There's a reason why people say no one's cooking will ever taste as good as their mother's -- it's because they can't ever replace those first food experiences they had with anything else. Even if your mom wasn't the world's greatest chef, her one speciality would inevitably become the most delicious dish you could imagine, and even now, it's sure to make you just a little nostalgic.
So to celebrate the moms who love spending time in the kitchen, we've pulled together a list of cooking items that will make her time in there even more enjoyable. They're pretty, they're practical, and they're the kind of things that will remind her of you every time she looks at them.
The key with giving a gift that appears, on first glance, to be asking Mom to whip you up a plate is to choose things that show how well you know her and how much you care. Add in an extra little touch (we've given some hints) and she'll know this isn't just about her unparalleled ways with split pea soup.
If mom hasn't yet discovered the joys of the French press, this Mother's Day could be the time to introduce her. Beloved by coffee connoisseurs, this particular coffee maker -- the Eileen from Bodum -- has a design that not only looks great, but is meant to withstand the bumps and knocks of a busy kitchen.
Extra touch: Add in a bag or two of high-quality coffee beans to give her a head start on the process.
Save mom's counters and help them look even prettier with a spoon rest, like this porcelain Blue Bird Spoon Rest from Jonathan Adler, $38.
Slow cookers are the retro cooking tool that keeps on giving. Give your mom's Crock-Pot an update, either with a new model, or something like this Crock-Pot Duo Slow Cooker and Buffet Server ($79.99, Sears), which gives two slow cooking pots at once. Plus, it's a buffet piece that you'll actually be hesitant to spill on.
Extra touch: In the card, offer up the adult version of the coupon gift -- tell Mom you'll host the next big family gathering.
If your mom's copy of Julia Child's "The Art of French Cooking" is completely stained, you could (a) buy her a pretty new one, or (b) have her test out the modern option with Richard Grausman's "French Classics Made Easy." It's known as a simpler approach to the recipes we all wish we knew how to make. From $21.74, Indigo.
Extra touch: Would adding a real chef's hat to the gift be going too far? We don't think so.
Going so much further than that Lucite cookbook holder she's had for years, a new bookstand could add a pop to Mom's kitchen and even make it easier to access all those recipes she's been saving on her iPad. This option, Joseph Joseph's CookBook Compact Folding Bookstand (from $39, amazon.com) even breaks down into an easy-to-tuck-away folder.
Extra touch: If she does have an iPad but no recipes to speak of just yet, download Epicurious' app to get her started.
Sure, Mom has that handy electronic timer on the oven, but don't you think she'd loved a retro-inspired one that is ultra simple to use? Of course, this Kikkerland Magnetic Kitchen Timer ($17) isn't the only one around -- some pretty cute matryosha dolls could work their magic too.
Extra touch: Play up the retro theme and find Mom a truly fabulous apron that will save her clothes for nights on end.
There's nothing like a truly gorgeous cookbook as a present -- even if your mom doesn't usually like to stray from her favourite recipes, she won't be able to resist the temptations of La Tartine Gourmande (from $23, Indigo). The book, created by blogger Béatrice Peltre, shows off her pretty and healthy dishes, all complete with charming anecdotes.
Extra touch: If you have time, snag one of the recipes from Peltre's blog and present it along with the cookbook.
A great stockpot is a necessity in every kitchen, but it's also the kind of equipment that slips under the radar when it comes time to actually do the cookware shopping. Stop Mom from overfilling her pots and pans and buy her something like this gorgeous Le Creuset Stockpot (from $150, The Bay). Extra touch: Tuck in a recipe for a really great chicken stock -- say, Jamie Oliver's -- to give Mom some inspiration.
Wooden utensils may usually be confined to spoons in the kitchen, but if your mom loves natural materials (not to mention innovative ideas), she'll be replacing her spatula with these Pan Paddles from Littledeer (approximately $24) quicker than she can flip an egg. Inspired by actual canoe paddles, the Quebec-based company's 'Mapleware' utensils are beloved for their quality.
Extra touch: Add in pretty patterned cloth to wrap the paddles in to protect them from knives and other tools in the drawer.
Bowls in all shapes and hues are a fun way to brighten up Mom's kitchen with something you know she absolutely needs, like this 6-Piece Melamine Bowl Set (from $50, Crate & Barrel).
Extra touch: Top it off with a little gift card inside the smallest one for a grocery store she loves.