Happy Mother’s Day!
Don’t you just love Mother’s Day? It’s that one day of the year where you get to sleep-in then lie in bed while the kids bring you breakfast in bed and hand over lots of heartfelt gifts while telling you just how amazing and special you are. Don’t you just love it? Was it like that at your house? Because it wasn’t like that here.
Firstly, Carl got up and went down to the beach for a swim. ‘I have to’, he cried, ‘because I have a genetic condition’. Yes, a few months ago Carl was diagnosed with some hereditary disorder called iron overload. It has a more sophisticated title of haemochromatosis. Apparently, the only way it can be treated is to donate blood regularly and/or to exercise to burn the iron out of your system. Well you can’t argue with medical advice so Mother’s Day had to be a day to burn some iron.
Arabella hadn’t come home. She’d sent a text message at 10pm the night before advising she was staying with a friend and would be going straight to work the next morning and would be home around lunch time which of course would be when I’d finished every task required to host a lunch for 20 family members. ‘It’s a regular job, mum, I can’t get out of it’.
But Archie was in greater disgrace because he woke up advising he was off to do a shift at the cafe where he’s a waiter and a performer. ‘I have to work, mum, you don’t know how desperately I need the money. I’m broke’. Archie’s always broke.
‘But today’s Mother’s Day, Archie, and everyone’s coming for lunch’.
‘Yeah, I know but I can’t help it, I really need the money’.
‘It’s for my birthday too, Archie; we’re celebrating that as well. But don’t worry, enjoy your day at the cafe’. So off he went to work and I thundered around the house getting everything ready for my 20 guests, seething that the uni students had made me such a low priority. Then the little guy came up to me with his face all lit up and he handed me a gift he’d purchased at the school’s Mother’s Day stall (it goes without saying I’d given him the money to buy me the gift).
Alfie is a little gem when it comes to these stalls because they’re 90% filled with trash but over the past few years he’s managed to sift through and find me things I’d really love. Unlike his naughty friend who I minded on Friday afternoon. He asked me to look after his gift and although it was wrapped I could tell instantly it was a mug and I hoped and prayed Alfie hadn’t bought me a mug because I have more than enough mismatched mugs in my cupboard as it is. But this boy had punched a hole in the wrapping so he could get to the chocolates that were inside the mug and he’d eaten them. And he proudly told me. So I told him off and said, ‘That is disgraceful. Your mother gives you money to buy her a gift and you eat half of it?’
He looked at me stunned and said, ‘I didn’t eat the mug’. As if I thought he’d eaten the mug.
‘But the gift looks terrible. You’ve ripped all the wrapping and you’ve eaten the chocolates’.
‘But mum doesn’t like chocolates’.
‘That’s not the point. After you give her the gift then you can ask her if you can have the chocolates; but not eat them before you have given them to her; that’s not very nice’. But I don’t think I had much of an impact on him as he just took off to climb a tree without a hint of remorse but it made me ever so grateful for Alfie who had decided I would like something for my ‘baking’. He chose these measuring cups for me. I love them and they will be so handy. I love how they all stack together and there are six measures all together. Alfie was very proud of his purchase and my reaction.
Getting ready for the lunch wasn’t too exhausting as everyone was bringing something. One of my sisters brought something to have with drinks and she also brought a lovely bottle of champagne. I was responsible for the main course and I glazed a leg of ham that was served with juices from the cooking process and crispy potatoes cooked in duck fat.
My mother made two salads to have with the main course. Arabella was very pleased one salad was quinoa and the other was kale.
My cousin, Pip made a gluten-free orange cake with cardamon creme anglaise and my other cousin, Meg made a chocolate, almond and date torte from my blog!
One of my sisters made afghan cookies and florentines to have with coffee (but we didn’t serve any coffee).
Can you believe, that Archie dropped in just as I was serving lunch. He had a large bunch of apologetic roses in his arms telling me I’d made him feel guilty. I thought he was home for the day but he actually had called in on his lunch break so he wasn’t able to join us for lunch. Never mind, I had a glimpse.
Asian-Inspired Glazed Ham
Serves: Makes enough for an 8kg leg of ham
Degree of Difficulty: 1/5
Cost: We were cooking for 20 guests and I believe a leg of ham, although it seems a large outlay, works out to be quite economical as it seems to go a very long way.
- 1 leg of ham (around 8kg)
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (buy G-F to make this a gluten-free dish)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbs char siu sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp five-spice powder
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Use a small knife to cut around the end of the ham in a zigzag patter. Run your fingers under the skin and carefully lift off in one piece, removing as little of the fat as possible. Score the fat lightly, avoiding cutting through to the meat, in a diamond pattern, then stud the centre of each diamond with a clove.
Place the ham on a wire rack in a roasting dish with one cup of water in the bottom of the dish.
Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Brush over the ham, reserving any excess.
Place in the oven for 1 hr. During the cooking process continue to baste with remaining glaze and spoon juices over ham. Remove ham from oven, cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes. Serve with pan juices that have been reduced by boiling in a small saucepan for 2-3 minutes.
This recipe has been adapted from Delicious Christmas Cookbook.
So that’s a wrap on Mother’s Day, 2013. I look forward to hearing how the day mapped out for you.