You Can Cook for Me Anytime: What the Dads Cooked for Mother’s Day Brunch

strawberries and zabaglione by Linda Shiue

There are two other couples we’ve known since we moved to San Francisco twelve years ago, and we now have two kids each, ranging from age four up to thirteen.  We’ve supported each other through long hours at work, pregnancies and their complications, colicky children, Music Together mommy-and-me toddler music classes, medical diagnoses, and job stresses.  These are the kind of friends who become family.  But as the kids have gotten older and busier, it’s been more and more difficult to coordinate our weekend schedules.  We’ve been trying to get together since February, and the weekend that finally worked out for all three families happened to land on Mother’s Day.  I e-mailed the group, “Are the dads in charge of this one (hint, hint)?” and they took my challenge.

I don’t think it’s because of stereotypical gender roles, but more due to the fact that a few of us moms (maybe me) in the group are a bit more, well maybe you could say, controlling than the dads, and I would venture to say more organized, that usually these gatherings have left the planning to the moms.  So it was with a bit of trepidation that I viewed one dad’s response to my e-mail challenge: “We’ll have to take this offline.”

It wasn’t for a lack of culinary skills– they’ve all cooked for us before, and are all great cooks, each with their own specialties.  It’s just that we, the wives and moms, were always part of at least the planning.  So to be left out, even if it was my own idea, made me a bit anxious.  My husband picked up on my anxiety, and fed it.  A few days before Mother’s Day, I observed him putting away the groceries, instead of leaving them for me to put away as he usually does (because of a history of conflicts over poor refrigerator organizational skills).   The day before, I caught him looking through the Italian cookbook bible, The Silver Spoon, then quickly closing the book when I entered the room.  He also stressed me out by asking, nonchalantly, “So when do we need to be there tomorrow?”

He was playing with me.  The brunch was stupendous.  The dads had clearly planned it way in advance.  They even allowed me to photograph the food before we ate, despite the fact that this is not a normal behavior.

This was such a great brunch, it might have even cured me of my Control Freak tendencies.  Take a look, go ahead and drool.


The Menu

beverages: mimosas, coffee from Blue Bottle

homemade croissants: rhubarb jam, chocolate, and plain

pain au chocolat by Linda Shiue

tropical fruit salad with fresh herbs and ginger

tropical fruit salad by Linda Shiue

apple and cheddar frittata

apple frittata by Linda Shiue

scrambled eggs with optional grated cheese and green onions

turkey meatballs

farmer’s market strawberries with meyer lemon zabaglione (photo above)

cheese plate: goat milk gouda and caramelized onion cheddar

crusty sourdough baguette from a favorite San Francisco Bay Area bakery


It was out of this world.  And as an added bonus, the kids ate everything!

After this brilliant, scrumptious and simply fabulous brunch beyond my dreams, I am ready to announce: “I will cede all control over to you if you ever want to do this again.  You can cook for me anytime.”

Love, Linda.


P.S. To the dads: I’ve linked to your recipes, in case you want to replicate this brunch anytime.

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