This post originally appeared on May 7, 2019, in Add to Cart — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
Black Friday is by far the biggest shopping day on the U.S. calendar (until Jeff Bezos completes his hostile takeover with Prime Day, at least). But less bemoaned and almost equally focused on shopping is Mother’s Day, which compels approximately 84 percent of U.S. adults to shell out $25 billion for flowers, cards, jewelry, gift cards, and more.
But you could always just buy your mom an omelet. Somewhere along the line, over the past several decades, Mother’s Day brunch became a key element of the holiday. And while I couldn’t find a great explanation as to why (though this NPR take on brunch as a feminist innovation is interesting), it is noteworthy, as it’s one of the few holidays I can think of that revolves around dining out. Maybe it’s because the bulk of home cooking still falls on mothers’ shoulders (despite all our supposed progress), and eating brunch out offers a well-deserved break. Or maybe it’s due to a concerted effort by the restaurant industry, with all those Mother’s Day brunch specials and promotions (hey, it worked with Valentine’s Day).
Either way, it’s a nice excuse to eat out — and perhaps to skip the traditional eggs-and-mimosa fare (and crowds) and explore someplace new and unexpected.
Things to buy
- I am truly not cool enough to pull off AriZona iced tea merch. But if you are hip enough — if the words vaporwave, hypebeast, or Supreme mean anything to you — the canvas Aztec backpack and cherry blossom oversized T-shirt are strong moves.
- Food icon and whiskey lover Madhur Jaffrey drops her new cookbook today: Madhur Jaffrey’s Instantly Indian Cookbook: Modern and Classic Recipes for the Instant Pot.
- This strawberry corer looks almost too simple, but Ashley Christensen (hot-off-the-presses winner of Outstanding Chef at last night’s James Beard Awards) swears by it for coring tomatoes, de-seeding peppers, and removing blemishes from produce.
- I’ve recently found mini jam jars to be a game-changer for packing weekday lunches, using them to transport oil, vinegar, or other small ingredients for salads. (I’m trying!!)
Things to know
TBH we're surprised she didn't order a Dragon Drink.— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) May 6, 2019
- Vivian Howard, of PBS’s A Chef’s Life, launched her own pop-up online bakery selling one “limited release” item at a time. The first batch — coconut lime cornmeal pound cake — is already sold out, but there are plans for a new recipe next month. (Drops — they’re for every industry now!)
- Was the “accidental” placement of the Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones just an elaborate ploy to promote the brand’s Dragon Drink? I’m going to go out on a limb and say yes.
- If last summer was the summer of Aperol spritzes, I’m calling this the summer of the canned spritz. Whether that’s a spiked seltzer or a Bud Light Rita Spritz or a Willie’s Superbrew (an improbable spiked seltzer-cider-kombucha combo), there have never been more options for fizzy booze.