Times are tight for many of us, and splashing out lots of cash on afternoon tea at a posh hotel for Mother’s Day might be a bit out of reach. That said, often the most treasured gifts are the ones that are hand crafted or special in other ways.
Make Cheap Flowers Shine
Even the cheapest bunch of flowers can look a million dollars with just a bit of creative wrapping. Brown paper, a mason jar and raffia in different colours can make the simplest blooms seem like a boutique flower shop arrangement. Make sure to write a heartfelt note to go with the flowers.
Bring Afternoon Tea Home
If a trip to the Ritz is off the cards, why not replicate the special tea at home? Get out the best china, beg steal or borrow a cake stand and make or buy lots of little treats for mum (and the rest of you!) to enjoy. You could even make some little bunting to decorate the cakes. Simply take string and cut out diamond shapes of pretty paper, folding these over the string and gluing them together to make little triangle flags. Attach the bunting to straws or sticks and attach them to the cake.
Do All The Chores
Even better, do them all when she has no idea about it! Yours truly used to get up really early on Mother’s Day and straighten up downstairs and get everything ready for a sumptuous breakfast. It took a while because being quiet while laying out crockery is really difficult! Nowadays this might not be so easy. So why not get your mum out of the house on some other pretence and get a load of housework done so she doesn’t have to during the week?
Great Gift From The Grandkids
This is an idea from Netmums, which we love! Just take one of the kids’ old boots that they’ve outgrown and turn it into a planter for the garden. A really lovely sentimental gift that will go down very well! Probably a good idea to punch holes in the bottom to allow for drainage, otherwise you might end up with flower and earth soup in a boot!
Beautifully Wrapped Soaps for Drawers
This one couldn’t be easier. Take some lovely smelling soaps (they don’t have to be expensive or even pretty – just smell lovely). Then wrap them in pretty fabrics and tie together with string.
Make Something Yummy
It’s not unusual to cook a nice Sunday lunch for mum on Mother’s Day, but have you thought about making some delicious meals for the rest of the week for her? That would be a lovely treat, no? Make some things that will go in the fridge and the freezer so that all she has to do is heat them up! Slow cooking is a great way of doing this in bulk and all at once, freeing up the oven for other things.
Here’s a delicious and easy recipe from Sara Lewis’ 500 Slow Cooker Recipes:
Prep – 20 mins
Cook temp – High
Cook time – 3 1/4 – 4 1/4 hours
1 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 550g (1lb 2oz) in total
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsps plain flour
450ml (3/4 pint) chicken stock
1/2 lemon (cut in half lengthways), cut into 4 wedges
2 pak choi, thickly sliced
125g (4oz) sugar snap peas, halved lengthways
4tbsps creme fraiche
2tbsps mixed chopped mint and parsley
salt and pepper
Couscous mixed with finely chopped tomato, red onion and red pepper
Preheat the slow cooked if necessary. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken breasts and fry over a high heat until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and fry, stirring for 5 mins or until lightly browned.
Stir in the garlic and flour, then mix in the stock and lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
Put the chicken breasts in the slow cooker pot, pour the hot stock mixture over them and press the chicken below the surface of the liquid. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours until tender and cooked through.
Add the pak choi and sugar snap peas and cook, still on high, for 15 mins until just tender. Lift out the chicken, slice the pieces and arrange them on plates. Stir in the creme fraiche and herbs into the sauce, then spoon it and the vegetables over the chicken. Serve with couscous mixed with finely chopped tomato, red onion and red pepper.