How to Make an Easy Mother’s Day Brunch

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Several years ago, my granddaughter gave me a picture frame for Mother’s Day. She’d decorated it with sequins, pompoms and stars.

Inside is a photo of the two of us at her preschool. It sits on my bookcase, where it brings me joy.

According to Hallmark, Americans give about 141 million Mother’s Day cards each year, and that number does not include the cards and gifts crafted by enthusiastic children. People of all ages present their moms with bouquets of flowers, too.

Mother’s Day celebrations usually revolve around a lunch or a brunch, something quite compatible with Jewish culture.

Bagels and lox are often the mainstay of Mother’s Day gatherings in Jewish homes. To elevate the occasion, mimosas, salads and sundaes can round out the menu. They are so easy to make, it’s not like cooking at all.

But how did this charming holiday get started?

In 1908, Anna Jarvis of West Virginia began a campaign to recognize her deceased mother and all mothers. While the idea was originally scoffed at, Jarvis didn’t give up. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. This year, Mother’s Day falls on May 12.

Because Mother’s Day is all about revering Mom, ideally Dad and the kids should do the cooking and serving. No matter what, they should wash the dishes. The best way to thank Mom is to let her relax on this one day a year.

Serve the following recipes with bagels and lox:

Two mimosas to serve with a Mother's Day brunch
Natalia Van Doninck / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Mimosas | Pareve

Glassware: 8 champagne flutes

Serves 8

  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle of Prosecco, chilled (Bartenura brand is kosher)
  • ⅓ cup orange liqueur (Binyamina Triple Sec is kosher)
  • 3 cups of orange juice, chilled

Pour ⅓ cup of Prosecco into eight champagne flutes. Add a splash of orange liqueur. Top with ⅓ cup of orange juice in each glass. Do not stir or the Prosecco will flatten. Serve immediately.

Mimosas for Kids | Pareve

Serves 8

  • 1 quart orange juice, chilled
  • 1 liter seltzer, chilled
  • 8 maraschino cherries (Roland brand is kosher)

Pour ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup seltzer into eight tumblers. Add a maraschino cherry. Serve immediately.

Boston Lettuce Salad | Dairy

Serves 8

  • 1 large head of Boston lettuce, or 2 small ones
  • ⅔ cup croutons (Osem Mediterranean Croutons are kosher)
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges apiece
  • ½ cup Kalamata pitted olives
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 hunk of Parmesan cheese

Tear off the leaves of the Boston lettuce. Rinse them under cold water. Pat them dry on paper towels or dry them in a salad spinner. Cut the leaves into halves or thirds. Move then to a large salad bowl. Add the remaining ingredients — except the Parmesan cheese.

Toss the contents of the bowl with salad tossers. Using a cheese slicer, cut off eight to 10 slices of Parmesan and place them over the salad. If any Parmesan remains, use it for another purpose. Serve immediately.

Do-It-Yourself Sundaes | Dairy

Serves about 8

  • 2 cups of chopped walnuts
  • 1 jar of chocolate fudge
  • 12 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Sprinkles
  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch morsels
  • 2 large tubs of ice cream, any flavor

Place the walnuts, chocolate fudge, strawberries, sprinkles, M&Ms, chocolate chips and butterscotch morsels into separate bowls. Serve them on a table or a kitchen counter, alongside the ice cream tubs.

Let family and friends serve themselves and make their own sundaes. Eat immediately.

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