GET out the best teaset, run a bath, iron her clothes for the day, clean the fridge — most mums are easy to please.
The problem is, if you have been buying mum gifts every year to celebrate her special day, it’s all too easy to run out of ideas.
This year I had a look at some alternative foodie ideas for treats for as little as €2. So thoughtfulness doesn’t have to beak the bank.
Of course it’s wonderful to make a treat for mum and the video of my Chocolate Truffle 3-ingredients-only, flour-and-butter- free cake is still on the Examiner website irishexaminer.com.
Other ideas include making some chocolate chip cookies, ginger nuts, or scones to have as breakfast with good marmalade or jam, or, if she prefers it, some whipped cream. For details see my blog rozcrowley.com
It’s essential to consider what mum really likes – this is not the day to decide she needs to go on a diet.
Breakfast in bed
Served in a quiet kitchen, or in bed with mum’s favourite music playing, breakfast doesn’t have to take much effort. Make scones or croissants or buy some from good bakers such as ABC in Cork’s English market where you can get a decent brown scone for 75c, a sizeable date slice for €2, or pain au chocolat €1.20.
Don’t warm the pain au chocolat or scone in the microwave (they will warm up but also become soggy) but place in a low oven (150C) for 10 minutes. And bring out the best tea set.
Argan oil, 250m for €23.29
This is the oil of the moment, good to apply to the skin and hair, and if like me you are a fan of British-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi, you will know from his Channel 4 television series how he loves to pour it on salads, couscous and roasted vegetables. Nutty in flavour, a little goes a long, long way. I bought this bottle in The Good Food Shop in the English market, Cork. Produced in Morocco.
Pomegranate molasses, 250ml €1.80
This has been one of my favourite flavours for years and Yotam Ottolenghi uses it frequently too. Add a teaspoonful to stir fries and anything that will benefit from a sweet and sour lift. It’s one of my rescue remedies when vegetables seem a little dull. Great with cabbage. In Cork available from Mr Bells, English market and elsewhere in Middle Eastern shops. This one is made in the Lebanon.
Filligans Jam, €4.40
Jams make a lovely gift and can be paired with a spoon (4 sundae spoons for €2.55 in Brennan’s Cookshop, Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork and single silver plated versions in antique markets). This one by Filligans in Co Donegal is made from gooseberry and elderflowers and has a great summery flavour. Available in speciality shops. Also watch for other good Irish brands and the locally made preserves available in markets countrywide.
Pink oyster mushrooms, €2.50 oer 100g
Produced in Ballyhoura, North Cork, by Lucy Deegan and Mark Cribbin of Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, who cultivate a wide range on various native tree species. Grown on birch trees, these soft pink mushrooms make the prettiest gift, just sitting on a doilie as we have done here, or tied in a ribbon as a bouquet. 100g goes a long way. They are other varieties available, including shiitake at Coal Quay, Midleton and Mahon Point markets.
Mella’s fudge, from €2
As I have written so much recently about chocolate I took at look at what else might be a treat for the sweet toothed mum. This creamy fudge is in speciality food shops and farmers’ markets and some supermarkets nationwide in different sizes and flavours with additions of dried fruit, nuts and chocolate.
The Rocket Man’s Rocket Fuel blueberry & ginger cordial, €5
This pink blend of blueberries, ginger, lemon, sugar and citric acid is ideal at this time of year when we need a kick start. Dilute generously with warm or chilled still or sparkling water, or some Cava for a celebratory drink powered with the benefits of dark skinned fruits. Available at Coal Quay Farmers’ market and others.
Blazing Saddles 2, €19.99. The Complete Nose to Tail, £30
Two books could give mum’s repertoire a lift and contrast each other.
Blazing Salads by Lorraine Fitzmaurice (Gill & Macmillan) is a collection of vegetarian recipes with hearty wholefoods, from salads to chocolate treats.
The Complete Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson and Justin Piers Gellatly (Bloomsbury) comes from St John, a wonderful London restaurant where economical cuts of meat are cooked to amazing effect.
Try simple beans and bacon for an inexpensive treat. For the committed carnivore.
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