With a little help from Grandma, this Mother's Day can be a delightful and tasty blast from the past that allows Mom to become a kid again. No, we're not talking about a "Freaky Friday" switcheroo, but rather a day where Mom gets to re-live the best parts of childhood -- the games, the tunes, and the tasty comfort foods of her youthful, pre-kid days. Whether you're a partner or friend helping the kids prep for the big day, or an older offspring hoping to give mom an extra treat this May 9th, we've got you covered.
First things first: Go to the source. Grill Grandma (and enlist her help if you can!) about what Mom was like as a kid. What foods did she eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Which did she love? Concoct a menu of mom's favorite foods from back in the day -- it can be as simple as a bowl of sugar cereal, or as complex as a special casserole or full dinner of meat and potatoes.
It's even better if she had a favorite, gross concoction, one she's long outgrown. Did she like potato chips on her pb&j? Pickles with her eggs? And don't forget the drinks and desserts. Was Kool-Aid her thing? Get her favorite flavor! Did she love Twizzlers or Pixi Stix? Was there a food she loved but wasn't allowed to eat?
Next: Get the props. The food will take on a whole extra level if it's housed in the right dishes. Hit eBay and kitsch stores for themed kitchenware. What did she love as a tyke? A little searching will pull up a sea of possibilities, like a "Smurfs" mug, a Snoopy Sno-Cone machine, a "Saved by the Bell" lunchbox, or a "Bewitched" plate.
If not dishes, grab a retro game like "Charlie's Angels." If all the pieces are intact, serve it up as a retro present. If not, take a cue from the Washington Post and turn the game board into a serving tray for the meal.
If you can't grab some appropriately-themed kitchenware, dig out oldies from Grandma. Was there a bowl Mom loved to use? Some plates or dishes that have lasted over the years? Use those, especially if you can decorate around the food with old toys and knick-knacks pulled out of storage.
Finally: Take her back in time. Once the food and props are good to go, set the mood. If Mom loved lava lamps, incense, or candles, fire 'em up. Put on her favorite music (even better if it's a tape deck or record player), rent a DVD of her favorite shows as a child, or play her favorite childhood movies. To go the extra mile, set everything up at Grandma's house just as it was back then.
One last note: It's the thought that counts. Is Grandma not around? Are you having trouble getting the information you need? Sneakily go to the source and ask Mom yourself (you can always look up recipes online), or just research the era when she was a kid. It's the thought that counts, and every harried Mom could use a carefree day as a kid.