“O” is for the other times she beat me.
My mother never beat me. Instead, she encouraged my culinary interests. When I was 8 years old, she taught me how to make pancakes and waffles from scratch. I loved the feel of the wire whisk in my hand as it turned flour, baking powder, eggs and milk into velvety batter.
A few years later, she let me plunder her cookbook cabinet. I can recall the time I made Oeufs a la Neige from a recipe that required every pot, pan, and measuring cup in our well-stocked kitchen. My mother loved the dessert so much that she asked me to make it for a dinner party to which only grownups were invited. This did wonders for my ego.
She tolerated my youthful attempts at interior design, too. One afternoon, when both she and my father were away, I re-arranged the furniture in the living room. Mercifully she liked the new lay-out. (As most of you know, I still like to decorate rooms.)
Well. Enough blathering. It’s time for you to meet my mother:
Here she is, the amazing Joyce Kippen Jacobs, standing beside my equally-awesome father, LeRoy Frederick Jacobs. They’ve been married for 177 years. Obviously they exfoliate and moisturize religiously.
Now, because my mother lives in Spokane, Washington, and I live 3,000 miles away in Upstate New York, I can’t personally deliver gifts for Mother’s Day. I have to send them. These two gifts have proven colossal hits:
Professionally-Arranged Flowers. Who doesn’t like to receive these? Over the years, I’ve ordered countless bouquets through 1-800-Flowers. The blooms are fresh and long-lasting. Pictured above is one of my favorite Mother’s Day arrangements — “Lavender Dreams.”
Restaurant Gift Certificates. Since my parents like to dine out, last year I called their favorite restaurant, and asked them to send my mama a $100 gift certificate. (I sent the same gift to my father for Father’s Day.) The gesture was a huge hit, for it enabled my mother to knock back countless cocktails at the bar, while she contemplated her favorite child. Who I suspect isn’t me.
Now, if your mother lives within easy driving distance, you can always surprise her by whipping up one of these screamingly delicious treats:
Petit Fours with White Chocolate Glaze. All you need is a frozen pound cake, some colorful jams, and some molten white chocolate. Here’s the recipe.
Fabulous Almond Butter Cookies (GF). These are beautifully perfumed, subtly sweet, and gluten-free. I can’t imagine anyone not liking them! The recipe.
Earl Grey Cookies. Tea leaves and a splash of rose water give these biscuits an irresistible scent. They are a cinch to make. The recipe.
Limoncello Cupcakes. Oh me oh my. These are gorgeous to behold, and sinfully delicious to eat. And just wait until you take a bite, and discover the orange marmalade that’s hidden inside. The recipe.
And speaking of marmalade…
Marmalade Cake. Make it, freeze it, deliver it. The moist texture and bright orange perfume will knock your mother off her feet. Hopefully she won’t break a hip. My step-by-step recipe.
Monkey Bread. This isn’t the cheap and tawdry dessert made with canned biscuits. It’s the traditional version, made with sweet roll dough. And it’s so delicious you won’t want to share it with anyone. Not even your mom. So you might as well send her flowers. Or the aforementioned gift certificate. The recipe.
Rhubarb Streusel Puffs. I made these the other day, and immediately wished my mother lived nearby so she could try them, too. They are sexy, seasonal, and scrumptious. To try them is to love them. Here’s the step-by-step.
And now I have a question for you. In the comments field below, say something about your mother. You can also tell me what, if anything, you are doing for Mother’s Day!
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