Let’s hear it for our mothers, for without their generous spirits and creativity there would be no hope for any of us. We may not all be in possession of our own flocks of perfect children, and those that ever were may well have flown the nest, but let us treat Mother’s Day as a moment to celebrate and remember the women in our lives who have given us so much to be thankful for. Forget the fancy restaurants and the over-priced sandwich selections, it is time to reward and remember our mothers with something unexpected and to remind each other that life should, without question, be full of fun.
We propose to celebrate Mother’s Day with an unexpected and unconventional picnic, something Emma’s mother filled her childhood with. “Mum had a genius for picnics. She loved food in all circumstances- was very greedy, extremely generous and boundlessly hospitable- and many of her best feasts she served out of doors,” she remembers. She once carried a whole roast Sunday lunch, complete with roasting pans and china bowls, down the cliff path to a Scottish beach, where the family ate after a refreshingly scary swim.
It may defy practicality, but there is nothing quite like drinking a piping hot cup of tea out of a favourite ceramic mug, or eating cake outside from an actual plate. Suggest a walk, bring a rucksack, a flask of hot water, a jam jar of milk, some tea bags and your favourite mugs and you can create an instantly memorable moment on that park bench, brick wall or cliff edge. Wrap mugs in drying up cloths or a wool throw to keep them from chipping, and think about giving the mugs away as you dish out the tea: so much more original than gift wrap.
A freshly baked cake, wrapped in baking paper and sealed in a tin is another marvel to behold on a Mothering Sunday walk. You could try our simple recipe for Parkin cake, baked a few days earlier for extra deliciousness. Bring a breadboard to cut it on, a handful of knives and a slab of butter wrapped in a beeswax wrap. And if you are worried that your load will be heavy, try some of our pretty, lightweight picnic plates.
Whether you are extravagant and bring a cooling roast chicken, wrapped in tin foil, to be torn apart and rammed into buns with lots of home-made mayonnaise, or prefer to make do with a flask of hot chocolate and a packet of biscuits, it is the magic of producing real treasures from the kitchen dresser out of your rucksack or basket, like rabbits from a hat, which will make the moment unforgettable. And just like your mother, you will never, ever forget a good picnic.
Photos taken from Emma's book Toast & Marmalade. © Andrew Montgomery.
Planting Trees To Remember. A wonderfully positive thing to do in itself, and perhaps a fitting metaphor for remembering and celebrating the mothers in your life, past and present.Read More >