May2021 - Happy memories are the essential, invisible and invaluable ingredients for any spectacular recipe. Nostalgia is baked into our favourite foods so deeply that it only takes the smell of cinnamon gently wafting through the house to fill you with the love of a carefree child gazing at your mom in expectant adoration as she flips the pancakes for Sunday breakfast.
Grace Stevens - TV chef, cookbook author and confectionery creative - is also a mom to four and with this Mother’s Day marking her 19th year as a mom, few are as experienced in how to make delicious memories this Mother’s Day.
Here Are Her Top 5 Tips To Making Mother’s Day Memorable:
Drop hints like “psst … it's almost Mother’s Day” or “you should tell your dad that this would be the perfect gift for Mother’s Day”. Children have a surprising amount of anxiety around gift-giving which you can eliminate with communication. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach them how to appreciate, acknowledge and celebrate the role each individual plays in the family. Not to mention teaching them how to navigate and express their emotions. Mother’s Day has evolved in my household as we had more children, but the thing I love most is still that my children stick around me all day.
Last year we all huddled and had breakfast on the bed and laughed and teased each other. For lunch, they prepared my favourite (a BLT sandwich); they even went shopping without me knowing which I was extraordinarily touched by. My son even took the time to bake me a cake. Seeing them all work together would make any mothers’ heart sing and seeing them consider what I like over their own tastes was just so special.
Keep It Simple
Extravagant gifts can easily become about keeping up with the Joneses and lose focus on what Mother’s Day is truly about. My favourite gifts are about the personal touch like making your mom's favourite carrot cake (and doing the dishes) and giving her a homemade card. After all, cards are kind of like love letters and hold the memory of that moment decades after it has passed.
In our household, I only ask for one gift from all my children - a new pair of slippers - which works brilliantly as the weather starts getting colder. It makes me smile every evening when I slip them on and think of my bunch dashing around the shops looking for slippers that mom likes (which isn’t difficult since all the shops get their new winter ranges now). I love that there is a tradition that we all joke about and have fun with.
Painting a plate or a special mug will mean more than anything you can buy. I have friends who still drink their morning tea out of the same mug that their kids gave them one Mother’s Day long after their children have gone off to university. These treasured gifts help me feel connected to my kids, and it is the time they gave and the effort they made that makes me feel loved. And as much as we treasure heirlooms like painted mugs, it is the memory they represent that can never be lost, tarnished, or broken.
Get Together...Even if you are far apart
An excellent way to soothe the pang of distance is to do an online course with your mom on something she loves. I have some stunning Mother’s Day discounts on my online classes where you receive a link via zoom and you can chat, share your trials and tribulations with the class and feel like you are together. There is always a way to come together, and in my experience making delicious, beautiful treats together to munch when the class is over, is the sweetest way to spend time. For those of us who have more mature moms, different time zones and jobs we cannot always get away from, having the option of booking a class that suits you both is freeing, and I would feel so privileged if I could help you spoil your mom.
Here Are Grace’s Beloved Treats For You To Bring To The Table:
I love to eat. It is my favourite and if there is one stroke of genius to best them all it's that one year I taught my brood how to make scones. When we were learning, we got to spend time together where I was able to guide them and answer any questions they had. Low and behold the next Mother’s Day I had freshly baked scones for breakfast!
Scones work beautifully as a breakfast or an afternoon tea, especially if you have grannies and aunties visiting, and they are easy to drop off as a gift if you can't spend the day. For small children, they are quick, easy, and tactile to make, which makes them super fun. And they bake quickly so no patience required. Fill them with jam, cheese and cream and you are good to go.
Chocolate mousse is lovely, light, and easy to make ahead of time (up to two days ahead) making it easy for busy hubbies. Make it over the weekend and take it out of the fridge and you have decadent, no mess chocolate mousse. For teenagers, the opportunity to put their unique mark on them and plate it beautifully into individual glasses before they set not only stimulates their creativity but celebrates their identity.
My favourite is carrot cake! It’s easy to make, stays nice and moist in the oven and is even better after a day or two when the flavours have had a chance to mingle. If you bake it in a Bundt tin, it is both decadent and easy to ice and everyone can get creative with sprinkles. It can also be made a couple of days ahead of time and even frozen.
Mother’s Day is all about taking the time to openly cherish the memories you have with your mom and making the time to create new ones - whether you are young or old. So, this Mother’s Day, let’s celebrate our moms by baking and making some more delicious memories.
For these and many more delicious tried and true family recipes and her online tutorials, shop and live classes visitwww.gracestevens.co.za or follow her on Grace_stevenschef or Facebook grace_stevenschef