Uniquely Rhode Island ~ May Breakfast
We've been hearing about May Breakfasts since we came to Rhode Island, but up until yesterday, we hadn't been to one. Not for lack of interest so much as for letting those first May weekends go by and suddenly realizing we'd missed it.
The lovely food writer, Linda Beaulieu, explains the history.
"On May 1, which is May Day – often on the first Saturday in May – these spring breakfasts are held in church halls, fire stations, community centers and grange halls – a tradition that dates back to 1867 when the first May breakfast was held. The quintessential May breakfast of modern times is held every year at the Oaklawn Community Baptist Church, 229 Wilbur Avenue in Cranston."
This year I was determined to go. And what better place for our first May Breakfast than the "quintessential" one? So, off we went at 6:00 am, wondering if there would be a line, and also wondering if anyone would show up on a Wednesday morning.
There was no line when we arrived at 6:30, but we were guests #82 and #83. A walk through the pretty pink sanctuary took us to the parish hall.
The dining area was set up family-style, with long tables dressed in yellow and blue gingham and spring flowers. It was sunny and spring-y. The menu was scrambled eggs, clam cakes, ham, coffee, orange juice and the best corn bread we've ever tasted. (Yes, that's a challenge. Send us cornbread for comparison.)
The parishioners who served as greeters, seaters, waiters and bussers were polite, friendly and welcoming. Our company was pleasant, and chatted about May breakfasts that they'd been to in the past, and ones they were going to this year. Apparently, there's a circuit.
Once we'd filled ourselves with ham and eggs (and corn bread!), we were offered apple pie.
I've always thought of pie for breakfast as a day-after-Thanksgiving thing, but who are we to argue with tradition? The pie, like the rest of the food, was very good. We went away comfortably full and looking forward to next year. It's a lovely way to start the month, and the weather certainly cooperated, too.
Happy May Day! Do you have a favorite spot for May breakfast?