When I grew up my mother was kind of anti-mother’s day. She thought it was an overly commercialized holiday for buying cloying greeting cards and celebrating an old school non-feminist type of 50’s motherhood which did not reflect her. So we sort of ignored the day and sometimes even mocked it a tiny bit. But I have to say, now that I am a proud Mama, the idea is growing on me.
This year, Mother’s Day falls when Passover is still fresh in our minds. Passover sort of ends with a whimper, at least in my house we do not celebrate the last night. When we do go back to eating bread, it is without fanfare even though it could represent the end of our desert journey and settling into our new home. And Mother’s Day seems all about celebrating the home front, so this year our chametzy (non-Kosher for Passover) Mother’s Day cake could provide a kind of bookend to Passover.
This year, Mother’s Day also comes with the first strawberries and cut flowers on our farm. We will hold a mini-strawberry and flower sale for neighbors, but mostly feast on the first fruits at home. Until our CSA starts next week, we will enjoy an abundance of fresh strawberries and enough flowers to compete with a royal wedding … if we were to go out and cut them.
So, here is my reclaimed, Jewish Mother’s day suggestion! Try to find a local farm for the first local strawberries and flowers. Fill your vases and bowls with fresh flowers and fruit. And then enjoy the fresh strawberries with a very leavened and chametzy cake to celebrate motherhood, liberation, farms, spring and whatever is good in your life this season. Happy Mother’s Day!