I love Mother’s Day. In fact, I love everything that celebrates women; after all, we are the glue that holds the family together and I might say, the world! I think that this century is the century of a woman, we are coming into our own in every facet of our lives on this planet. But the Mother’s Day is just so special. It is a tender holiday, full of positive feelings and love. How could it not be when our mothers are such unique people who gave us birth, nurtured us for many years and made so many sacrifices. It is only befitting that we honor our moms on this special day!
Motherhood hit me on the head like a hammer, (almost literally), when my mom went back to Ukraine after spending more than a year with us helping with our baby daughter Vivian. She really took the brunt of it, allowing my husband and me to travel, go out and live a happy couple’s life. Now in just few short weeks, I’m a seasoned mother of a child that’s crossing over from an infant to toddler – deprived of sleep, with bleary eyes, tired, sometimes just plain exhausted but still glorious, vibrant and relevant. I never gave up and this year I want to celebrate my motherhood!
To celebrate in style I designed a special Mother’s Day brunch tablescape and menu. Hope you will find it useful and delicious!
Capture spring’s burgeoning flora with this golden bird’s cage. Those are always available on line or at the flower district of your city. Open the door and slide in a small plate, it will capture all the drippings from the floral foam you will use to create the flower arrangement. Shape the foam with a kitchen knife into a shape of a cone, approximately two-third’s of the height of the cage, soak it in water then place it on top of the plate. Cut the blooms on a diagonal at a 45-degree angle and start inserting them into the foam. Roses, peonies, lilac, tiny birds of paradise, flowers that will look lush and beautiful in the arrangement like this.
Love working with feathers when decorating the table. If you have been following the blog for a while, you probably will remember my ethereal floating feathers for Valentine’s Day table décor couple of years back. Feathers add lightness, texture and an exotic feel to the table. For my Mother’s Day tablescape, I played with fluffy ostrich feathers and long, dramatic pheasant feathers. After all, moms deserve it!
Birds of Paradise
One of my absolute favorite French dinnerware companies, Bernardaud, collaborated with me on this project. I received a stunning set of their Aux Oiseaux Collection. It was inspired by the curiosity cabinets that were in vogue in the 17th century. The plates and cups are adorned with menagerie of songbirds, butterflies, and gilded branches. As a balancing act, I used Dune platinum service plates.
As you start layering your tablescape with tablecloth, dinnerware, silverware, stemware and other elements of décor- flowers, nametags, ribbons, napkin rings, the table always magically comes to life.
In Terms of the Menu
When planning your menu, stay seasonal and local as possible. Each season has a wonderful array of fruits and vegetable which you can incorporate into the menu. Spring is bountiful with artichokes, asparagus, peas, strawberries, rhubarbs and fennel any of which would make and excellent side dish or even a main course. If you are a novice hostess remember – practice makes everything perfect. Test the recipes before serving to ensure success of your party. Choose dishes that you can start making few days in advance like roasted peppers, terrines, sauces, etc. That way you’ll alleviate some of the stress on the day of your party.
Set the mood by playing something light. Whether it’s your favorite lively jazz, or intimate lounge music (I love streaming my favorites from Pandora), what ever you pick make sure that it won’t overpower your brunch or dinner but will help to set the desired atmosphere.
Time Saving Tips
Set the table the night before; tablecloth, dinnerware, silverware, glasses, anything that can be placed on the table in advance. Select serving platters, bowls, trays, etc. Label each platter/dish with bright stickers and write on them which food will be served in them. This way if you are running late, your spouse or friend can easily tell which side dish goes into which plate and can help with the last minute preparations. You can also divide some other responsibilities between your spouse or who ever is helping you with the party. Basically find a way to work as a team. You will see that it’s actually fun and brings you and your spouse even closer together!
Floral arrangements can be completed the night before. My talented friend Olga, owner of Blooming Bears creations, helped me with mine.
For my whimsical Mother’s Day tablescape, I suspended lightweight clear glass vases from the chandelier, filled them with water from a teakettle when they were already in the air and placed orchids inside.
I like to keep my nails short when cooking and entertaining at home. I always get my manicure the day before to ensure a perfectly lacquered look for my nails. On a day of a party, don’t stress, instead, wake up early and treat yourself to a green smoothy (honeydew melon, spinach, coconut yogurt, coconut water and chia seeds) to boost your energy and get you running! Exfoliate your skin in the shower and get your makeup done right after shower while your skin is fresh and plum. As the day progresses, it will be more difficult to squeeze in the makeup session in between the chaos of boiling pots and roasting pans. Pick the outfit along with accessories – earrings, bracelets, stockings, shoes, etc.
Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Entertaining!
Photographed by Gary Flom.