Mothering Sunday’s origins actually have little to do with mothers. It started in the 16th century as a celebration for the whole family, when the servants of rich households would get a day off so the family could come together and go to their “mother church” – the largest in the area. Usually the servant children would work separately to their parents, so they would bring wild flowers to their mother as a gift to say they loved them.
But enough history – flowers make great gifts, but I’d much prefer a full English in bed! Happiness is a leisurely breakfast! So Mother’s Day is a time for dads to take the lead, make their partner feel loved and get the kids in the kitchen! You could also cook a lovely meal in the evening, with the kids getting involved.
But first, a good nutritious breakfast is a really important lesson to teach kids. So while the mum sleeps or reads thepaper, get the kids choosing some fruits to whizz into a smoothie, or maybe mixing the batter for some US pancakes or some breakfast ones. Another brilliant recipe I’ve just rediscovered from Happy Days with the Naked Chef is Jamie’s Breakfast eggy crumpets – and the kids can whisk the egg and dunk the crumpets. With that recipe and a smoothie, you’ll have a nicely balanced breakfast to set you up for the day.
Once it’s all cooked, get the children laying the tray (if mum’s having it in bed) or the table. Toast racks are cute and freshly squeezed orange juice is always a good idea – but it’s also lovely to get some flowers and the nice cutlery out to make it a special family occasion, as all weekend breakfasts should be!
Because it’s Sunday it would be rude not to have a roast in the evening. Get the kids to muck in – if they’re old enough they can peel the veg, which is a great time to talk to them about why vegetables are good for you and why they’re better at different times of the year. It’s lamb season in March, so go for his amazing roast leg of lamb – it’s really simple and includes the roasties and a delicious mint sauce that the children can mix while you deal with the hot stuff. All you’re missing the veg and the gravy!
Having everyone come together, cooking in the kitchen and sharing food and good times will be in the spirit of Mother’s Day more than 400 years ago! Make sure mum has a great day, and the rest of you will too.