By BRENDA LUCAS

For HD Media

Rudyard Kipling wrote "God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers." Perhaps being a mother is the most difficult, yet most rewarding job a woman can, and will, ever experience.

The closest love to God's love is to witness the love of a good mother. In fact, she may possess some of the same qualities as God, such as being a protector, friend and disciplinarian. Her love is selfless, enduring, unconditional and endless.

She makes many sacrifices to fulfill the wants and needs of her children. She works hard to ensure her offspring possess the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for a lifetime. And for these things and more, she is worthy of a day of celebrating set aside just for her.

Mother's Day, May 12, honors the mother, motherhood, maternal bonds and the influence of mothers in society. Motherhood never ceases in its love, care, nurture and encouragement and should not be considered an unpleasant task or chore.

The first Mother's Day celebration was in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at Grafton, W.Va.'s St. Andrew's Methodist Church. This Sunday, give the one you call Mother a rose, pot of flowers, gift or recipes, such as this one from Kellogg's:

NO BAKE MOTHER'S

DAY CAKE

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 (10-ounce) package marshmallows or 4 cups miniature marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Canned frosting or decorating gel

Assorted candies or toasted nuts

In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows; stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal. Stir until well coated.

Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13- by 9- by 2-inch pan lined with foil and coated with cooking spray. (Or, press mixture into two 9-inch round pans lined with foil and coated with cooking spray.) Cool. Remove from pan(s).

Remove foil. Decorate with frosting and/or candies. Best if served same day.

These recipes are from Taste of Home:

FRUITY CHICKEN SALAD

MINI SANDWICHES

6 cups chopped cooked chicken

3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1/2 cup halved seedless red grapes

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

24 potato dinner rolls or Hawaiian sweet rolls, split

Place first five ingredients in large bowl. In small bowl, mix sour cream, mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice and seasonings; stir into chicken mixture. Refrigerate, covered, until serving.

To serve, fill each roll with 1/3 cup chicken mixture.

To toast nuts, bake in shallow pan in 350-degree oven 5-10 minutes or cook in skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.

MOM'S CINNAMON

FLAPJACKS

2 cups complete buttermilk pancake mix

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

SYRUP:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In small bowl, combine pancake mix, water, syrup, butter and cinnamon.

Pour batter into plastic squirt bottle. Squeeze batter into desired letters and shapes onto greased hot griddle.

When undersides are browned, turn and cook until second side is golden brown. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine brown sugar, water and butter. Bring to boil.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.

Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Serve with flapjacks.

HAM AND EGG BRUNCH PUFFS

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

FILLING:

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon butter

8 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup chopped fully cooked ham

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to boil. Add flour all at once and stir until smooth ball forms. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until mixture is smooth and shiny. Drop by 1/4 cupsful 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack. Immediately split puffs open; remove and discard tops and soft dough from inside. Set aside. In large skillet, saute green pepper and onion in butter until tender. In medium bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper. Add to skillet, stirring over medium heat until almost done. Add ham and cheese; stir until eggs are set. Spoon into puffs. Serve immediately.

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