Spoil mum (+recipes)

By Paul Jobin

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Celebrating mothers is an ancient tradition - so make sure you treat yours today.

Paul Jobin. Photo / Supplied
Paul Jobin. Photo / Supplied

Like many traditions we enjoy today, Mother's Day can be traced all the way back to the good old ancient Greeks and Romans who honoured their mother goddesses with spring festivals.

More closely linked to our modern Mother's Day tradition was the early Christian celebration on the fourth day of Lent on which, after a prayer service for the Virgin Mary, worshippers would bring flowers and gifts to pay tribute to their own mothers.

In later years in England, the celebration was expanded to include all mothers and became known as Mothering Sunday.

These days, in the hospitality industry, Mother's Day means the busiest trading day of the year - only beaten occasionally by Valentine's Day. With mum given the day off from cooking, everybody's out to eat, whether it's for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

And in these difficult times, that is a financial godsend for restaurant operators.

But for those of us whose budget won't stretch to dining out, there is boundless scope for spoiling her at home. Why not try a picnic in a nearby park or at the beach, if the weather is kind. Arrange a large rug and pillows with rose petals scattered around the edge. Pack the champagne flutes in the hamper and when you get to your picnic spot pour into them two teaspoons of rhubarb syrup, lemon juice, and creme de cassis liqueur, with champagne poured over the top.

Serve the champagne cocktail with canapes of lavash wafers topped with teaspoon quantities of pate and onion marmalade. Now you really have her attention, whip out the blue cheese bacon-and-egg pie with a rocket and cress salad and homemade plum sauce.

Possibly the most popular way to show mum you love her is with the classic breakfast in bed. I remember my then-toddler daughter trying to keep the volume under check as we cooked mum's favourite buttermilk pancakes. It, of course, required a lot of taste-testing on the part of the toddler before mum's pancakes were laid on the tray with hot chocolate, marshmallows, a handmade card and flowers picked from the garden.

Mum was then joined in bed by daughter and watched intently as every mouthful was savoured. Mum soon came to understand that Mother's Day was all about sharing.

* Paul Jobin is executive chef, restaurants, for SkyCity.

- NZ Herald

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