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What one Katy family does to celebrate

Mickey Mouse cupcakes

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have always seemed a bit daunting to my two siblings and me.  We love our parents so much and cherish the opportunity to show them this, but we have a bit of trouble coming up with a new, creative, meaningful way to express ourselves each year.  We don’t just want to give a gift to Mom on Mother’s Day, we want it to be a perfect gift that clearly represents how wonderful she is to us.

After several years of searching the creative vaults of our minds, my sister, brother, and I had a stroke of genius.  My mother and father want nothing more than for us to be together, and we want nothing more than to serve them and show them how much they mean to us.  Add in the whole family’s love for cooking, and we had a plan.

For the last 6 years, we have prepared a five or six course meal, complete with a theme and 5 star quality recipes and ingredients, and given it as a gift to my parents as a joint Mother’s and Father’s Day gift.  Their three children are all married, and so the six of us gather in their kitchen to create a meal fit for a queen and king.  My dad loves watching us all work together to make new recipes, and my mom delights in having us all together for an entire weekend.  (My brother lives in Los Angeles, so finding a weekend for him and his wife to fly in town is also a part of the big event.)

We wanted to be careful, when this idea became a reality, to make this an event that would stand out from all others throughout the year.  So, we begin by picking a theme and recipes that are more challenging than we would usually tackle.   One year, our family took a vacation to California together, and we used this as our theme for the meal.  We served Hollywood Hills avosalsa and homemade tortilla chips, Sunset Boulevard martinis, Grauman’s Chinese Theater salad, Wine Country Chicken Piccata, and Mickey Mouse mousse.  We decorated the table in the nice linens and served it all on china.  Another year, we had a Hawaiian theme and decorated much differently.  The food was still first class, but there were grass skirts, leis, and hibiscus galore.

We present the theme to my mom on Mother’s Day and the menu to my dad on Father’s Day.  Usually, the actual celebration doesn’t take place until the end of the summer, when my brother is able to make it into town.  No one seems to care that Mother’s Day lasts from May until August.

Last year, my parents both suggested that we do an Iron Chef take-off for this year’s meal.  The men will square off against the women.  My parents will provide the mandatory ingredient (we are going easy and doing one ingredient per course) and then the men and women will come up with menus and present them.  For Mother’s Day, we’re giving my mom a portfolio of each of us (photoshopped) in chef’s outfits with a culinary bio for each team member.  My mom and dad will present us with our ingredient list and we will return with the menus prepared by Father’s Day.  I cannot wait to add a whole different element to our usual custom.

What about you?  What creative traditions do you have for celebrating Mother’s Day?  Post a comment below!

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