For a mother who likes food, the gift of a book - or a recipe made for her - can make her day.
Moms come in all sizes, colors and ages. And so do their interests in food. For some it's a treat to do the cooking. For others, the real thrill is having food prepared for them.
Wherever your mom fits into the cooking scheme, here are some books that are sure to please the giftee or the giver who is doing the cooking (who might be dear old Dad).
• For the mom who loves bacon: "I Love Bacon," by Jayne Rockmill (Andrew McMeel Publishing, 136 pages, $19.99). So do we! From bacon bloody marys to bread pudding, sauerkraut stew and chocolate bacon brittle, these recipes offer a variety for that really good salty stuff.
• For the mom who couldn't leave science class behind: "Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food," by Jeff Potter (O'Reilly, 412 pages, $34.99). This has the POV of a nerdy computer geek explaining what cooks need to know. Some recipes, but lots of explanation, often in computer terms.
• For the mom who needs a little fun: "Cosmo's Official Cocktail Book: The Sexiest Drinks for Every Occasion," by the editors of Cosmopolitan magazine (Hearst Books, 160 pages, $17.95). We can all dream -- and fill out the Cosmo quizzes, such as "Where Do You Rate on the Passion Scale?" or "What Kind of Flirt Are You?" Perhaps not for your mom, but for a mother you know.
• For the mom who is a competitor: "Cook's Country Blue Ribbon Desserts," by the editors of America's Test Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, 244 pages, $29.95). If Mom doesn't bake, make one of these recipes for her.
• For the mom who needs a little spice in her life: "1,001 Best Hot and Spicy Recipes," by Dave DeWitt (Surrey Books, 868 pages, $19.95 ). Hot. Hot. Hot.
• For the mom who is organized (or perhaps for the one who isn't): "7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies," by Susan Nicholson (Wiley, 342 pages, $19.99). The author has done the planning; all the reader has to do is shop, cook and, well, do the dishes.
• For the mom who loves Saveur magazine: "The New Comfort Food: Home Cooking From Around the World," edited by James Oseland (Chronicle Books, 255 pages, $35). Even moms need comfort, from matzo ball soup to sweet-and-spicy roast chicken and kimchi pancakes. With beautiful photos.
• For the mom who loves rhubarb: "Everything Rhubarb: Recipes and Stories From a Small Town That Celebrates Rhubarb," by Mary Bell, Heidi Dybing, Nancy Martinson and Jennifer Wood (Dry Store Publishing Co., 150 pages, $15). Who knew there was so much to know about rhubarb? From women of the state's rhubarb capital in Lanesboro, Minn., which celebrates with an annual festival, this year on June 4 at Sylvan Park in Lanesboro; for details, see www.rhubarbfestival.org. Book signings at Barnes & Noble at the Mall of America May 15 from 2 to 4 p.m., and at Common Good Books, 165 Western Av. N., St. Paul, on May 18 at 7:30 p.m.
• For the mom who loves to bake: "Southern Biscuits," by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs Smith, 216 pages, $21.99). All about mouth-watering biscuits (Goat Butter Biscuits, Yogurt and Heavy Cream Biscuits, Ginger Biscuits) and the accoutrements that gild the lily.
• For the mom who wants to read while others cook: "Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life," by Kim Severson (Riverhead Books, 242 pages, $16). Severson explores the life lessons she received from Marion Cunningham, Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, Rachael Ray, Edna Lewis, Marcella Hazan, Leah Chase and her mother, Anne Marie Severson.
• For the mom who loves ice cream: "Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams From the Nation's Best Creameries," by Ellen Brown (Running Press, 240 pages, $19.95). From Irish Coffee Ice Cream to Blueberry Pie Ice Cream and Chocolate-Jalapeño Gelato, there are no calories in looking.
• For the mom who loves seafood: "For Cod and Country," by Barton Seaver (Sterling Epicure, $30, 294 pages). Recipes, organized by season, from a National Geographic Fellow who is also a chef. He narrates a three-part TV series on the locavore movement, "In Search of Food," with one episode filmed in Minneapolis, to be shown May 10 at 7 p.m. on the Ovation network.
• For the mom who loves to bring food: "The Great Potluck Cookbook," by Good Housekeeping (Hearst Books, 176 pages, $12.95). Good-to-go recipes for any occasion.
• For the mom who loves the Taste section: "Come One, Come All: Easy Entertaining With Seasonal Menus," by Lee Svitak Dean (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 311 pages, $29.95). Who wouldn't want this book of Taste recipes?
Lee Svitak Dean • 612-673-1749