Today was Mother’s Day, and to treat Mum I decided to prepare a lovely Sunday lunch that she enjoyed.
As usual, it took way longer to prepare than I expected. I woke up at 9am and immediately started baking, and was going flat out until 1pm when lunch was served.
For the meal I decided to do wine-braised chicken (with white wine, carrots, red onion, rosemary, red grapes and pine nuts), and an asparagus & grilled halloumi salad.
I do enjoy baking, but I’m not too good when it comes to experimenting, so I stuck fast to Jamie Olivers recipes from his cookbook. I’ve found that if you really follow the recipes he gives you will produce delicious meals that taste like they’re actually restaurant quality.
For dessert, I went all out with Mum’s favourite cake – a white chocolate mud cake. I always use the Taste recipe when I make the cake, but I halve the mixture because the amount they prescribe actually makes 2 regular sized cakes (you could definitely stick with the actual quantities and pile the 2 cakes on top of each other with creamy ganache in the middle).
It was a lovely day, and I treated Mum to a mani-pedi voucher at our local salon, to top the day off.
What do you usually do for mum on Mother’s Day?
It was mum’s 54th birthday last Friday and I wanted to make it super special this year, because over the past few years I have been really busy and stressed around this time and I felt I hadn’t really treated her properly for her birthday in a long time.
A dash of cyan for a successful day
To make the day memorable, I planned it out well in advance. The morning began with a massage with a local masseuse which I booked a couple of days prior. Mum really values experiences over ‘things’ so I made sure a lot of what I organised gave her a memory rather than something material. After her massage I picked her up and we went to lunch at a French Restaurant (which has a string of great reviews and recommendations) called Le Bouchon. The lunch was even better than I had anticipated, the restaurant is in a cosy hole in the wall setting, but has elegance and style with its walnut coloured wooden tables and gold plated decor. The authenticity of the French cuisine was enhanced as all the waiters were French and went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant dining experience. I ordered a Crispy Pork Belly with lentils in a crushed apple sauce, and Mum decided to be a bit more adventurous and got Sauteed Calves Liver with parsnip chips, which to my surprise was actually really tasty. We shared a glass of white House Wine as Mum isn’t a big drinker and enjoyed chatting for a couple of hours.
After lunch, we set off to the shopping mall and I bought her a pair of black leather boots as she has been saying lately that her current pair are a bit worn down. Then we went to a nail salon and I got shellac nails in a light plum colour and mum got a pedicure with a burnt orange polish and a complimentary foot massage. After, Mum headed home and I popped into the grocery store and went shopping for dinner.
For dinner I wanted to go all out and surprise Mum with a multiple course meal, as I’m not a big savoury cook and usually just whip up easy desserts and smoothies. I consulted a traditional English cookbook for recipes that are perfect for the drab and windy weather we have been having recently. For the entree I made corn scones with an avocado and soft cheese topping, garnished with capers and diced bacon. For the main meal we savoured a chicken and leek hotpot with a chickpea and feta salad. Finally for dessert I challenged myself to make an apple and walnut pie with ice-cream. The whole meal actually went really well and Mum loved all of it, which surprised me because something always seems to go awry when I work in a kitchen with lots of things boiling and bubbling and timers constantly going off.
What would a birthday be without presents, as I mentioned earlier Mum isn’t a massive fan of ‘things’ and doesn’t like candles, homewares, perfumes or make up. So, I opted in for a $50 gift card for Dymocks and I spent $100 on a voucher for a high tea for two at the Queen Victoria Building Tea Room (a very elegant and extravagant high tea experience). Overall it was a very successful day and I had so much fun treating Mum and putting effort in to make the day special for her.