Mother’s Day has been celebrated for thousands of years across the world
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The Greeks honoured their mothers in the festival of Cybele and the Romans in Hilaria. In the UK, Ireland and Nigeria it falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent but in most of the rest of the world it happens on the second Sunday in May, including America where it originated in its modern form.
Everyone likes to be cooked for and this is the perfect day to spoil your mum and let her hang up her apron for the day. Wild garlic is starting to appear now and is delicious when whipped into a butter and used to really pep up a roast chicken. The smell of this wild herb is very distinct when you’re walking beside damp areas like rivers or in forests. It has broad deep green leaves. Be careful when picking it though as it often shares space with bluebells that have a similar leaf but are toxic. The best check is to give them a rub and a sniff to make sure. The recipe for wild garlic butter is more than you’ll need for the roast chicken but it keeps well in the fridge and is great tossed into vegetables, rice dishes, on spuds, even on grilled bread. For something a bit different to have with the roast chicken I’ve included a recipe for the classic Swedish potato dish, Jansson’s Temptation. It’s a bubbling dish with the potatoes tossed into a creamy garlic, onion and anchovy sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and baked until golden. Don’t be put off by the anchovy – they don’t add fishiness to the dish just a savoury hint. Purple sprouting broccoli is in season at the moment and would be perfect to serve with this.
The dessert this week combines tea and cake in one recipe. Dried apricots are soaked in Earl Grey tea and then whizzed with sugar, eggs, honey, lemon, butter and flour before baking. The Earl Grey is flavoured with bergamot lemon so you get a double hit of lemon in the cake. When the cake comes out of the oven its anointed with a lemon syrup. For even more lemon, cover the cooled cake with a lemon and white chocolate cream. Garnish with a few edible flowers for a real Mother’s Day treat.