Happy New New Year! (40314)
Happy New New Year! (40313)
Happy New New Year! (40312)
Happy New New Year! (40311)
Happy New New Year! (40310)

I love this time of the year! I really do! I take crazy pictures of the tree blossoms all over Harlem and the city. Just can’t get enough of it. Everything is so new and so bright. The blossoms come–if for only a fleeting moment– and soon give way to tender green leaves that seem like a pointillist’s painting come to life. If I had my druthers, the New Year would begin on or May 1, just in time for Mother’s Day, when we celebrate the human bearers of new life. We could call it the New New Year.

This Mother’s Day, I celebrate many mothers who are special to me: my mother, sister, sister-in-law, aunts and friends. However, first and foremost, I celebrate my grandmother, Marie Rhone, who has not only raised her family, but a family of students in her 50-plus-year career in education. Her intensity and commitment prepared her students for excellence and achievement and taught them how to behave both in the classroom and in the world. She is a dynamic and fierce lady who says what she means and means what she says. There will never be another. That is my nana!

There are many new mothers celebrating their first of many Mother’s Days. Amongst them, I celebrate my bestie Raquel and her first son, and my newest nephew, Spencer. I can only imagine the new joy you feel and the new worry too, all mixed into one. Stand firm knowing you will always, always do your best by him and the gift of life is only the beginning of the many gifts you will bestow upon him. Both you and he are loved.

Fathers, children, friends,–families, readers hear my cry. I am sure you feel the same way about the mothers in your life and you want to make them happy on Sunday, if not every day. While it is the thought that counts, make it one that you thought about ahead of time. Here are some food suggestions:

Eat out! Yes, the most obvious, because if you are not the cook in the house, guess what? She is not cooking on Sunday. If you don’t already know it, find out her favorite spot and make a reservation TODAY!

Eat in! Breakfast in bed is always a wonderful gesture as is a meal at the beautifully set dinner table or in the backyard. Start up the grill, hamburgers and hotdogs for the kids, steak (a good grass-fed New York strip!), big salad and wine for the adults. (SCHOP! Tip: For the steak: bring to room temperature, liberally season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, sear over the direct heat (flame) part of your grill and finish cooking to medium-rare over the indirect heat (no flame) section of your grill.)

Eat in, out! Why not a picnic in the park (weather permitting)?! The Meer, Morningside, Marcus Garvey, St. Nicholas, Riverside … should I go on? If nothing else, New York City has parks! Order or pick up some food from Fairway or her favorite restaurant, grab a big blanket, wine, some music, Sunday paper … and scene-ic!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the dynamic mothers and mother figures out there, and Happy New New Year too!

Enjoy, get eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service offering weekly and in-home entertaining packages. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email her at kysha@iSCHOP.com, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook www.facebook.com/SCHOPnyc or chat with her on Instant Messenger at AskSCHOP, Monday-Friday, 6-8 p.m. For even more recipes, tips and food musings subscribe to her blog at www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.