If you know me, you know that my Mum is my best friend.
Look she may not be your typical best friend in the sense that we share clothes and secrets about boys…well actually the first point is true and I LOVE it and secondly the latter would be gross and weird. So thank god for that!
Like most mum’s out there, my Mum is the woman I turn to on my best and worst days. As much as I hate to admit it, especially during our fights, my Mum often knows me better than I know myself. Without her I definitely would not be where I am today. My health and happiness I owe a large part to her.
This year Mother’s Day meant a little bit more to my family, especially my Nanna. A few weeks ago my family lost a very special lady, my Great Aunt, the beautiful Valerie Anne. They say you don’t really know someone until you go to their funeral and can I tell you, this woman touched the lives of so many people. Seeing my Nanna lose her sister, her best friend, and watching all of these strong adults around me breaking down into tears, made me realise that this funny little thing we call life and the people in it, can not be taken for granted. What touches me still to this day is listening to her five sons and husband of fifty years talk about their mum and wife with such joy, such strength and even more love. I cannot imagine being with someone for fifty years and then no longer being able to see them again. No longer saying good night or good morning to them. No longer hearing their voice, their laugh or even the simplest of things like making them a cup of coffee in the morning. Yet, if you were like me before this, you probably take all of this for granted. You probably fight over stupid little things like coming home and the dishwasher hasn’t been unpacked or the clothes are still on the line. You probably choose to spend another night in front of the TV, or on your phone scrolling through shit that doesn’t even matter. All the whilst your family, friends or the love of your life are sitting right in front of you.
It’s crazy huh. Crazy how we take for granted the simplest of moments. The moments that won’t last forever.
Deciding not to let time pass me by any longer, I reached out to my Nanna and told her that I wanted to spend more time with her. I have realised that I am now an adult and it shouldn’t be up to her to always make the effort. My Nanna needs me, she needs everyone right now. Having her down for Mother’s Day last weekend meant so much to me. Just being able to talk to her and tell her what’s going on in my life, hearing her laugh and her making me laugh, I will hold in my memory bank for a long time. My Nanna is a very strong lady and that was only exemplified this past month. You did us all proud Nanna.
After our Mother’s Day lunch, it was just my Mum, Nanna, Aunty and Cousin all around the table laughing and talking. Just us girls, just how it needed to be. Moments like this I am so grateful for.
Now I wanted to share with you a few recipes from last Sunday. I hope it brings you the same warmth and memories as it bought me.
Please note: I purposely left out the humungous pig that was served up. As much as I love my Dad and his ability to “fix” things, this Mother’s Day my Dad thought he would help me out (post a mini breakdown I had as this was all during exam period) and order a pork knuckle to serve on the day. I kid you not, my Dad served up half a pig on each and everybody’s plate…..It is safe to say my poor little fish got overshadowed. It is the thought that counts right..? Love ya Dad!
Breakfast: Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels with spinach and red onion
Served with strong coffee and fresh orange juice. My Mum’s favourite.
Entree: Grazing plates with smoked meats, cheese, beetroot, grilled veggies, dips and bread
Main: Slow Cooked Blue Eye Cod with Tomatoes and Olives
- 3 x 400g skinless blue-eye fillets
- 500g mixed baby heirloom tomatoes
- 1/3 cup pitted black olives
- 1/3 cup caperberries, rinsed, drained
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stalks reserved
- 100ml dry white wine
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Crusty bread, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a baking dish with baking paper.
- Place the fish in prepared dish and season with salt. Cut the larger tomatoes in half and keep the smaller ones whole.
- Scatter on top and around fish with olives, caperberries and reserved parsley stalks.
- Drizzle over wine and oil, then cover dish with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes until fish is almost cooked through.
- Transfer fish to a serving plate and cover with foil (residual heat will continue cooking fish).
- Increase the oven to 180°C and cook the tomato mixture for a further 15-20 minutes until starting to collapse.
- Scatter tomato mixture over fish with parsley leaves. Serve with crusty bread.
- Recipe from Delicious and let me tell you, it is delicious!
Sides: Roasted Duck Fat and Tarragon Potatoes
- 1/2 cup duck fat
- 2kg kipfler potatoes, peeled and halved
- 8 sprigs tarragon
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the duck fat in a large roasting tray and place in the oven for 5 minutes to heat.
- Add the potatoes, half the tarragon and salt and pepper, mix to combine and cook for 1 hour or until golden and crisp.
- Sprinkle with salt and serve with the mustard and remaining tarragon. Serves 6.
Sides: Prosciutto Wrapped Baby Carrots
- 1kg mixed heirloom baby carrots, trimmed
- 8 slices prosciutto, cut into long strips
- 4 bay leaves
- 8 strips orange rind
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Wrap each carrot with a strip of prosciutto and place in a large roasting tray, lined with baking paper.
- Add the bay leaves and orange rind, drizzle with the oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until the prosciutto is golden brown and crisp. Serves 6–8.
Both sides from the brilliant woman, Donna Hay.
If you could do one for me, go and hug the special people in your life. Life is just too short not to.