Most of us are affected by Mother’s Day in one way or another: if we aren’t moms ourselves, we each had a mother, obviously, at one time. Some of us are fortunate enough to still have our moms around to celebrate the day, even if it’s just a long-distance phone call.
Also, we have friends who are mothers, or are trying to become mothers – who would give anything for one of those macaroni necklaces. We see the nauseatingly-sappy commercials for flowers, jewelry, and greeting cards. We can feel the estrogen pulsing through the tv screen. Ooh-rah!
Mother’s Day – cha ching!
It’s no surprise that Mother’s Day is a big money-maker. Here are some stats:
Flowers: According to the U.S. Flower Industry, Mother’s Day fresh flower/plant purchases make up 25% of their yearly dollar volume (the same as Valentine’s Day!). According to one source, we spend $1.9 billion dollars on flowers – just for Mother’s Day.
Greeting Cards: According to Hallmark, Mother’s Day is #3 in card-sending occasions, and Americans send 133 million cards. Huh? The government census says there are only 85.4 million mothers in the U.S. Hmm…where are all the extras going?
Eating Out: The National Restaurant Association (www.restaurant.org) reports that Mother’s Day is the most popular occasion to dine out, even surpassing Valentine’s Day. An estimated 75 million Americans go out to eat on Mother’s Day. I don’t know about you, but takeout is looking pretty good right now.
How did we start down this road?
Mother’s Day as an organized movement began in separate places – Boston and New York – by Julia Ward Howe and Ann Jarvis, respectively – after the Civil War, as a “Mother’s Day of Peace.” The goal was to bring together mothers from opposing sides of the war, women who had the common bond of grieving the loss of their sons. While it was celebrated locally, it wasn’t a widespread movement at this point. Later, it started to gain ground and lost its anti-war overtones when it was taken up by Ann Jarvis’s daughter, Anna, who successfully worked to get it established as a national holiday. Below is a copy of Woodrow Wilson’s official proclamation, published in The New York Times on May 10, 1914:
As you can see, we’ve gone WAY beyond flying the flag for moms!
For more history, check out:
In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to share a favorite recipe from my mom. It was originally called “Sherry Chicken” – but then came to be called “Sherry Chicken Mumsey” when the recipe got re-copied by a friend. The name stuck. It’s from a cookbook that my mom had hand-written and given to me as a moving-out gift when I was a young adult. The book is now really battered (almost literally, haha), with a broken spine, torn and stained pages, and the cover long gone, but I still use it regularly. Enjoy!
Sherry Chicken Mumsey
3 whole chicken breasts, skinned and split
1.5 sticks of butter or margarine
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
3 large jars sliced mushrooms, undrained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
salt, pepper, and paprika, to taste
hot cooked rice
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Rinse chicken, pat dry, place in pyrex baking dish. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Melt butter in medium saucepan, stir in remaining ingredients (except rice) until blended. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake for 1 hour. Serve chicken and gravy over rice.
What are your plans this weekend? Any traditions or gatherings with family that you do? I’d love to hear from you!