Psst! - just a gentle reminder that Mother's Day is May 13. And while that may seem like a long way off, if you want to pull off an over-the-top celebration for your mom, you'd better begin preparing now. After all, it's your mom we're talking about.
To make her day very special, you can shower her with gifts, of course, and you might also give her the gift of time off from some regular duties, perhaps permanently. Here are some ideas that are easily done by youngsters with a little instruction. Adults could Google how to do the chores properly if they are uncertain.
• Laundry. It is truly one of the simplest household chores to do. You need to read labels and follow the manufacturers' suggestions for water temperatures. Separate clothes by color (white, lights, brights and darks) and wash in separate loads. Remember, not all items go in the dryer.
• Sweeping and mopping
• Cleaning the bathroom
• Making your bed and clean your room
• Walking the dog
• Taking out the garbage and recycling
• Setting, clearing the table
• Loading/unloading the dishwasher
Many kids do these chores on a regular basis. What will make it special to mom is if you do these chores without being asked!
Other thoughtful ideas:
• Learn to make a good cup of coffee.
• Plant an herb garden from seeds now; by Mother's Day the starts should be up and it will produce great tasting herbs to enjoy all summer. Tend to the garden yourself or help your mother if she enjoys gardening.
• Talk with your siblings, dad and other adults for ideas of activities to do on Mother's Day. When asked how they would like to celebrate Mother's Day, some moms will say something sweet like, 'Oh, just being with you is celebration enough' or some other noncommittal phrase. Moms do know how they want to spend time, so insist your's gives you ideas for activities.
As a mom, I can say that it's a safe bet that your mom would appreciate being treated to a fine breakfast, lunch or dinner and then topping it off with a little something sweet. For that something sweet I am pointing you in the direction of St. Honoré Boulangerie in Lake View Village in Lake Oswego.
Master baker Dominique Guelin at St. Honoré Boulangerie knows that mothers (and everyone else) love delectable pastries, and he has created three especially for Mother's Day.
My coworkers and I sampled a beautiful heart-shaped strawberry tart, a strawberry mille-feuille and a new creation, the raspberry lychee St. Honoré. We gave rave reviews to all three.
The raspberry lychee St. Honoré has a puff pastry base and an éclair puff, filled with whipped cream and lychee gelée, which has a slight rose flavor - a lovely treatment of lychee. The treat is garnished with fresh raspberries and topped with a mini choux ball dipped in caramelized sugar.
The heart-shaped strawberry tart is a darling dessert. It is made of puff pastry and páte à choux base and then filled with mousseline cream and topped with fresh strawberries. Who could resist?
The mille-feuille aux fraises is really beautiful. It is made of caramelized puff pastry filled with a smooth mousseline cream and an abundance of fresh strawberries.
Dads and kids, you have time to sample all three - plus the other beautiful breads and pastries offered at St. Honoré - between now and Mother's Day.
You should bring your mom to St. Honoré in either Lake Oswego or Portland on Mother's Day and treat her to pastries and a complimentary rose, or take pastries home to enjoy after a fine meal, such as this recipe for grilled salmon.
The dish is elegant and easy to prepare; even beginning cooks will be successful. And, you have time to practice making it before the big day.
Make Mother's Day just a little more special this year. Start preparing now.
Bon appetit! Eat something wonderful!
Grilled Salmon With Lime Butter Sauce
6 6-ounce pieces center cut salmon fillet (about 1 inch thick) with skin
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest
6 tablespoons lime butter sauce, recipe follows
Prepare grill for cooking over medium-hot charcoal or moderate heat for gas.
Season salmon all over with salt and pepper, then grill, flesh side down, on lightly oiled grill rack (covered only if using gas grill) 4 minutes. Turn fillets over and grill (covered only if using gas grill) until just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more. Sprinkle fillets with zest and top each with 1 tablespoon lime butter sauce.
Cook's note: If you aren't able to grill outdoors, salmon can be cooked in a hot lightly oiled well-seasoned large (2 burner) ridged grill pan over moderately high heat.
Lime Butter Sauce
It takes five minutes to make this sauce. Once you see how versatile it is - it works perfectly with the grilled salmon and grilled corn - you will want to make it for a whole host of your summer favorites.
1 large garlic clove, chopped
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
Puree garlic with lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. With motor running add melted butter and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.
Cook's note: Lime butter sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Stir before using.
Gourmet, July 2006