Sunday is Mother’s Day, just in case you forgot. If you are reading this on Friday, it’s too late for you to mail a card, or to order flowers. Which supposes that you celebrate Mother’s Day. It was always a minefield when I was growing up. My mother stated loudly, and often, that, “It’s a Hallmark holiday. It doesn’t mean anything.” And yet, she seemed to enjoy the nosegays of flowers we pilfered from her garden, and our homemade, decidedly not Hallmark, cards: the power of Cray-Pas and oaktag.
I’m sure these popularized holidays are minefields in many other homes where lives are complicated. Mother’s Day might be painful for people whose mothers have died. There’s divorce. There’s estrangement. There’s distance. There are step-mothers. There are custody issues. Mothers go away. Boyfriends. Girlfriends. Uncomfortable situations and memories abound. However you spend Sunday, be nice. Smile, even if you are wearing a mask – people can tell the difference. A home-picked fistful of flowers might go a long way. And so would a phone call.
I’m planning on a nice, simple homemade breakfast. Our children have long since flown the coop, yet sometimes we look up with surprise that it is just the two of us again. We no longer have to make acres of pancakes, use a whole loaf of bread for toast, or fry a pound of bacon. We are adapting to recipes for two. I’ll mentally thank my mother for the family recipe for biscuits, which you will find on the side of the box of Bisquick. Mom did not enjoy cooking much, just the ceremonial bits like Christmas cookies, and birthday cakes, and the annual corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. For her, less time in the kitchen meant more time in the garden, or more time reading. It is an admirable philosophy, and one I intend to practice this weekend.
• 2 1/4 cups Bisquick mix
• 2/3 cup milk
• Heat oven to 450°F. Stir ingredients until soft dough forms.
• Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. (I like to roll the dough out, and cut it into circles, using the ancestral biscuit cutter)
• Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. (Be careful, it is very easy to burn their bottoms.)
(These freeze nicely, so you might still have some in reserve for Father’s Day.)
Our clever friends at Food52 understand the primal need for biscuits, and not just for breakfast: https://food52.com/blog/13819-13-recipes-for-when-you-just-need-a-biscuit
Over at Bon Appétit, they get a little carried away with themselves. However, my friend who worked at Bon Appétit, taught me a less complicated way to prepare bacon, which leaves more time for the Sunday papers, because it is relatively hands-free. We use thick cut bacon, so if you use thinner bacon, keep an eye on things – you do not want it to burn.
• Pre-heat oven to 425°F
• Line a sheet with parchment paper
• Lay the bacon slices on the parchment paper (We figure on 2 slices per person, and 1 for the dog)
• Put sheet pan into the oven, and set a timer for 12 minutes (It is easy to get lost in the Style section)
Sometimes Mr. Sanders, who likes to fuss, will turn the bacon halfway through the cooking process. I ignore it.
• Take bacon out when it is done enough for you. Drain the pieces on paper towels. Make the dog wait until you have finished eating.
The fancier Bon Appétit way: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/brown-sugar-glazed-bacon
Whipped Cream Pat for Fruit
You must have fresh fruit for breakfast! And fruit bathed in our latest invention at the very least. We baked some cream puffs a couple of weeks ago, and improvised the most delicious filling ever in the whole wide world. We mixed whipped cream into the creme pat. Luckily, there was a large bowl of filling left over. You can be a reasonable adult and mix some whipped cream into vanilla yogurt if you want. Or you can be a cool kid, and try our mixture with your farm-fresh, you-picked-them strawberries. Make this ahead of time. Maybe for your Saturday night cream puffs.
Add 2 cups of homemade whipped cream and combine. And now you see why we had leftovers. Believe me, you will enjoy this for a while.
We never know what is going on with other folks, so remember to be kind. Holidays can be anxious events. Make a nice, simple breakfast, read the paper, get out into the garden, pick up the phone.
“It was delightful to wake up early and refreshed, and come down to this sunshiny, cheerful breakfast-table, where, though nothing was grand, all was thoroughly comfortable.”
― Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
“I sit quietly and think about my mom. It’s funny how memory erodes, If all I had to work from were my childhood memories, my knowledge of my mother would be faded and soft, with a few sharp memories standing out.”
― Audrey Niffenegger