Over the years I have come to host a brunch for a group of my friends and their mothers for Mother’s Day.
It started with my mother and my mother-in-law (back when I had one). Then I invited a couple of friends and, because it was The Day, their moms as well. It has expanded to include, on occasion, my dad’s girlfriends, a surrogate mother or two and assorted grandmothers.
I don’t do this out of sheer kindness, and I am not a masochist. It’s more like self-defense. When there are so many mothers and daughters together, all the usual angsts are put aside. It’s too weird to act out in front of strangers.
So it does make for a nice morning. My friends and I get to see one another, meet one another’s moms and toast one another. And we get to feel good about doing something for our mothers as well.
We make it a real girl breakfast: best china, real linen tablecloths, scented candles, simmering potpourri, fragrant oils and flowers. It turns out to be kind of a cross between Martha Stewart and Oprah.
Or maybe “collision” would be a better description. We’ve got all the frilly aesthetics and “remember your spirit” kind of stuff, combined with delivery stories and--these days--discussions of hormone replacement and osteoporosis.
We always do this party at brunch. It’s a timing thing: The younger mothers in the group need to eat early to make up for the requisite kid-made breakfast (burnt toast and weak coffee). And this way the older moms can still have the evening free to be taken out someplace nice for dinner.
The best way to arrange something like this is as a potluck. Everybody brings one thing; that way nobody gets too much of the burden. The trick is to eat well but still not have to work up too much of a sweat on “Your Day.”
Make sure there is at least one substantial egg-type dish and, of course, lots of fruit and salads and things. Non-cooks in the crowd can bring breads (baguettes and bagels), assorted cheeses and beverages--good strong coffee, fruit juices and bottled waters. New millennium-type fruit teas might work too.
There’s only one unbreakable rule: Comparing Mother’s Day gifts is strictly verboten. We don’t need all that hurt estrogen wandering around.
Goldman runs the Baker Boulanger Web site, http://www.betterbaking.com.