The perfect surprise for Mother's Day

The perfect surprise for Mother’s Day.

My wife always says, “Don’t make a fuss on Mother’s Day”, mostly we don’t want to buy into the commercialism. Still, the girls always make her a card and buy a small gift at the school’s fundraiser stall. The girls have saved their money and are so proud of what they’ve bought for her but that’s not what makes their mum the happiest, it’s the fact that we don’t listen to her and make a fuss anyway!

As the girls get older, they both have a growing interest in food. Not just in eating it, but in preparing meals and planning what goes into them. They like helping in the kitchen, but usually mum has to do the planning and prep and I get the cleaning up!

So this year, the girls and I have a secret plan. We tested it out last year, and you should have seen the surprise and joy on her face, and almost equally on theirs, as they presented their mum with a meal they made for her (with a little help from me)! We’re not going out to buy an expensive present. We’re not going to a fast food chain to fill ourselves on unhealthy fast food (that she doesn’t enjoy anyway). We’re not going to fight for a table reservation at a cafe or restaurant. Instead we’ve planned the perfect surprise, but shhhh! It’s a secret.

We have brainstormed some easy meals that the girls like to make and know their mum likes eating, like pizza, salad, wraps, scrambled eggs, pasta and of course chocolate brownies for dessert.

Then we planned a menu, and made a list of ingredients we need to buy and prepare. I will help them get everything ready the night before. The girls like to draw out the recipes, and I will leave them to their own devices in the kitchen (and remain within ear shot). We’ve all agreed to help each other clean up afterwards, and on their insistence, I have agreed not to meddle.

Then as she raises the fork to her mouth they tell Mum to be really careful – the meal is full of love. We all know the best meals are the ones you don’t have to cook yourself.

Hopefully this will evolve from a secret treat into a family tradition and we’ll keep on working on expanding our culinary repertoire over the years.

The best bits about cooking for Mum…

It isn’t complicated.
It is fun.
It is personal and thoughtful.
It is quicker than going to the department stores and finding a car parking space.
It is cheaper than a meal at a restaurant (and quieter)
It is healthier than take away.
It is more satisfying than a frozen pizza.
It is empowering for the kids.
It makes us all feel proud and happy to be part of such a caring family.

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