What’s your Mother’s Day Plan? the big day is approaching! What better time than now to offer up a few ideas on how you can treat your mom to a wonderful day. Here are a few ideas on how you can pre-plan her favorite meal. Hopefully these quick tips will inspire you to make the day perfect.
The Grill Tip!
Has mom asked for her favorite meal to be served up hot off the grill? For many families a cook out on the deck or in the back yard is the way to go on special occasions. If the occasion is something like Mother’s Day then the big tip is to make sure what you are planning on grilling is what she wants to eat. Sure, burgers, dogs, bratwurst and sausage may be your favorite items but mom maybe thinking about steak, chicken, fish or shrimp. All I’m saying is to check with mom. That’s a good tip in any situation.
Secondly - grilling means cooking outdoors so a backup plan in case of rain needs to be thought about. It may be a simple as an umbrella.
The Brunch & Lunch Tip!
Maybe your plan is a nice brunch or lunch for mom and the family. If so, try something a bit different, if mom approves. I’m sure everyone can name every dish served during every holiday get-together. Try it, pick a holiday and name the same menu that you’ve had the last decade. Ham, potatoes, salad, beans with those crunchy onion things, some pasta salad, rolls… see what I mean? If that’s what mom wants, go for it. Just make sure you clean up the mess and let her relax.
However, if mom gives the ok for something different why not try a brunch menu. Maybe Belgian Waffles with fruit, mini cucumber sandwiches, Monte Cristo sandwiches, fresh fruit, spring vegetables, assorted finger foods geared towards small portions and wide variety. The menu items are really up to you and mom. I’m just suggesting something a bit different.
The Going Out to Dinner Tip!
Guess what, you’re not the only ones thinking about a nice dinner served up at mom’s favorite restaurant. Go ahead and make some reservations now if the chosen restaurant takes them. Also, it’s good to have a backup plan in case the wait is longer than you care to stick around for. And I’m betting in many cases it will be.
How do you avoid the rush? At many restaurants you really can’t avoid extra customers on Mother’s Day. The trick that many managers and restaurant owners suggest is to either wait until the “after church” rush has ended or to dine before the “dinner crowd” hits the door. It doesn’t always apply at every restaurant but many establishments have a slow down between 2pm and 5pm. I would check with the restaurants that you are thinking about taking mom to and seeing if they anticipate the same thing.
The Last Tip!
Hug your mom. If your mom is no longer with us then think about her and hug somebody else’s mom. If you know a mom with children out of town, serving overseas or that have passed away… then say Happy Mother’s Day to them as well.
A Quick Recipe
My wife Ally loves hot and fresh yeast rolls. My mom, Arleta, thinks so as well. In fact, my mother-in-law Joan happens to be pretty fond of them now that I think about it. I guess that makes it official. If three “mother’s” think it’s a good recipe then who am I to argue. Love you Mom!
Kent's Yeast Rolls
This yeast roll recipe is pretty easy to follow and if you take your time you will have a wonderful batch of rolls.
2 packages active dry yeast (See notes below for rapid yeast)
1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup shortening
1 large egg, beaten
6 cups Unbleached Bread Flour, divided
Non-stick cooking Spray
2-4 tablespoons butter, melted
First - DISSOLVE two yeast packets in very 1/2 warm/hot water in a large bowl.
Second - In a sauce pan - Combine milk, sugar, salt and shortening in and heat over medium low heat to 115°F - Be sure to keep stirring until shortening is melted. Add to yeast mixture and stir in egg. Stir to blend.
Third - Beat in 3 cups flour until smooth. Stir in the remaining flour to make a soft dough. TURN the dough onto a lightly floured surface. I use a cookie tin with sides to help hold the flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Shape into a ball. Coat a LARGE bowl with no-stick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to evenly coat with the spray.
Four - Cover with towel. Let rise in a warm place 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Five - Coat two 13 x 9-inch pans with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the dough into half and the divide each half into 12-15 equal egual sized pieces. Shape into balls by rolling in your hands and place them in the pan with space in between each roll. Cover with towel. Let rise in a warm place about 20 minutes or until doubled in size.
A MUST - PREHEAT your oven to 400 degrees. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm
NOTE: You can use rapid yeast, I've used both. NOTE TWO: If you don't have a large enough bowl you can divide the freshly kneaded dough into two equal pieces and use two smaller bowls, cover and allow each to double in size. The rise time will differ due to the smaller dough balls. NOTE THREE: Don't rush things. Let the smaller dough balls rise before cooking.
Kent Whitaker is a national cookbook author and culinary writer with 10 published books. He is also member of, and, an AUXCHEF trainer for the United States Coast Guard Aux. He and his wife Ally live in East Tennessee with their son Macee and two spoiled dogs. Kent's books are available, or can be ordered at, any book store or online at www.thedeckchef.com . Look for Kent on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekentwhitaker .