Like so many other occasions, Mother's Day has been turned into something commercial, and the ads make it seem like you're a horrible, ungrateful child if you don't buy your mother an expensive gift or send a huge bouquet of flowers. Mother's Day, which is celebrated next Sunday, doesn't have to be expensive. You can show your appreciation by letting your mother (or the mother of your children) sleep as late as she wants, serve her breakfast in bed, let her relax for the rest of the day, then take her out for a quiet dinner (let her choose the restaurant). Supplement the following dishes with breakfast pastries from a good bakery and serve with freshly squeezed orange juice and her choice of tea or coffee. Arrange the food on a tray decorated with a few pretty flowers in a vase. And most important - don't forget to clean up the kitchen afterwards. Eggs Benedict (pictured) Despite their name, English muffins are not English and they're not muffins (at least in the sense of the sweet, cake-like muffins you find in bakeries). They're similar to crumpets in that they have holes to soak up butter, but the texture is drier and less spongy. English muffins can be found in the bread section of some supermarkets, or in the frozen sections of Great and Oliver's. 2 English muffins, split in half 4 slices (about 5mm thick) Canadian bacon 4 large, fresh eggs About 15ml white vinegar Unsalted butter, at room temperature (for buttering the English muffins) For the hollandaise sauce: 3 large egg yolks 10ml fresh lemon juice 180 grams unsalted butter, cool and firm but not straight from the fridge Fine-flaked sea salt and finely ground white pepper, to taste To make the hollandaise sauce, cut the butter into chunks of approximately 20 grams each. Fill a saucepan about halfway with water, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to low. Put the egg yolks into a metal bowl that can fit snugly on the saucepan without the bottom touching the water (if necessary, pour off some of the water). Whisk the yolks with a little salt and white pepper, then put the bowl on top of the saucepan. Add a chunk of butter and whisk constantly until it's almost fully melted into the yolks. Continue to add the butter a chunk at a time, whisking constantly and letting it incorporate fully before adding more. If it starts to get too thick, whisk in a little lemon juice and, when that's used up, add some warm water. When all the butter is added, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Scrape the sauce into a warmed ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Toast the English muffins and butter them lightly. In a skillet, quickly pan-fry the Canadian bacon. Carefully break an egg into a small bowl and poach in simmering water mixed with a little vinegar, then scoop it from the water with a slotted spoon and blot dry with a clean dishcloth. Poach the remaining eggs the same way. Put the toasted English muffins on plates then top with the Canadian bacon and poached eggs. Spoon hollandaise sauce on top and serve immediately. Serves two to four. French toast This is best made with good-quality, tender, eggy bread with a soft crust. Leave the bread out to dry slightly, so it absorbs more of the egg/milk mixture - this makes the cooked French toast rich and custardy. You might need to use more eggs and milk, depending on the size of the bread. 8 slices soft-crusted bread, about 1cm to 1.5cm thick 4 large eggs 25 grams sugar A dash of salt 250ml whole milk 10ml pure vanilla extract A little ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg (optional) Unsalted butter, for the pan Real maple syrup, heated until warm Whisk the eggs with the sugar and salt, then stir in the milk, vanilla and cinnamon or nutmeg (if using). Pour into a shallow dish. Put the bread slices into the egg mixture and let them soak on both sides until soft but not too soggy. Heat a skillet and add about 30 grams of butter. When the butter is melted and fragrant, add the soaked bread (you'll probably need to do this in batches). Cook over a low-medium flame until the bread has an attractive, golden-brown lacey pattern (about three to five minutes) then turn over and cook the other side. Add more butter to the pan and cook the remaining bread. Serve with maple syrup. Serves four. Scrambled eggs with grated cheese and chives I've never had much luck making omelettes but scrambled eggs are easy, especially if you use a non-stick pan over a low heat. Serve the eggs with buttered toast and crisp bacon, lightly fried sliced ham or some thinly sliced smoked salmon. 6 large eggs 90ml cream 60 grams grated cheddar cheese About 10 grams minced chives (don't use Chinese chives because the flavour is too strong) Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 30 grams unsalted butter Whisk the eggs with the cream and season with salt and pepper (go light on the salt). Put the butter in a skillet over a low-medium heat and when it's almost melted, add the egg mixture. Cook over a very low heat, stirring constantly - do not rush the cooking or the eggs will be hard, rather than soft and creamy. After several minutes, when the eggs have started to become firm, stir in the cheese and chives then continue to cook until the eggs are done. Divide the eggs between two plates and serve.