May 5, 2020
Traditionally, Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants—they bustle with families for Sunday brunch, and are packed again at dinner. It seems gathering around a special meal is one of the best ways for kids and partners to show their appreciation for all mothers do.
For many kids, breakfast in bed is the thing to do—they get up early, sneak downstairs and make elaborate feasts of waffles or eggs and fruit and coffee to parade upstairs for a morning bedroom picnic. Fortunately, this is the perfect kind of meal to pull off at home, and there are no food rules—no must-haves on the menu—so you can rummage through the fridge, freezer and pantry knowing that it’s the effort that counts.
Here are a few special but flexible breakfasts to make for mom on Mother’s Day morning… dishes you can play around with and make unique using whatever you have in your kitchen.
Waffles: whisk 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt; whisk in 1 cup milk, 1 egg and 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter. Add a shake of cinnamon, some grated citrus zest or vanilla, or use the bacon drippings in place of the oil or butter if you happen to be making bacon to serve alongside. Cook in a preheated waffle iron until crisp and golden. (This recipe can easily be doubled to feed more than 3-4.) If you’re out of syrup, bring 2:1 brown sugar:water to a simmer in a small saucepan, and let it cool. (Add a bit of vanilla or maple extract, if you like.) Top with berries, a drizzle of honey, or even some crushed sweet cereal for a garnish with added crunch.
Granola: stir any quantity of old-fashioned rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and even coconut with enough liquid honey, maple syrup or Rogers’ Golden Syrup (along with a pinch of salt and a shake of cinnamon, if you like) to coat the oats and make them clump together. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 325F for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Add raisins, chopped apricots, or whatever dried fruit you happen to have, and let it cool. Serve as-is, over waffles, or on top of yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit.
Bagels: toast or grill (cut-side down on a preheated grill) bagels and spread with cream cheese, soft ricotta or even feta, whipped with a splash of cream in the food processor until light and smooth. Top with smoked salmon or gravlax and capers, thinly sliced tomatoes and black pepper, or good, chunky jam. Chopped toasted nuts and a drizzle of honey is delicious on ricotta, too.
Pancakes: whisk 1 cup flour, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt; whisk in 1 cup milk, 1 egg and 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter. Add a shake of cinnamon, some grated citrus zest or vanilla, if you like. If you have buttermilk, use it, and add 1/2 tsp baking soda to the dry ingredients—you could also use plain yogurt or sour cream that needs to be used up, thinned with a bit of water to the consistency of buttermilk or heavy cream. Cook in a preheated skillet with a drizzle of oil or dab of butter to coat the bottom, until bubbles begin to break through the surface; flip and cook until crisp and golden on the other side. (This recipe can easily be doubled to feed more than 3-4.)
Homemade Jam: in a skillet, simmer any quantity of fresh or frozen berries or other soft fruit (peaches, plums, even rhubarb) with about half as much sugar as your quantity of fruit. Mash with a spoon or potato masher as it simmers and thickens; play around with the flavours if you like, and add a bit of grated ginger or citrus zest or juice, a cinnamon stick or a bit of vanilla once it’s off the heat. When you can leave a trail through the mixture, it will be jammy enough to cool and store in the fridge. Serve with toast, biscuits, waffles, or yogurt and granola.
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