about...Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day. I will share a brief history and include a couple of delectable recipes. Happy May!

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Cinco de Mayo - May 5, 2005 - Cinco de Mayo means "The 5th of May." Many people believe that it is Mexico's Independence Day. This is not true. Independence Day in Mexico is September 16. The history of Cinco de Mayo dates back to the mid 1800's. Mexico was in substantial debt with France, Spain, and England. France decided to use this to their advantage and invade Mexico. The first invasion attempt was on May 5, 1862. It is known as The Battle of Pueblain. The Mexican army was out numbered and out matched, yet, they defeated the French army and kept control of their country. Unfortunately, they lost a battle that took place about a year later and the French gained control from 1864 - 1867. Although Mexico lost out to the French in the end...they still celebrate the bravery shown at the first battle. I have included two delicious recipes to fit any Mexican celebration.

Make 'em Smile Guacamole

(read entire recipe before starting)

1 very small onion, finely chopped 1 medium-large tomato, cored and very finely chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and very finely chopped 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 3 ripe, medium avocados, peeled, seeded, roughly mashed 1/4 cup of finely chopped leaf lettuce 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste) pepper to taste Juice of one small lime

In a medium bowl, mix the onion, tomato, garlic and cilantro. About 1/2 hour before serving, add avocado with the rest of the ingredients. Your goal is to create a thick mass of yum. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors blend. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or Mexican dish.

Pinto Beans

4 cups water 2 cups dried pinto beans 1 medium onion, chopped 1/4 cup olive oil 2 cloves garlic 2 thick slices of bacon 1 teaspoon cumin

Mix water, beans and onion in 4-quart Dutch oven. Cover and heat to boiling; boil about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour. Add just enough water to cover beans. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, approximately 2 hours. (Add water during cooking if necessary.) Drain, cover, and refrigerate beans. Use within one week.

----------------------------------------------------------------- Mother's Day - May 8, 2005 - In the United States, about 150 years ago a Homemaker named Anna Jarvis wanted to bring attention to the impoverished health conditions in her region. She decided to organize a special day to help her cause. She called it "Mothers Work Day." When she died in 1905 her daughter began to Lobby to create a special day to honor Mothers. Finally, in 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a bill declaring Mother's Day a national holiday. Unfortunately, she never wanted it to become a commercialized money maker. She even tried to get the holiday canceled! I have decided not to include any recipes because Mom should NOT cook on her special day! She should be taken out to a nice quiet dinner. Trust me on this one.

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Memorial Day - US - May 30, 2005 - Memorial Day is a day that the United States remembers the soldiers who lost their lives so they can live in a free country. It was first observed on May 30, 1868. However, in the beginning, not all states celebrated this holiday. It did not become nationally recognized and accepted until 1971. Unfortunately, today, the true purpose of this special day has been lost in cook outs, beer drinking, and a day off from work. Don't get me wrong...all that is great...BUT, Let's not forget the cost of our freedom.

BBQ Burgers

1-1/2 pound ground sirloin 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 bottle of favorite BBQ sauce 2 tsp brown sugar 1 Tblsp mustard 1 Tblsp grill/steak seasoning 8 hamburger buns Favorite burger toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.)

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and shape into 8 burgers. Grill or fry to desired doneness.

PICNIC POTATO SALAD

7 medium-size baking potatoes 1 cup mayonnaise 1 Tblsp mustard 1 teaspoon salt 2 celery ribs, sliced 2 Tblsp onions, finely chopped 1 Tblsp fresh parsley, chopped Pepper to taste

Garnish: 3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (if desired)

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender; drain and cool. Peel and slice. Combine all ingredients except potato, mix. Add potatoes and stir gently until well combined. Garnish with hard-boiled eggs, if desired. Chill 2-3 hours...or serve warm.

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Well, I hope you have enjoyed our journey...Happy Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and Memorial Day!!!

About the Author: My name is Lara Velez and I am the Editor-in-Chief of The Recipe Finder - Online cooking magazine - http://www.therecipefinder.com. I am also a wife and mother of two. I enjoy cooking, reading, scrapbooking, and being a wife and mom. Please feel free to email me any time. [email protected]

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