This Mother’s Day, celebrate those great home-cooked dinners your mom is famous for with a family or community cooking contest. This is a great way to spend time with larger families, reunions or as a block party for smaller communities the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
For larger families, invite all extended members to a central location, like the park or church fellowship hall. The celebrated mothers, family matriarchs like the grandmother or mother of many children, are the judges for this cooking contest. Each participant chooses a recipe his or her mother or grandmother is famous for making or baking. Make a list of each participant’s recipe entry so you don’t have duplicates.
On the day of the celebration, everyone arrives with his or her completed recipes. Set up a picnic or buffet table with all the recipe entries displayed. Use fresh flowers and spring decorations to brighten the table between each dish.
For each recipe, have the participant make a notecard with the name of the dish and a favorite memory. For example, if Aunt Susie makes Grandma’s Secret Recipe Chocolate Cookies, she would write a sentence about how they were her favorite after-school treat as a child.
After the table is set, allow the mothers whose recipes were copied to go through the line first. The mothers will serve as judges for the Mother’s Day recipe contest. They can read all the great memories attached to their signature dishes and then see how close each family member got to re-creating each one.
Prepare blue ribbons from cloth and paper so the mothers and grandmothers can present them to the winners. Awards could be: Closest to Mom’s, Best Baking Attempt, Not As Pretty As Mom’s But You Tried.
Just have fun with the Mother’s Day contest and use it as an opportunity to give your family matriarchs a day off from the kitchen.
Small communities can also do a Mother’s Day cooking contest. Invite several different families from the block or neighborhood. All the mothers and grandmothers in the neighborhood get their own special table and are served with dishes their children, husbands and other community members make. This is a unique way to get together for a positive neighborhood party and often small, local newspapers are willing to come take photographs and do a small write-up. Consider inviting the town mayor or other community leaders to the Mother’s Day contest celebration for a fun, whole-community event.
For a great keepsake to remember the Mother’s Day event, ask each participant to send in their favorite mom recipe a few weeks before the event. Print them up in a small book and give them to all them moms at the contest.