UK Mothers Day Sunday 11th March 2018
Last year I took one for the team and cooked Mothers day lunch for my Mum and her Husband as well as Joel’s Mum and Dad. It felt like a big deal doing a roast for eight people but I think I just about managed to pull it off with no disasters. This year Mothers Day coincides with my Mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. She offered to have us all round for lunch but this seemed incredibly mean to accept her offer so I’m now gearing myself for a feast with four (yes, we are very lucky) generations of Joel’s family.
I’m also feeling very old as I attended my Mother-in-law’s 40th Birthday party 20 years ago. At the time I didn’t bat an eye-lid that she catered her own big party and looking back feel rather guilty that I didn’t chip in with some help. Oh well, time to right that wrong…..
I know Joel and I are incredibly lucky to come from a long line of healthy folk with big families, I mean, how hard can lunch for twelve be? Normally when we cater for a big crowd at least half are small children. They don’t really eat much and have zero expectations of sitting comfortably around a table. I do feel it would be a bit much to ask folk in their 80s to eat with a plate on their laps.
I’ve written before about my desire to feed a crowd and enjoy a few glasses of wine. I think I have planned a menu with no last minute messy pans, no last minute stirring over a hot hob and no last minute panicking that the roast potatoes will not crisp up (yes Christmas roasties, I’m looking at you!) A traditional roast will always cause an element of last minute sweat so I’ve looked for a springtime roast with a twist.
I’m going for a simple vibe with fresh spring flavours. All the food will be served in big dishes so everyone can help themselves to what they like. The only last minute job will be carving the pork. This is the one task I know I can delegate to Joel. If it is left to me we’d be serving lumps of pork rather than nice neat slices.
When I invited Great Grandma for lunch she offered to bring a dish with her. The trick for catering for a crowd is to always accept a kind offer like this. Steer them in the direction of something that needs no further cooking and can be served cold. I love help but I always get a little stressed when someone is in my way (am I showing myself in a good light here?!) A cold pudding is ideal for a guest to bring. It can be transferred to a plate or bowl without adding to the inevitable mess.
The only part of the day I won’t have planned is what my darling husband, father of my beautiful children will be treating me to. It seems only fair to get something good as I’m forfeiting Mother’s day. I’ll take that in exchange for enjoying our children spending time with not only Grandparents but Great Grandparents. It’s an absolute privilege with the proviso I don’t do the clearing up.
Suitable for people free from gluten, dairy, sesame, soy and lastly onions! One of our guests has an onion intolerance which I always forget, I’m aware this is a very poor show on my part.
Fancy crisps – we normally buy the supermarket own brand version of ready salted kettle chips.
Roast Shoulder of Pork With Fennel Seeds
New Potatoes in Salsa Verde – you can leave out the mustard and anchovies if you need to
Green Beans in a lemon and olive oil dressing
Grilled Broccoli with garlic and chillies – leaving out the almonds
Fennel Salad – I’m yet to decide how I’ll serve this but I’ll come up with something…
Little Gem Lettuce Salad – simply dressed in the same dressing as the green beans
Pavalova – made by Great Grandma. Felix and Ted will have their own individual dairy free meringues with fruit.
- Flowers for the house – lots of cheap tulips and daffodills to celebrate spring
- Champagne! It is a celebration after all.
- Plenty of soft drinks for drivers – I really like Belvoir cucumber and mint
- Mothers Day cards
- Lots of napkins – I’ll be heading to Flying Tiger for these in pretty spring colours
You may remember I gave Veganuary a try earlier this year, I’ll buy our pork for this meal from Harvey’s Puremeat in Norwich. We now eat a lot less meat, this allows me to buy better quality meat when we do splash out. I insist upon organic and free range pork but can only afford to do this buy eating meat less frequently.