Men making meals for mothers

Written by Danny.

Let’s face it: Mom’s are special, and deserve extra special attention and effort.  Our family typically eschews  most “commercial” holidays, such as Valentine’s and Festivus, but Mother’s day is a commercial reminder that is more than appropriate to celebrate.

So skip the chocolates and flowers: mothers just want time out of the kitchen.  Even Aimée, believe it or not.  The solution for so many is to pick a great restaurant and treat Mom.  And that is a good way to do it, of course, but then great restaurants probably cost a great deal, and you may spend more time with mom waiting in line to get a table than sharing a meal together.  So do it at home!

If you’ve been a reader of Simple Bites for some time, or any of the other SLM sites, you won’t find many recommendations to get gift certificates or other “big-box” standard fare.  Instead, SLM (and this author) believe that handmade gifts and just plain-old time spent together is one of the best gifts that you can give a person.  (One of my Christmas presents this year was a big latte bowl, some special coffee, a book and 2 certificates allowing me a sleep-in while Aimee got the kids up and fed.  Amazing.)

And so for Mother’s day, I’ll be doing breakfast in bed for Aimee with the kids and will be visiting my mom later that day – and bringing food.

With my 7 brothers (yep, that’s seven), we typically do some sort of potluck or meal every year, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.  Important things.  Like if you’re making bacon-wrapped asparagus, it is better to roll them on the counter than swing the bacon around the asparagus like a streamer on a Maypole (bacon grease can “fling” onto babies).  Also, make sure the bacon doesn’t catch fire (cranky baby/mother and burned bacon).  Here are a few other tips to help you out.


Duh – but with 8 of us, we have to coordinate to ensure that all the guys don’t bring hummus.  Especially if coordinating for a large reunion, ensure that you have at least one appetizer, main, salad, dessert, and you should be fine.

Remember to keep it simple, especially if you are not used to being the home cook: now is probably not the time to experiment with a new recipe.  Make something that you’ve done before – maybe a family favorite – or if you want to try something new, make sure that it is dead simple, like Aimee’s Simplest Scalloped Potatoes.


You want to be spending time with your mother, not spending the whole time in the kitchen.  To ensure you’re not spending all of your time in the kitchen so you can actually visit, plan dishes that you can do ahead and bring pre-done, or at least, prep stuff like your cut veggies or fruit platters.

This year, Aimée has requested these honey, whole-wheat strawberry shortcakes. The biscuits can be made ahead of time and frozen, leaving only assembly and the whipping cream for the morning of. (Note: this year I will be the one who pre-makes them, as last year, I took the wrong scones out of the freezer.  I wasn’t smiling after I found this out.)

Clean Up

Please immediately rebuff the “don’t worry about those, I’ll take care of them later” comments – especially if they are coming from your mother. Use “clean as you go” techniques, and solicit help from the men or other siblings.  If you did stuff ahead of time, you also will have less to clean up.

It really is the thought that counts, so unless you make something completely inedible, remember that the most important part of Mother’s Day is to enjoy your families and honor your mothers.

What are you or your “other” planning for Mother’s day? Eating in or dining out?

About Danny

Danny Bourque is a mechanical engineer who is known at both home and work as either “the geek” or “the numbers guy”. He is very methodical and genuinely loves to analyze almost anything that piques his interest – including food.

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  1. Yay for you! My most romantic anniversary present ever was one year when my husband came home from work before me, fixed a nice picnic dinner and took me on a hike before we ate it. I especially appreciate the clean-up part. Even people who love to cook don’t love the clean-up, so that is definitely part of a great gift.

  2. Love this post! I’m actually teaching a cooking class for guys this weekend, called Learn to Cook Mother’s Day Dinner. Nothing would please me more than if my husband cooked for me on the big day. Gosh, I hope he’s reading here…

  3. Love this! Especially “keeping it simple” and “clean up right away”. Well done!

  4. Steph (The Cheapskate Cook) says

    Awesome idea! Not sure what’s on the agenda that weekend. Our kids are still really young so we’re still figuring out those parent holidays.

  5. Love this post, Danny! Great tips for keeping the mamas happy!

  6. I usually do homemade gifts for all holidays, but since my mom has had a woefully under-stocked kitchen (dull knives, GLASS cutting boards) her whole life, I’ve made it a mission to improve that. Now that we\’ve got the big stuff out of the way, this year she gets a Whirley-Pop!

  7. Gisselle says

    It is very sweet when men are making something for their wives or even sweeter for their mothers..

  8. Ha!!! I also spat tea on my computer screen when I read about the wrapping the bacon on the asparagus.

    Great post!

  9. Amy Collins says

    That is sweet Danny. We usually just go out and enjoy a good meal at a restaurant. I hope you’ll inspire all the men out there! Good job!

  10. Haha we are totally the hummus people in my family! This mother’s day though, we are bringing potluck to my mom’s. Unlike your family, all but one lonesome brother are all women, and most are mothers, so in our well-deserved self entitlement, we’re just going to buy food and not cook. So it’s off to the fried chicken restaurant for us!

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