Food Nation

Best Online Foodie Gifts for the Long-Distance Mama

On Sunday, May 10, many of you will have the opportunity to treat your mother/maternal figure to a lovely meal (and, for the love of God, don't confine it to brunch). Some of us, however, won't get that chance. I'm not referring to those who don't have a relationship with their moms or those whose mothers are no longer with us (though my heart goes out to you).

I'm referring to myself, actually, and everyone else who loves his or her mother dearly but just happens to live 300+ miles from her (in my case, 1,463.1 miles). Meeting up for drinks and dinner is not an option; a Skype session doesn't seem quite special; and a generic card is not going to cut it.

Flowers, of course, are the conventional gift for the long-distance mama on Mother's Day, but if 1) you're looking for something more creative, 2) your green-thumb mom grows her own friggin' tulips and 3) food not flora is the way to your mother's heart, then consider sending one of these terrific Mother's Day foodie gifts from online vendors.

Though perhaps best known for their fruit baskets, Harry & David also offers a number of different culinary packages this year for Mother's Day, the coolest of which is a "Brunch Box." Not only are the components divine and delicious (a caramelized onion and bacon quiche with a terrific flaky crust, chocolate truffles, green jalapeno jelly, an incredibly moist banana pecan loaf cake, and over-size, fluffy artisan English muffins) but the container doubles as a hat box! Perfect for mother's fascinator or Red Sox cap.

Also lovely is their whimsical "Sweets Box," buttery vanilla shortbread, dark chocolate-covered pineapples, yogurt-dipped pretzels, and raspberry truffles. Because this box involves fruit and yogurt, mom can also eat it for breakfast.

Maybe your Mom deserves her own batch of cookies for all the times she made dozens (with just 24 hours notice!) for your school bake sale. Mrs. Fields offers a cute tin with 60 cookies of different varieties for under $35, which is a bargain compared to M-Day rose bouquet prices.

The Yiddishe Mama (or any mom, for that matter, who enjoy a good bagel and schmear) will love Zabar's decadent Mother's Day Sweets & Treats Crate with 6 plain bagels, cream cheese, 1/2 pound of nova, cinnamon rugelach, coffee, and a sweet cherry pecan bar plus a deep purple napkin and silk daisy for decoration.

The Champagne and Caviar gift basket from Gift Tree isn't explicitly targeted toward mothers...but it should be. Inside the "bamboo carrying case" are two splits of Dom Chandon California Brut Classic, crackers, Saraivanov caviar, and a serving knife--all the tools mom needs for a relaxing picnic. Note I did not write "and a serving knife and the kids" because the absence of her progeny are what makes it relaxing.

Finally, if the aforementioned descriptions have you drooling and you yourself are a mom, make it a double order and send one to yourself. It's your day, too.

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Joanna O'Leary