Mother's Day looks different this year, but you can still spend a meaningful afternoon with mom while social distancing.

Every Mother's Day weekend I travel back to my hometown to spend the holiday with my mom. With all the social distancing measures in place, it looks like our celebrations will look a bit different this year. And while I’m sad I won’t be able to spend the day with my mom in person, I’ve been brainstorming other ways to make her day special. One of the things I’ve added to the list of things mothers and daughters should do together: Virtual cooking! 

Here’s how it works: Pick an easy recipe (like homemade banana bread or a simple chicken dinner) and order all the right groceries ahead of time. When you’re ready to start cooking, dial-up mom’s number on a video calling system and enjoy an afternoon together in the kitchen (even if they’re two separate kitchens!). Here are a few tips to help you get started.

African American woman cooking and looking at laptop
Credit: Peopleimages/Getty Images

Choose the Right Recipe

Unless you both live with large families, there’s no need to make a complete Mother’s Day brunch on your call. If you want to cook or bake the same thing, agree on a recipe ahead of time. We recommend choosing one easy one that doesn’t require a lot of fancy ingredients; plus, focusing on just one recipe means you’ll have more time to catch up on other things with mom. You could also use this time to master one of mom’s famous family recipes since she’ll be able to walk you through you exactly how to make it while she makes her own. Make a simple loaf of bread together (try making your own sourdough) or whip up a decadent Mother’s Day dessert recipe while you chat.

Pick Up the Ingredients

During this uncertain time, the grocery store is probably the last place you want to be. Luckily, services like grocery delivery and curbside pick-up make it easy to stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry in a safe way during the pandemic. Take advantage of these online grocery shopping options to get all the right ingredients without leaving the house. Our editors have experienced longer-than-normal wait times for pick-up spots, so be sure to place your order several days in advance to make sure you get everything in time.

Call Your Mom

If you can’t be with mom in person, video calling is the next-best thing. These platforms will allow you to see her face, hear her voice, and learn all of her best cooking tips. 

  • FaceTime: If you both have Apple devices (like an iPhone, iPad, or Mac), FaceTime is the easiest video calling system since you don’t need to download any separate apps and there aren’t any time limits. Simply press the ‘FaceTime’ icon on mom’s contact and video chat as long as you like.
  • GoogleHangout: An easy alternative to FaceTime is GoogleHangouts. It’s a free online software offered by Google and can be used on your browser (no software download required). Simply log in with your Google account, send mom a meeting invite, and start cooking. 
  • HouseParty: If mom is savvy with phone apps, have her download the HouseParty app. You can add multiple people to this call, which makes it the ideal choice if you plan to invite a sibling or other family member to your virtual cooking date.
  • Skype: Download the mobile or desktop Skype app for free and spend the afternoon chatting and cooking with mom. You can add up to 50 people to a single Skype call, so the platform is also a great option for a virtual get-together of all your female family members.

No matter which recipe you choose, you'll always remember this meaningful (and unconventional) time spent with mom. And who knows, it might become your new favorite mother-daughter tradition.


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