Obviously as the consummate mama's boy, I take Mother's Day pretty seriously. I've mentioned before that long ago I missed the opportunity to have a Mother's Day brunch where my great grandmother, grandmother, and mother could all be there together. I didn't do it because I am stupid and the atmosphere was not absolutely perfect. Maybe I didn't have the right china or enough matching chairs for my table or the weather was going to be bad. Whatever it was, it was a bad reason. I can't go back, but since realizing many years ago that holidays and people will come and go--and we might as well embrace them for whatever they can be--I take them all seriously. I've yet to regret celebrating a holiday.
As my mom navigates her first year of her mother being gone, I try to include my grandmother's memory in some way. We are all thinking about her, so there's no sense in not addressing her. Luckily as the family photo archivist, I have boxes and boxes of photos to comb for photos of her looking happy and well on these various holidays. I think that helps. I could write a whole post on why everyone should stop bitching about boxes of photos, but it would be kind of rude and confrontational given the strong feelings people have about them. I'll just say that I do not see a few boxes of personal history in photo as a bad thing. Also, stop keeping them in janky cardboard boxes that are hard to move and gross. At various times, gigantic boxes of photos are shipped to me, usually from my Great Aunt. I throw a lot of them away, it's easy when a family has as many weddings and divorces as mine does (GGG: 5, GG: 7-8?, G: 3). And they were all married to at least one Bill, the funniest being my Great Aunt who married two or three Bills in a row. In our family photos, keeping track of the husbands is not easy. There are current husbands, dead husbands, husbands of note, and husbands of no historical significance. So albums of forgettable husbands and husbands we'd like to forget are easy to toss. Anyway, my belief is that you should always invite dead people in. Show their faces and tell their stories. They're usually good guests. This is easy and enjoyable to do with photos.
Clearly this post is actually about fruit and the arrangement thereof, or at least it was supposed to be. I think a gigantic platter of fruit is necessary for any brunch. They are dazzling to behold and not something most people do for themselves, so they really appreciate it when someone else does. Don't have a plan for what fruit will go on your platter. Get whatever is fresh and beautiful and ripe. Clash color, don't forget the importance of green, and do your own thing. Ina Garten always says that fruit arranged in a mixed form looks like a dog's breakfast. Personally, I love the intersections of color and texture and chaos of it all. So I guess my fruit platters look like a gay unicorn's breakfast. I can live with that.
What inspires my platters most are weather radars and maps. I have an absolute obsession and fascination with weather and I think a lot of it is that I'm visually attracted to the maps. I love the long strokes of intense color that blot and bleed and the outlying sharp speckles.
|Map of snow accumulation|
|A temperature map|
I had a little brunch yesterday and took photos of my fruit platter in process to offer some inspiration if you enjoy reckless abandon as I do; or as a cautionary tale if you like your produce in military rows like Ina.
|I like the bowl for yogurt to be slightly off center with more fruit at the bottom|
facing the front edge of the buffet.
|With scissors, I cut bunches of grapes into small portions so they are easy to|
pick up, 7-10 grapes per bunch or where there are Ys in the stem
|Cara caras are almost done for the year. They weren't as good as last year's|
|I love to intersect complementary colors when possible|
|Ina needs a Xanax|
What is your Mother's Day agenda?