I watched the show The Middle last night. It was Mother’s Day and actress Patricia Heaton’s end of day conclusion: “I’ll never do that again.” That was my Mother’s Day 1997.
Mike and I, newly married, were a month away from leading our second teen mission trip and some well-meaning church members suggested “Why don’t you hold a Mother’s Day Brunch to help kids raise money?” Instead of analyzing this idea, I immediately, obediently set out to hold a brunch to end all brunches. Each of the 20 teens cooked my favorite egg casserole. I spent Saturday shopping, planning and cooking all the rest. Because mothers are special, I also decided to purchase 50 potted plants, wrap them in foil and a big, fat bow to create that perfect “must-have” gift. I envisioned the crowds that would fill the church, laughing, celebrating, gorging themselves on a spectacular culinary feast. . . throwing cold, hard cash into the donation bucket. 10’s, 20’s, no maybe $100’s. . . all for a cause.
At 6 AM Mother’s Day, Mike and the kids tossed in bed, alarms not even close to buzzing, as I unloaded a packed SUV at the church. My plan was to transform the gray, drab Mason’s Hall basement into a festive, culinary experience.
Church service went off without a hitch that morning. I snuck out early to take my place at the head of the mile-long buffet table culminating with twenty egg casseroles and an assortment of potted plants. Each one of the mission kids politely bowed out as soon as they delivered their casserole, reporting, “we have plans.” Only my daughter and the Pastor’s kid helped with serving. Mike wisely joined in when he accurately read my body language that suggested this was going to be a very long day. Well, it turned out the whole church had plans: visiting family, restaurant reservations, lots of fun thing to do. So, there I stood. Smiling, nodding, acknowledging, yes, Mothers are special and “you, go. . . enjoy.”
In the end, $17 was netted, not by happy, satiated diners, but a sympathetic few who tossed a dollar or two into the donation bucket as they headed out the door. With clean-up, a dismantling of decorations and return of 48 unsold potted plants, I dragged my tired, ticked butt into our house around 4 PM.
Why, oh why, do we women do this to ourselves? I now have a policy: Mother’s Day is all about me. And my second policy: I don’t even feel guilty about it!
I still love my egg casserole recipe, but I serve it on Christmas morning. Enjoy.
9 eggs beaten until blended
3 cups milk
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dry mustard
3 slices bread, broken into pieces
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Cooked bacon broken into pieces
Crumbled, cooked sausage
Chopped, sautéed veggies: mushrooms, peppers, onions, or whatever you
Sautee your selection of optional items, drain and set aside. Mix eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Stir in bread cubes and cheese. Pour into a 9 X 13 casserole dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Cover with plastic and keep in fridge overnight. In the morning, uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.
Note: this can be done with egg whites only, just increase to 18 eggs.
Happy Mother’s Day!