How about making mom some orange muffins for Mother's Day this weekend?

Native Cooking: 4 Easy Dishes You Can Prepare for Your Mom This Mother’s Day

Dale Carson

Mother’s Day! My favorite holiday! I always feel so lucky on this day because I think I have the most wonderful kids in the entire universe. Of course, I don’t, but in my world, I do. Children are the gift that keeps on giving.

Talking with a friend recently I asked what she does to celebrate this day. She told me about a guy friend of her family that always took her, her mother and sister out to eat on Mother’s Day. He told my friend he was always so grateful for the way her mother treated his mother while she was alive. Isn’t that the way it is? People don’t remember what you said to them or what you gave them, but they remember how you made them feel—cared about and special. So, this man is continuing kindness.

Any way you can give mom a break is good. Cooking for her or taking her out to eat may be popular trends, but there are other things I’m sure will make her just as happy. A visit from you, flowers, and even good old chit chat. Ask her about herself, her childhood, parents, her favorite things… I am always sorry I didn’t ask more questions while my mom was here to ask. I used to say “someday I’ll ask” but someday came and went awfully fast. Aside from the obvious breakfast in bed, there are many foods you can present this way or just serve at the kitchen table, on the patio or from a picnic basket.

Breakfast Platter

Using a large platter or tray, place selections of smoked salmon, herring, whitefish, cooked bacon or ham. Add to that a basket of biscuits, warm flour tortillas, muffins, and buttered toast. If you have some jams, jelly or honey to put out, that would be nice, too. Another separate platter of pancakes or waffles is always welcome.

Fresh Fruit

Fresh blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple, peach and melon chunks, and some sliced banana would surely be loved by mom.

Orange Muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1 cup flour

1 cup rolled oats, plus 1 tablespoon more

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup butter, in chunk pieces

1/3 cup sugar

5 tablespoons grated orange peel

1 large egg

1 cup chopped dates, pitted

1 cup orange juice

Mix together the dry ingredients—flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. Put butter, sugar, and orange peel in a separate bowl, beat to blend and then add egg. Add the orange juice and dates to the butter mix, then add the dry mixture to that until evenly moist.

Fill (greased) cupcake cups half full, makes about 10-12, and bake 18 to 20 minutes.

It is always good to include some kind of egg dish with breakfast foods. This one is my favorite because you can add to it for variety—maybe a little crumbled sausage, or bacon.

Breakfast Burritos

4 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos, canned

½ cup shredded cheese (Monterey jack, cheddar, or other)

4 large burrito size flour tortillas

Beat the eggs in a bowl. Melt a little of the butter in a large frying pan and add the green pepper and onion until a bit soft, add eggs, jalapenos and cheese. Add the rest of the butter and scramble the eggs to your preference. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in a warm oven or on a griddle. Fill with egg mixture and roll up. Serve immediately with homemade or purchased salsa.

Dale Carson, Abenaki, is the author of three books: “New Native American Cooking,” “Native New England Cooking” and “A Dreamcatcher Book.” She has written about and demonstrated Native cooking techniques for more than 30 years. Dale has four grown children and lives with her husband in Madison, Connecticut.

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