You don’t have to serve a 10-course tasting meal to show mom you care

Mother’s Day is celebrated in the UK, Ireland and Nigeria around this time, while the rest of the world celebrates it on the second Sunday in May. No matter the geography, there is a lot of commercialism surrounding this special day. We are bombarded with advertisements for flowers, cards, perfumes, chocolates and going out. The expectation is to take your mother out for lunch or afternoon tea. Rather than battling the hordes and spending a fortune, why not break out the cooking bowl and make a fancy treat at home? You don’t have to serve a 10-course tasting menu – keep it simple.

The warm scones straight out of the oven are a real crowd pleaser. Add cheese to the mix and you have something even better. The scone recipe is perfectly nice on its own, split open and spread with butter, but I added an herb cream cheese topping for even more punch. Serve as is or garnish with Parma ham or smoked salmon for something a little more decadent. You can also serve the scones warm as part of a tray. Arrange cold cuts, cheeses, olives, tomatoes, hummus and arrange the hot scones in a basket alongside. A cup of tea or a glass of something sparkling will make an ideal accompaniment.

Something sweet afterwards is essential. The recipe here is for a chocolate meringue cake with raspberries. The meringue part is flavored with cocoa and also has melted chocolate folded into the mixture. The sugar in the mixture is a combination of icing and castor which gives the finished item an extra crunch. The meringue is spread or pocketed in a rectangle shape on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper before baking. It is then covered with a vanilla cream with added frozen raspberries. There are not many locally grown fruits at the moment. We are heading into the time known as the “hungry hole” when the seasons collide and we expect an abundance of late spring produce. Frozen fruit is perfectly acceptable and works well here as it almost melts and flavors the vanilla cream. If you have blackberries or blackcurrants lying around in your freezer, they will be fine too. Everything is covered with a rich chocolate sauce made from cream, dark chocolate and glucose. If you really want to knock the ball out of the park, serve ice cream with the meringue cake and keep the chocolate sauce hot.

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Mother’s Sunday comes just in time before all the Easter rush and gives us a good excuse to get together. Whatever you cook or do, cherish it.

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom Rae especially since I have to work tomorrow. But in the words of the wise owl, Mr Hugo Duncan – “it’s like the wheelbarrow, you have it in front of you!”

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