Mother’s Day: Five ideas for brunch on a budget
Special to the Sun
Ah, the birds are singing and the world is bursting at the seams with spring’s most bountiful blooms, which all point to one thing: Mother’s Day is here. It’s the day dedicated to treating mommy like a queen, throwing on your fresh spring duds and celebrating the all-too-often forgotten wonder that is “brunch.”
This year, make Mother’s Day mean more than long lines at the hoity-toity buffet. Instead of spending money on dining out, spend time with mom at home by putting on a family affair to remember. Skip the reservations, calories and costs, and whip up the mother of all brunches from the comfort of home.
The keys to saving money at the grocery store are simple: Turn to what’s in season and consider what can be made at home instead of purchased in a package. A sample Mother’s Day menu is below, but remember: Tweak as you please to squeeze in your mom’s faves.
1. Spring veggie medley
Head to the fresh produce section of the store and scout out what’s in season before cooking up a colorful vegetable medley. Shopping in the fresh veggie area for seasonal items from your community is cost-effective, tasty and environmentally friendly, too.
Check online or with your local supermarket to see what’s in season this month. For more money saving, clip coupons and get up-to-date on daily deals.
2. French toast
Chances are sliced bread, eggs, butter and milk are already in your food supply at home (If not, they should be. A fridge just isn’t a fridge without them.) Whip the eggs and milk, add nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger to jazz it up, dip the bread, throw it on the heat, and voila! Brunch made cheap and easy (and oh-so delicious).
For added sentimental value, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to turn this toast from square to having flair. Bonus points for a dainty dusting of powdered sugar on top, too. Fresh berries on hand? Even better. This money-saving brunch staple could always use a splash of color.
3. Freshly squeezed juice
Whether you choose to go the traditional route with apple or orange, or the exotic route with mango, pineapple or papaya, ditch the carton for the juicer, blender or if possible, your own hands. As mentioned before, make sure to go for fruits in season if you choose to buy fresh. If that limits your options, it’s not a bad idea to consider their frozen counterparts, too.
4. Fruit bouquet
A bouquet of flowers is a beautiful centerpiece – beautiful to look at, that is. Why not harness your creative prowess instead, save more money and create a centerpiece that’s as pleasing to look at as it is to eat? Chop up some fresh fruit (seasonal, seasonal, seasonal), arrange them on wooden skewers, and dip a few in melted chocolate if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Showing mom how much you care with a homemade gift is great. Showing mom the homemade gift is edible is even greater.
If cleaning up flour spills and raw egg off the kitchen counter doesn’t sound like your ideal Mother’s Day, don’t resort to a pre-made dessert just yet. After all, there’s more to the dessert world than cakes, pies and cookies. Consider toffees and brittles to discover how to put your pantry to good use.
All it takes to make a killer toffee from scratch is butter, sugar, vanilla extract and semi-sweet chocolate. Yep. That’s really it. Check online for recipes with fun and easy variations, such as almond slices and white chocolate swirl.
The mother of all brunches is right below your nose. All it takes is some commitment, planning ahead and mom-inspired TLC.
– Sheri Alzeerah is a journalist and freelance writer for http://www.foodonthetable.com.
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