The most important thing to know - right now - about Mother's Day is that it was two weeks ago. So if you forgot, you're SO screwed and there's no making it up. Like you'll need to buy Mom her dream car in her favorite color, invite her to move in with you, or just head down to the senior center, pick out a new one, and start over.
As childfree couples with mothers way-out-of-state go, Sweetie and I had quite the shindig. No, the dogs didn't put their furry heads together and hatch some gopherrific scheme to surprise me (thank God). Rather, we brought brunch and conversation to a friend who lost her young adult son earlier this year. Oddly enough she preferred to have it at her house, on her porch overlooking her array of beautifully cultured gardens, instead of in our little dining room with its view of the kitchen. We aim to please.
This is one area of life where I have an embarrassment of riches. My own mother? Fabulous. My mother-in-law? We're truly, genuinely friends. My "other mother-in-law", who I know through Sweetie and to whom we brought brunch? She's terrific. I'm SO blessed. Note that our Moms are out of state, so we sent chocolates (I highly, highly recommend godiva.com and johnandkiras.com).
It seems oddly appropriate to note that our golden retriever has sought out a Russian grandmother of his very own, and there is sheer joy on their faces when they spot each other. Our neighbor's mother lives with him, and she doesn't speak much English. But she pets well (presumably), and she and Henry Dog have struck up a friendship like nothing I've ever seen. He runs to her when he sees her. She bends down and coos endearments into his big, floppy ear. They smile at each other. It's one of those little serendipitous, joyful things that makes you happy to be a small part of it.
Our brunch was very simple, including a platter of gorgeous fresh strawberries. These Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins are also a terrific brunch dish. They can be made (and frozen, if necessary) ahead of time. If raspberries are too tart for your taste, substitute blueberries.
RASPBERRY CREAM CHEESE MUFFINS
Cooking Light - June, 2003Yield: 2 dozen (serving size: 1 muffin)
2/3 cup (5 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (blueberries if you don't care for raspberries)
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until well blended. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat well.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to cream cheese mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Gently fold in raspberries and walnuts.
Place 24 foil cup liners in muffin cups. Spoon batter evenly into liners. Bake at 350° 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans; cool on a wire rack.