Enjoy Mother’s Day with keeper recipes for family and friends

Two of the three recipes offered for your Mother’s Day celebration come from cookbooks worth owning. The “Baked Ham and Cheese Savory Custard,” from Tessa Kiros’ strikingly beautiful “Apples for Jam” cookbook, may remind you of a breakfast strata, except this dish does not require the customary overnight stay in your refrigerator before baking. From start to finish, the “light and tasty” casserole, a “variation on ham and cheese sandwiches,” is ready to serve in under an hour. Suitable for brunch, lunch, or a light supper, it is extraordinary for its ability to be as casual, or as elegant, as you wish to make it.

The oh-so easy-to-prepare meal is lovely served with a salad, especially one that includes fruit like strawberries – so good this time of the year – especially dressed with Sweet ‘n Sour Strawberry Vinaigrette. The vinaigrette recipe, first shared with you in 2013 when it was used on Strawberry-Kiwi-Mango Salad served atop pan-fried grouper, contains a tablespoonful of strawberry preserves, enough to both sweeten the dressing and color it pale pink.

And, if you like the color pink in all its many shades, you are going to fall in love with the intense color achieved when making “Raspberry Sherbet” from Gail Damerow’s “Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop,” an all-inclusive recipe and reference guide to making ice cream and ice milk, frozen custard and yogurt, sorbet and sherbet and much more, including frozen desserts for those on restricted diets or in need of a dairy alternative. If you are still looking for a Mother’s Day gift for someone who’d be pleased to have a cookbook, either of these (or both), with all their keeper recipes, would make a fine choice. On-line sources, such as Amazon.com, offer purchase options with good prices and fast delivery.

Still thinking about pink (and a gift for Mom), brings me to Le Creuset’s (www.lecreuset.com) latest color, hibiscus. “Inspired by the refreshing shades of spring,” and offered as a “limited edition hue,” the color may be found on many Le Creuset products, including their Rectangular Dish with Platter Lid. The heirloom-worthy dish, with the years of service it will provide, makes it more of an investment than a purchase.

More than anything else, Mother’s Day is really an opportunity to show those we love and care for how much they mean to us. Even on Mother’s Day, mothers will cook for others because it’s how they show their love. Craig Claiborne, who died in 2000 and was, among other things, a restaurant critic, food journalist, book author and long-time editor for The New York Times, expressed the relationship between cooking and love like this: “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.”