Is there such a thing as a perfect Mother’s Day? If I heard correctly, Sheryl Strayed told NPR’s Brian Lehrer that she wanted her Mother’s Day to include a few hours alone to read the New Yorker in peace; a listener called in and joked that she didn’t want to have to change one diaper all day. The four older ladies we saw golfing on the Hotchkiss course seemed pretty happy with their decision on how to spend it. Then again, so did all the moms being treated to brunch at our local coffee shop that morning. Our neighbor Emily, snuggling with her four-year-old twins and husband while sipping coffee on her porch had no definitive plans for the day and was just fine with that. Our daughter’s former boss, meanwhile, thought she, too, had no plans until she awoke to find a scavenger hunt had been arranged by her 18-year-old daughter, who hid 18 gifts around the house and yard–one for every year she was her mom. Game over.
We did not play 18 holes, but we hiked four miles through our favorite land reserve. We didn’t go to brunch, but we’re not big brunch fans, anyway. Instead, we planted lettuces and herbs that’ll enhance our dinner parties all Summer long, and two forsythia bushes because I’m tired of sneaking over to our neighbors’ (not Emily’s) yard and stealing clippings from theirs.
There was a yummy dinner, but for another mom–Bertrand’s. We cooked our favorite meatball recipe that my friend Alix turned me on to (see below) and whipped up our own special mashed potatoes with carmelized onions (see belower). Then, much to Remy’s chagrin, we left the country early and drove the feast down to his mother’s apartment for her mother’s day present. She was thrilled, and that made us quite pleased with our plan.
Being a stepmom, the idea of being feted on Mother’s Day feels a bit disingenuous. Don’t get me wrong; these two kids that I got in the marriage are the most incredible additions to my life, but having never changed their diapers or cradled them when they were sick makes me feel less deserving of having MY DAY and more blessed to have the word “mother” attached to me.
Marcus Samuelson’s Swedish Meatballs from Restaurant Aquavit
- For the meatballs
- 1/2 cup of fine dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 pound ground chuck or sirloin
- 1/2 pound ground veal
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- For the sauce
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup lingonberry preserves
- 2 tablespoons juice from Quick Pickled Cucumbers
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper