3 Better Mother’s Day Ideas Than Brunch

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I’m basically the worst daughter ever, having been too sick to go to Pittsburgh this weekend for Mom’s birthday, and I’ll be at the beach for Mother’s Day. Fortunately, I have the best mother, and she’s incredibly understanding. I have several plans to make this up to her, including an afternoon of wineing, our annual Ashcombe trip, and more.

Don’t be like me. Consider one or more of these Mother’s Day treats for you mother this Sunday — YES, it’s THIS Sunday, people. Get a calendar.

And for the love of god, call your mom. Now. Don’t you dare with the Facebook update. CALL HER ON THE PHONE. Extra points for landline usage on either end.

Sara’s Best Mother’s Day Recommendations

Think beyond brunch: Hit up her hobbies

Look, Mom deserves more. She just wants you to spend some time with her. Or to freaking CALL her regularly. So, rather than join a long list of families shuffling in and out of busy restaurants this Sunday, why not choose something a little more interesting. (Hey, if mom wants brunch, more power to her — look for my roundup of brunches in the Weekend Roundup on Thursday).

My mom and I like to garden (she is WAY better at it than I am, but has the best tips), so one of our annual traditions this time of year is to visit Ashcombe and spend an embarrassing amount of money on vegetables, flowers and whatever else we find. We usually start with a Bloody Mary at T.J. Rockwell’s, because, well, that’s how we roll. Then, later we split a giant peanut butter cookie at Ashcombe (because shopping really works up an appetite). By the end, we’re too tired for much else, and head home to unpack our haul.

Another tip for those of you with moms who enjoy gardening: Moms get free admission to Hershey Gardens on Mother’s Day. Tie this in with a meal at her favorite Hershey spot, and you’re set.

wine and crackers

Muffins for Mom at The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey

For a nice low-key, but special afternoon, treat mom to a flight of muffins paired with her choice of handcrafted local brews or wine at The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey.

For a bargain $7.50 in advance ($10 at the door), you’ll enjoy a flight including:

  • Blueberry Muffin paired with Pom Beach, Chambourcin, or Blackberry Port
  • Banana Muffin paired with Weize Guy Hefe, Oaked Chardonnay, or Sparkling Moscato
  • Apple Muffin paired with Central Pale Ale, Dry Riesling, or Sweet Riesling

Live music runs 2-5 p.m., so you can kick-back and relax the afternoon away, spending some QT with the woman who birthed you.

»» Reserve Now

Turn the tables: Cook for mom (Includes a How-To)

Hey, you. How often do you have your mother over for dinner? How many meals has that tired woman made you over the years? Yeah, yeah I know she likes it. But today, how ’bout instead of getting a free (or conversely, an overpriced) meal out, why don’t you show off those recipes you’ve been yapping about?

OK, let me break it down: Get a bottle of something light and a tiny bit sparkling to start, like a Vinho Verde (bonus: they’re notoriously cheap), plus a nice plate of cheese. Don’t know what you’re doing? Step away from the Cracker Barrel, and go to Wegmans and pick up one of those pre-made cheese plates. Put it on a pretty plate at home, and done.

For the main meal, stay simple. Roasting a chicken is so simple it’s a wonder we’re not all taught how to do this at age 10. Rub that baby with butter (under the skin) and stick some lemon slices inside and roast ‘er. I’m not kidding, that is how you roast a chicken. Done. Wine? A nice pinot noir will be perfect.

Mom wants vegetables. I prefer all of mine roasted. They’re tastier and so so easy. Sprinkle something green (asparagus, tips snapped off; or brussels sprouts, halved) with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and some olive oil. Stick it in the oven for a bit. Snack on those super browned, crunchy brussels sprout leaves when no one is looking — Mmmm!

Oven-challenged? Make a nice salad: Use Bibb lettuce and chop up (smaller than you think) some nice looking veggies — celery, scallions are mandatory — maybe some thin-sliced radishes or shredded carrots (not for my mom!) for color. I also love a pop of black olives. Toss with some olive oil and vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar.

Look at you: Your stock has risen. 

Bonus: Make this dessert. It’s easier than it seems, and mom will be so impressed.

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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