Chef Joey makes all the goodies you see here! And photographs them, as he’s baking, basting, stirring – cookin’! How talented is this guy?!!?!!
First, his Mom’s Day column:
By Chef Joey
It is that time of year! Spring is in the air, lilacs are blooming and mom gets a day off. Albeit breakfast in bed, a destroyed kitchen, or a lunch out (never dinner, for some reason) with a wait and screaming kids everywhere. I suggest a meal at home – perhaps with combined families and a simple, easy to make, teach your kids how to cook kind of a meal. Let’s face it – gone are the years when Grandma lived downstairs or with the family and everyone knew how to make that special perogi, meatball, roast, etc.
Anna Jarvis is responsible for the modern “American” version of Mother’s Day, first celebrated in 1908, as a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1905 she became the pioneer to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Her personal mission was to honor her own mother by continuing work she started and to set aside a day to honor mother, “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Anna’s mother, just happened to be a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.
Due to the tenacity of her efforts, mind you pre-“Social Media,” several states actually officially recognized Mother’s Day, the first in 1910 being West Virginia, incidentally Jarvis’ home state.
In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
Great things happen and Anna soon regretted what she did – commercialize a day that companies could profit from. By the early 1920’s, Hallmark and other greeting card companies took the reins and started selling Mother’s Day cards. Jarvis became so angry by what she saw as exploitation that she eventually protested and even tried to rescind Mother’s Day! The holiday that she worked so hard for was supposed to be about sentiment, not about profit.
Jarvis’s intention for the holiday had been for people to honor mothers by writing a personal letter, since there was no email or texting… by hand, expressing sentiments like love and gratitude, rather than buying gifts and – heaven forbid – “pre-made” cards. She organized boycotts and threatened lawsuits to try to stop the commercialization. She even crashed a candy makers’ convention in Philadelphia in 1923!
Two years later she protested at a confab of the American War Mothers, which raised money by selling carnations, incidentally…the flower associated with Mother’s Day, and was humiliated by being arrested for disturbing the peace. Jarvis died bitter, alone and childless, hating the modern shape of the holiday.
Jarvis’s holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world. Not exactly as commercialized as us here in the good old “Founding Country.”
So based on Ms. Jarvis’ joy-to-turmoil story, there still is a wanted need to celebrate mom, grandmother and these days great grandmother more so than ever. Maybe we should look back to the beginning efforts and go back to maybe not hand written cards of love but hand created meals of love, with snapshots, Twitter and Facebook posts for the world to see and you create for free I believe in perpetuity. No one ever has said, “Gee that was the best Mother’s Day card,” but perhaps: “This time with you today will stay will me forever, and I can’t wait until next year to make it better”!
Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful mothers of children, pets, families, foster children, safe homes and the list goes on – you are all very special people!
Recipe: Chocolate strawberries
Buy melting chocolate …
and melt over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
Dip your strawberries
and place them on parchment paper.
Let cool. DO NOT REFRIGERATE!!, as the berries can no longer “breathe” the same. … Keep room temperature (2 days MAX) cover with parchment.
You can decorate them with squeezable white chocolate sauce!