Making Mother's Day brunch for your mom is great because you get give someone you really care about (i.e. your mom) a homemade present, which is basically a super-classy way of saying, "I stopped doing me-centric stuff and thought about you because I love you and I value you! Remember this for when I forget to let the dog out and your new rug acquires a mysterious, permanent stain."
But what about the part where you have to cook stuff? Maybe you're already a culinary prodigy, but if you're not, I know it can seem scary because knives and fire and disaster and oh, the humanity. I promise you this: it's nowhere near as scary as it seems, and you don't have to be Jamie Oliver to knock your mom's socks off.
C'mon. Let's do this, Julia Child.
Step 1: Consider enlisting help. Maybe you're a culinary rockstar, but if you are the suckiest at kitchen stuff (or if your folks would rather you avoid hot, burn-y surfaces and sharp things), enlist an older sibling, a non-Mom parent or guardian, or a capable friend with kitchen experience to help you plan, pick up groceries, and make sure that you don't accidentally flambé your house. If your mom's Type A about her kitchen, you may also want to clear your plan with her first.
Step 2: Pick a menu and some recipes. Here's where things get fun. Think about what your mom loves to eat, and challenge yourself to go beyond pouring her a bowl of cereal and being like, "Gold star, please." To get your brain started, here are a few easy ideas that take minimal time and effort and still taste like you just graduated from the French Culinary Institute:
- Brew her the perfect cup of coffee or tea. Make sure to keep fresh milk (dairy or non-) and sugar (or sugar substitutes) on the side.
- Make her some fresh-squeezed OJ. It's insanely simple and it tastes fantastic.
- Follow your beverages with a frittata, which is a fancy way of describing a thicker version of an omelet. Fry stuff in a pan, dump some scrambled eggs/salt/pepper on top, bake, cut into wedges, serve. That's it. I hope your world has been suitably rocked. Plus, frittatas are totally customizable, so while this recipe will give you a fantastic base to start from, you can adjust as many of the ingredients as you like. Your mom hates asparagus? Substitute spinach in its place. She loathes ham? Use chopped turkey instead. She's dairyphobic? Pull out the cheese. She doesn't eat meat? Make it a primavera frittata, and use a mix of veggies like broccoli, mushrooms, onions, peppers, or tomatoes instead. The options are endless.
- On the side? You could do a fresh salad using all of the great spring greens that are coming into season. Or if your mom appreciates a good carb, cook up some home fries.
- Are you dealing with a serious sweet tooth? Consider doing French toast instead of the frittata: powdered sugar, whipped cream and fresh berries on the side, please and thank you.
Step 3: Plan and prep. When you've chosen your menu, read through your recipes a few times so you know what's coming, and investigate if you have any questions. (What does "sauté" mean? If your recipe calls for it, that's a good thing to know before the day of.) If you have supervision or a partner in crime, figure out who's doing what. Write down the ingredients you need, and see what you have in the house and what you need to buy. Also, make sure you know how many people you're feeding; each recipe will tell you how many servings it produces, so if you're cooking for four and the recipe makes enough for eight, you might want to cut it in half. Lastly, put together a little timeline of when you'll do things and in what order; for example, you can usually chop and sort veggies well before you get near a heat source, and you can actually plan the timing of your foods so that they all finish cooking around the same time. That means they get to the plate still hot, and you look like a brunch hero.
Step 4: Go for it. Don't stress—whatever happens, she's going to love it, and you're going to win the Thoughtful Award of the Year. Good work, you.
Are you making brunch for your mom on Saturday?
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