Most mornings, I make breakfast, but there’s one day of the year I like to have it served to me, in bed preferably. That would be on Mother’s Day.
This gesture of love is too sweet for words, with adorable little waiters tripping over themselves to help and watching me eat each bite with pride on their faces.
Let’s be honest, though; there IS a downside to this Mother’s Day tradition, and I’m not the only woman to perceive it. In recent lurking on popular women’s forums, I picked up on underlying grievances at having to exchange a short period of relaxing and pampering for cold eggs and a messy kitchen to face after having dressed. (Not to mention hollering instructions down the hall to the kitchen. Raise your hand if you’ve done that.)
How can we make this much-deserved experience more enjoyable?
Well, I’m not ashamed to admit that in my home breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day is rigged ever so slightly. That is, I prepare and freeze some baking ahead of time, stock the fridge with my favorite organic yogurt or local triple cream Camembert, and pick up a few of my favorite fruits to ripen for Mother’s Day. My husband makes an incredible latte, and that, together with my prep, ensures a top-notch breakfast tray.
By simply planning ahead and offering a few instructions/suggestions for the well-wishers, I increase my chances of getting a speedy and tasty breakfast in bed, minimize kitchen disasters, and ensure a relaxed start to the day for all.
Some might say this is taking matters into my own hands or over-complicating things, but I think there are many husbands/significant others out there who would actually appreciate pointers. Perhaps you have a competent pre-teen who’s happy to make waffles , or luckier still, a chef-husband who’s had a menu planned and the flowers ordered for a week already, but the rest of us are probably going to need a little help to ensure a peaceful morning AND breakfast in bed. Here’s how it can be done:
Mom’s To-Do List (day before)
- Prepare do-ahead recipes for muffins, scones, or your favorite breakfast treat (see suggestions below). At the very least, purchase your favorite Danish or croissants and stash them in the freezer. Most of them re-heat quite nicely in the oven (not microwave.)
- Purchase your favorite juice, cheese, yogourt and fresh fruit. Label them ‘M-O-M’ if you think they may get eaten before their appointed time.
- Pick-up a favorite magazine or book if you really intend to make the most of your time alone.
- Locate a tray or basket, cloth napkin, utensils, etc… and leave them in plain view.
- Print this post for Dad.
Dad’s To-Do List (morning of)
- Make coffee or tea, juice. Serve immediately.
- Prepare fresh fruit.
- Assemble yogurt and toppings (granola, meusli) or cheese plate.
- Warm or bake pre-prepared baked goods and open the best jar of jam in the house.
- Assembling everything in a sturdy tray or basket, along with cloth napkins, cutlery, and fresh flowers if available.
Let’s give the guys a break, shall we, especially the ones who don’t get behind the stove often. Mornings tend to be hectic for the best of us, and we’re used to it! In my kitchen I’ve got two little ones under age five clamoring for food and drink and my strong dependence on coffee makes me a tad sluggish until it kicks in. My hubby is going to have his hands full; I want him to know he has my support.
Keeping breakfast simple for dad also ensures a peaceful morning for the whole family.
Tasks for Little Helpers
We all know they love to help. Here are some suggestions for keeping the children busy and feeling involved.
- pick flowers for a vase
- deliver the paper or a magazine to Mama
- arrange fruit on a plate
- color a pretty placemat for the tray
- make a card for mom
- practice singing a song for mom
Consider handing an older child the camera and let them document the morning; you’ll be glad you did.
Do-Ahead Breakfast Baking
Oatmeal-Spice Muffins (with suggestions for variations)
Recipe: Basic Cream Scones
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, cold, cubed
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup light cream (10 or 15%MF)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
1. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. With a pastry cutter, cut in butter until the butter is roughly pea-sized.
2. In a small bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Add cream and sugar and beat well.
3. Combine wet ingredients with the dry and fold gently to combine. Stir as little as possible. Add in currants or desired ‘extras’.
4. Using your hands, gather the dough into a rough ball and place on a floured counter top. Pat into a disc about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into triangles with a sharp knife or make shapes with a cookie cutter.
5. Place in an airtight container or plastic bag, label, and freeze OR bake at 450°F for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
To bake from freezing: Preheat oven to 425°F. Place frozen scones on baking tray and bake 12-16 minutes, or until sightly golden. Baking time will vary according to size of scones.
- zest of 1 lemon, orange or lime
- toasted chopped nuts
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- chopped candied ginger
- dried cranberries
- sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- fresh herbs, chopped
A French press of dark roast, warm scones with homemade jam and a good non-fiction book is my ideal breakfast in bed. What’s yours?