Spoiler alert: being a mom is tough. Yes, unquestionably motherhood is rife with joy and extreme happiness and childlike wonder and profound gratitude and a new lens through which to see the world and a deep sense of connection to the bigger picture.
It’s also really tough; if we can be frank and honest and real here, motherhood is rife with challenges of time and balance and doubt and problem solving and selflessness and fatigue and the occasional moment oh-shit-how-do-I-do-this? When you consider that childhood is basically an endless state of entropy, the familiar dichotomy between “I have never known joy like this!” and “I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing!” of being a mom should come with the disclaimer that it’s the hardest job you’ll ever love.
Knowing that, Lovely, your first job on Mother’s Day is to pause and take the time to make the mama – or the person who is like a mama to you – feel loved and supported. To show her that she is seen, heard, appreciated, and valued, and to give her the space and time to enjoy an unctuously luxurious day.
Your next job is to feed her.
To really knock your mama’s socks off her painted toes this year, I asked the witty, talented, and charming as hell (yeah, yeah, all the qualities any mother would love, piercings and full ink and all) Chef Squiggy, how to be great in bed…with breakfast.
AKA Robin Dutt, Squiggy cooks at the gem that is the Drake Devonshire in Prince Edward County, and a lover of brunch and epic toast that brings together different flavours and ingredients in a playful way. Cooking with a“1 Kitchen 1 Love” philosophy, he is a harbinger of being the change you want to see, consistently bringing positivity, leadership, and respect to the kitchen, a welcome alternative to the ego, misogyny, and even violence that has tended to be associated culturally with professional kitchens in the past.
Talking over plates of meatballs and grilled calamari, I – obviously looking for voyeuristic food porn – beg him to tell me what his favourite thing is to cook; he just says “love.” Rolling my eyes I repeat “no really, what’s your favourite thing to cook?” then realize what he’s saying is actually true; that there’s a meraki-like quality of putting a piece of your heart and soul into your creative work, and that cooking is no exception.
Knowing that, and cooking with love as the baseline, here are Chef Squiggy’s top five insights to slay breakfast while mama’s in bed. Feel free to share, send, screen shot, and print out to leave in strategic places around your house. #hinthint
- Know Your Audience: What does the lady in your life actually like? Does she prefer savoury or sweet? This is all about her, so make sure you’re cooking something that meets her needs, rather than something you think will impress her for the sake thereof.
- Keep it Super F***ing Simple: Start with one great quality ingredient she loves, and add a couple more to make it shine. Less is definitely more.
- Elevate the Classics: Take something as basic as toast and eggs, and next level it in the details. Use the best and freshest farm eggs, great bread, perfect cheese – like Beemster…”the cheddar for grown ups.”
- Play With Flavour: Add something unexpected, like a spring pea puree, tiny bits of crispy bacon, shaved truffle (hell yes), charred onion, sautéed fiddleheads or kale, ramps, chimichurri, dill, pesto…take advantage of the season in your area and add pop a brightness in colour and flavour.
- Amplify the Experience: There’s a romanticized quality to breakfast in bed, but when you add kids and crumbs the romantic notion can crumble away. Be mindful of how to set her up for success to enjoy the meal you’ve so lovingly prepared, and be sure to have a stable tray that supports coffee (and mimosas, riiiight?) in dishes that make sense for a low centre of gravity. Your kids can gather wildflowers from outside and make a beautiful card, all of which makes the user experience even more pleasurable.
This year, as you celebrate the mom or mom figure in your life, think about what she really wants: is it time? Is it appreciation? Is it a weekend with her friends or with herself or with one kid at a time? Start with breakfast, and let the day unfold to show the priestess in your life how much she means to you.