Whether it’s wiping runny noses, packing hundreds of school lunches, juggling work for the countless rides to soccer, dance, football or gymnastics, spreading diplomacy among siblings, counseling, cooking, crafting, working … Wow. Mom keeps the family running in ways you don’t always consider, but also don’t need a holiday to appreciate.
A quaint breakfast in bed is a wonderful way to start her day, whether it's that special Sunday in May or just a regular weekend. Whatever you do, don’t wait until Mother’s Day bears down to start thinking up ways to spoil your Southern matriarch -- use this rundown of delicious and thoughtful thank-yous to give her a morning of extended comfort.
While everyone can agree it’s the most important meal of the day, breakfast leaves a wide range of choices for the strategic chef. From a classic Eggs Benedict to homemade waffles with fresh fruit, or maybe even a healthy avocado egg-in-a-hole, you’ll want to find the right bite and flavor to keep your mom happily in bed until lunchtime.
“I’m a firm believer that these ‘Hallmark holidays’ should be every day of the year,” said James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence. “While I don’t relegate it to a particular day, I do pamper my wife on Mother’s Day because I’m a deep believer in the significance of the work that motherhood is. I’m amazed at my wife, at the job that she does and the mother that she is to our daughter.”
As the owner of six restaurants in Oxford, Mississippi, including City Grocery and Bouré, Chef Currence is also the author of Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day. He shared with us a bed-friendly recipe, which you can read below, from his new cookbook.
When it comes to refreshments, you can get as simple or sophisticated as you’d like. The options are endless — from fresh-squeezed blood orange juice to home-roasted coffee beans — but don’t rule out a cocktail just because of the clock.
“The Bonal Paloma is an easy cocktail that I like to whip up at home to surprise my wife with breakfast in bed,” said Zach Lynch, bar manager at Ice Plant Bar in St. Augustine, Florida. “Fresh grapefruit juice is a great pairing to the French gentiane liqueur and a nice, low-ABV way to start the day. It’s all about her, after all.”
“I’m also a big fan of the Seelbach, a new classic from New Orleans,” said Lynch of a favorite on his restaurant’s brunch menu. “But when it comes to a non-alcoholic treat, I like to dress up my coffee with a half-ounce of Angostura bitters and quarter-ounce of simple syrup. It’s like a coffee Old Fashioned with a chicory taste.”
With the meal and cocktail on their way to completion, it’s now time to dress up the tray (or the delivery vehicle of your choice) with thoughtful add-ons like mom’s favorite flowers and a handmade card.
Traditional Mother’s Day decorations aside, a little prep work the day before can go a long way. Put together a place setting using proper linens, fine china and heirloom silver with a name card personalized for mom.
Whether it’s her first Mother’s Day or her 50th, a thoughtful and quaint Southern breakfast in bed using the recipes below is sure to show Mom that she is appreciated.
Big Bad Breakfast Egg Bake by Chef John Currence
- 1 slice whole wheat bread
- 1/4 cup diced country ham or chopped cooked bacon
- 1/4 cup garlic cheese grits
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs of your choosing
- 2 eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-oz. Charlotte mold or an 8-oz. ceramic, ovenproof cup with nonstick spray. Toast the bread and cut into two 3-inch rounds. Place one toast round in the bottom of the cup, followed by half of the ham, half of the grits and a pinch each of the Parmesan, cheddar and herbs. Add another layer of toast, followed by the remaining ham and grits, and a pinch of each of the Parmesan and cheddar. Crack the eggs over the top, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the remaining herbs and cheeses. Place the cup on a small baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted and bubbly and the visible egg whites are just cooked (about 8 minutes). If you like your eggs completely set and hard, bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Serve immediately.
Bonal Paloma by Zach Lynch
Makes 1 drink
- 1 1/2 ounces Bonal Gentiane Quina aperitif
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
- Soda water
Combine Bonal and grapefruit juice in a rocks glass over ice, stir and top with soda water. Garnish with a micro bouquet of edible flowers.