Just because my children and grandchildren are 200 to 1000 miles away on Mother’s Day doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate. Brunch was one of this year’s Mother’s Day highlights. Our offspring were with me in spirit, the table was lovely, and the food was delicious.
First thing Sunday morning Jay said he needed to go outside—to pick lilacs, one of my favorite flowers. He brought in enough violet blossoms for two bouquets, one for the center of the dining table and the other to place at the top of the entry stairway. While he was picking I flowers I set the table, beginning with a tablecloth that was handed on to me when my parents’ household was distributed after my father’s death. It is a simple cotton cloth, card table size, with hand applique and embroidery of teacups, teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, and flowers. My godmother, an aunt, did a lot of handwork and enjoyed playing cards so perhaps she stitched it. But my mother might also have made the tablecloth. I remember seeing an unfinished tablecloth she had begun embroidering when I was very young. The maker’s identity remains a mystery because by the time I received the tablecloth my godmother and father were both dead and my mother had dementia. The cloth makes me think of both women and I use it frequently.
Although the cloth is small for our oak table, it’s fine for two diners at one end. Sunday its blue and pale yellow colors were just enough with the lilacs and a blue-and-violet fused glass serving plate.
Our menu included strawberries, fig-and-anise bread, and soft-boiled eggs. Because I love figs so much, Jay figured out how to replicate a fig-and-anise bread we bought at a farmer’s market while visiting our daughter. Using a basic whole wheat recipe, he added 12-16 oz of chopped, dried figs and about 2 Tbsp of anise seed to make two loaves. The bread is delicious fresh or toasted, alone or as a sandwich with turkey or peanut butter and banana.