Rather than going out to one of the typically over-crowded, over-priced Mother’s Day brunch restaurants, consider bringing family and friends to your place and do it as a surprise! She and the guests can relax, converse, remember and just have a good, home-style laid back time of it, which can last for hours. Of course Mom cannot be allowed to do ANY work, no matter how she might protest.
Cards and gifts can be opened at your convenience and the house should be decorated, at least with flowers (from Lesher’s). Family photos should also be displayed. Have her favorite music playing and consider making a CD with a compilation of “her” songs that she can have as a souvenir remembrance. Be sure to take plenty of pictures and have copies made for her. Serve her favorite beverages and snacks for all before brunch.
Make as many dishes as possible the night before or early the morning of Mom’s Day. Have 2 or 3 people in the kitchen serving and cleaning up. Start the brunch with a toast from you and any of her other kids and sons and daughters in-law. Even if it’s a bright day, candlelight looks great. You should have Mimosa glasses, water glasses (for iced water with a lemon slice), cloth napkins and tablecloth and your best china, serving dishes and silver.
Have each guest bring some type of dish and coordinate this a few days ahead of time. A possible menu, keeping in mind what Mom likes and doesn’t like, might consist of Mimosas, 4 types of quiche such as ham, cheese, artichoke, spinach (home-made of course, but you can use Pet-Ritz crusts), fresh asparagus with olive oil and spices baked lightly in the oven, potatoes (use the pre-packaged type found at the supermarket near the eggs), Mom’s favorite meat (baked ham, turkey breast or roast beef (not deli-sliced), fresh fruit salad (the best basic fruit salad is at Sam’s, but you need to add blueberries, strawberries, banana), a salad of mixed greens, with walnut halves, gorgonzola cheese, blueberries, Craisins, and mandarin oranges (serve a choice of 2 salad dressings in cream pitchers), rolls or biscuits with softened butter can be served, but you won’t really need this. For dessert consider lemon meringue or key lime pie (Tippin’s is OK) and Mom’s favorite home-made cake.
For drinks; fresh brewed regular and decaf coffee with half and half and sugar plus artificial sweetener, iced tea and/or fresh pink lemonade. A white and red wine could be offered as well. You might consider Leonard Kreusch Liebraumilch or Schmitt Sohne Riesling for the white and The Jump Stump Shiraz or Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon for red.
Have a couple of volunteers (not Mom) to serve, to keep cleaning off the table, washing dishes and putting everything in order. Then everyone can just relax, tell stories and enjoy each other. If you have a piano, or other instrument, and someone to play it, this would also be an elegant touch.
Sure, this is all a lot of effort…but isn’t Mom worth it.
Ron (Johnny Rabbitt) Elz
KMOX Route 66