In the Village we are blessed with good weather and restaurants with outdoor patio dining, so taking mom out for Mother’s Day brunch is easy as pie. For a spouse and kids who want to do the honoring, going out means someone else does all the cooking and cleaning.
But some feel restaurant food is like a store-bought gift; nice but doesn’t show true love and affection.
If you decide to cook for mom, get the work done early. Getting stuck in the kitchen cooking and cleaning doesn’t show love. That's lack of planning.
Pick easy-to-make recipes. Clean as you go so the kitchen doesn’t show the work it took to get the food on the table. Serve freshly prepared, health-conscious dishes, so everyone feels energized by the meal.
For brunch, toasted bagels with cream cheese, slices of lox and servings of capers and finely chopped red onions are a good way to start. If you’re planning on eating a little later, a lunch-time dish like rosemary fried chicken with a light flour dusting is a mom-pleaser.
Whether the celebration is brunch or lunch, omelets are good and infinitely variable. Have dishes of fillings laid out on the kitchen counter so mom and the guests can mix and match and share. Different kinds of cheeses, fresh spinach, chopped ham, crisp bacon, chopped tomatoes, scallions, sautéed onions … the list goes on and on.
Salads are also good. Fresh and healthy, salads can be tossed greens with a simple vinaigrette, or more complex offerings like carrot salad with golden raisins soaked in lemon juice and black pepper, real Caesar salad, roasted beet salad, potato salad with vegetables, egg salad with crispy bacon, grilled romaine lettuce with pecorino Romano, spinach salad with grilled vegetables, hard boiled eggs and bacon, fresh kale with cheddar cheese and almond and infinitely more.
No Mother’s Day meal is complete without dessert. The trick is to make something easy that tastes good without being too calorie-heavy. The pineapples at Gelson’s are sweet and delicious and go well in a fruit salad that includes blueberries and strawberries from the farmers market.
Maybe make mom a custard with either raisins and apples or one with crystallized ginger or for the more ambitious cook, a fig tart with almonds is a beautiful way to go. If mom has a thing for chocolate, a chocolate-banana-walnut cake is easy to make, light and delicious.
To embellish whatever dish you choose, pick up flowers from the farmers market or cut some from your garden. Put them on the table and arrange the plates neatly.
So if you have the time, do a little cooking and show mom your big love.