By Phillippa Spence
Sometimes I think mums are the hardest working people on the planet, so here are a few tips to make sure you show yours some proper appreciation on Mother’s Day. I know we can all run out of ideas sometimes – these days come around so fast – but just remember, it’s all about heartfelt little things to show her how much you care.
Now, breakfast in bed? In theory it’s a lovely idea, but it can also end in an uncomfortably crumby bed and a disaster zone kitchen for Mum to find when she ventures downstairs…
Perfect breakfast in bed
Firstly and most importantly, let the old dear have an extra 30 minutes’ sleep while you get busy in the kitchen.
What to eat? Keep it simple and use this opportunity to perfect your breakfast techniques (and your cleaning-up-after-yourself skills). Scrambled or poached eggs on toast, homemade granola or a little stack of pancakes with yoghurt and berries are all easy-to-do classics. Eggy bread (or French toast) is a bit different, but so straightforward to make and great for a weekend breakfast.
Dress the table nicely with a little vase or jam jar of daffodils or another spring flower and her favourite morning brew. Simples!
For or perhaps due to all their enthusiasm, young children should be supervised in the kitchen by an adult, so it might be best to skirt around breakfast and opt for a brunch or afternoon tea when everyone involved is more together. Cooking with the family is always fun, but I’ve heard quite a few horror stories of flaming toast, breakfast trays flying down or up the stairs and lots of crying over spilt milk when the kids rule the kitchen. Sometimes it’s not just the thought that counts!
Mother’s day lunch ideas
How about stepping it up a notch and sorting out Sunday lunch? Lamb is in season around this time in the UK, and cuts like shoulder or leg are cheap and easy to cook, because they don’t take much effort – I think this simple roast lamb from Save with Jamie, Mothership Sunday roast lamb is amazing.
If you fancy something a little more low key, a simple but luxurious pasta like a good carbonara could be just the ticket. I love this beautiful courgette carbonara – it has the right balance of sweet courgettes, a little salty bacon and silky sauce to coat your perfectly-cooked pasta. It’s delicious!
Afternoon tea can top off a relaxed Mothering Sunday very nicely – have a go at making a couple of classics with a nice pot of tea. Carrot cake is a brilliantly easy-to-make sweet that looks like you’ve gone to a huge effort. Any cake that can be made in a loaf tin can do this – just go to town with a lovely billowy icing and grating of chocolate or orange zest. Try this for size; a rather pleasing carrot cake with mascarpone icing.
You could try something a little less traditional but just as satisfying. Homemade crumpets (or pikelets if you’re from certain parts of the Midlands and Wales – I’d love to know of anyone else that uses this term too) are pretty easy and are fabulous topped with berries, jam or just a little butter to melt in. Jamie has a great recipe for homemade lemon and cinnamon crumpets with raspberries and honey.
If Mum’s a bit of a chocoholic – and let’s face it I’m sure there’s a correlation to having children and chocolate consumption increasing – then chocolate brownies are a sure-fire winner. Try these bad boys – gorgeously gooey and choc-full of fruit and nuts – you’ll be totting up the brownie points in no time!
If you’re going for the no-fuss approach, maybe a little homemade gift is just enough. Chocolate surprise truffles are easier to make than you might think, and look really pretty when packed into a little tissue paper-lined box or paper bag.
If you have any top tips to share for making Mother’s Day amazing, leave your comments below because we would love to hear them!