Giving the Gift of Time


When getting ready to shower your mother with love, admiration and tokens of your affection, you may want to take a leaf out of my family's book — and actually ask your mom what she wants.

As my children are now older than 21, it stands to reason that I won't be getting a popsicle-stick jewelry box or a card with cut-out hearts saying that I can redeem it for a hug. These precious gifts were wonderful when they were 5; now, not so much.

Asking them for a manicure or pedicure or to clean out their closets is not unreasonable, but what I really want is not something they can't buy, but something they can give me. Their time.

What I really wanted was one time just like we used to have when they were little. An afternoon or evening together, just the three of us. When I mentioned this, they jumped at it and suggested an evening at an outdoor cafe, where we could just sit and talk, have a few appetizers, a drink and listen to music.

I countered that with the idea that we stay home, they clean their closets, and we all sit on the deck at sunset, drink and talk. I figured I could get two gifts for the price of one: their company and newly organized rooms.

The rules were simple. They had to give me at least two hours of uninterrupted time with no cell phones and nowhere else to go — just mom and kids, communicating. Add to that some fun, fruity concoctions.

While my kids are of age and these drinks do have alcohol, most can be made without it.

This Mother's Day, I'm getting a gift more precious than rubies or pearls. I get my babies back for a special time where I'm still the center of their universe. Days don't get much better than that!

Raspberry-Lime Margret & Rita

2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup lime juice
3/4 cup tequila (or lemon-lime soda)
2 cups ice cubes
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vanilla ice-cream

Purée raspberries in a blender. Strain out seeds. This makes about 11/3 cups of liquid.

Return the 1/2 cup of the juice to the blender.

Add the lime juice, tequila, ice, ice-cream and sugar, and process until smooth.

Makes 1 drink.

Chocolate-Orange Tequila Kiss

11/2 oz. tequila
1 oz. chocolate liquor
2 Tbsps. chocolate syrup
3/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process.

Pour into a glass.

Makes 1 drink.

Peachy Tea

4 quarts boiling water
10 breakfast or Earl Grey tea bags
1 can (15 oz.) cling peaches in juice, puréed
sugar, to taste
3-4 cups ice cubes
fresh peaches, sliced for garnish (optional)

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and let steep for at least an hour. Take tea bags out.

Pour the puréed peaches into the tea; mix to combine.

Taste to see if the tea is sweet enough for you. Add additional sugar, if necessary.

Add the ice cubes; chill for at an hour. Garnish with slices of fresh peach.

Serves 10 to 12.

Banana Colada
(Dairy or Pareve)

3 medium bananas
1 cup milk or rice milk
8 oz. crushed pineapple in its own juice
6 Tbsps. cream of coconut
1 Tbsp. rum or 2 tsps. rum extract
2 Tbsps. sugar
11/2 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
2 cups crushed ice

In a blender, combine the bananas, milk, pineapple and juice, cream of coconut, sugar, rum or extract, and nutmeg.

Process until smooth.

Add ice; blend until smooth.

Serves 4.

Strawberry-Lemon Flip
(Dairy or Pareve)

oz. strawberry yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup ice cubes
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 Tbsp. frozen lemonade or orange-juice concentrate
1 oz. rum or vodka

Place the yogurt, milk, ice cubes, blueberries, strawberries, lemonade concentrate and liquor in a blender.

Process until smooth.

Serves 2.

Hot-Chocolate Raspberry Respite

2 Tbsps. raspberry liqueur
1 oz. crème de cacao
8 oz. chocolate milk, heated
whipped cream
2-3 fresh raspberries, mashed in a bowl

Pour the raspberry liqueur and crème de cacao in a mug.

Add the hot chocolate milk; mix to combine.

Top with whipped cream and the mashed raspberries.

Makes 1 large drink.

'Forbes' Cucumber Mojito

Who knew a money magazine had such terrific taste?

11/2 oz. rum
4 slices peeled, seedless cucumber
6-8 mint leaves
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
1 packet sweetener
chilled ginger ale

In a tall glass, muddle together the cucumber, limes, mint and the sweetener.

Add to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add rum and shake.

Fill glass with crushed ice, return mixture to glass and top with ginger ale.

Serves 1.


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