It’s been almost a week since Mother’s Day and I haven’t mentioned it. There were no recipes recommended for Mother’s Day, there was no list of suggested restaurants to bring your mom to and there was no checklist of “gifts that Mom would love.” In the archive you’ll find a few recommendations for Mother’s Day written years ago. Four, to be exact—a dessert, a low-fat meal, a Japanese restaurant and a Chinese restaurant—in 14 years of food blogging. Truth be told, those four were really just everyday posts but with the titles carefully crafted to comply with pushy suggestions from previous ad networks I worked with that wanted a bevy of Mother’s Day articles.
I don’t like the commercialization of Mother’s Day. I don’t like how the importance of a mother has been equated with expensive restaurant meals and extravagant gifts. But what I do like—what I especially appreciated—was how my family did NOT address their Mother’s Day greetings to me on social media (what’s the point when we all live in the same house?). Instead, they did special things that meant more than hundreds of “likes”.
On the eve of Mother’s Day, Speedy suggested that we dine at the nearest Chinese restaurant so I wouldn’t have to cook. Summer this year has been thoroughly punishing and cooking is often a ghastly effort. Speedy knows how I adore Chinese food and although the nearest Chinese restaurant is by no means outstanding, we enjoyed our meal of bird’s nest soup, cold meat platter, camaron rebosado, sweet and sour pork and yang chow fried rice. Then, on Mother’s Day, he bought Chinese roast pork belly and roast duck. I loved every morsel!
Alex insists that the Boston Cream Pie (which, despite the name, is really a cake and not a pie) she baked a few days before Mother’s Day was not the Mother’s Day cake she had in mind, but I loved it just the same. It wasn’t perfect but the fact that she made it from scratch—and in this heat too—made it all the more special for me.
Sam had been planning a Mother’s Day cake for so long. But she needed ingredients that we couldn’t find here in the boondocks. No custard powder… even finding vegetable shortening took three days and the search spanned three cities. Finally, last night, she assembled the cake despite not having enough powdered sugar for the frosting and the decoration that she wanted.
Sam said it was ugly. I disagreed. She didn’t really want me to take photos but how could I not? The cake may not be perfect (how could it be when we didn’t have all the ingredients that she needed?) but those pink and black flowers (I love pink, she loves black) say “Sam and Mommy” more eloquently than words ever could. It is entirely possible that Sam may have chosen the colors subconsciously but that doesn’t change what they mean to me.
We never dine out on Mother’s Day. It’s too crowded. And it reeks too much of commercialization and the bandwagon mentality. But we’re still planning on having a special family dinner. I’ve picked out a restaurant but we still need to synchronize our schedules.