Don’t panic! We’ve all forgotten Mother’s Day at one time or another; one minute you’re taking down your Christmas tree and the next you’re casually flicking through your diary only to find that it’s Easter in a couple of weeks. While everyone else seems to have posted their cards, booked restaurants or ordered flowers, you’ve only just realized that it’s March and that Mum (or Grandma, or Step Mum or Aunty) will be cheerfully anticipating a well-earned shower of affection tomorrow. There are still some things you can do to make the matriarch in your life feel special tomorrow, and we’ve gathered a few of our favourites below.
Cook Up A Feast
Whether you’re going to her or she’s coming to you, go all-out on the cooking front to show your Mum how much you love her. Even if your Mum isn’t vegan, there are so many great recipes out there that meat-eaters will love so much they won’t even notice that you’ve left out the meat. Our go-to website for amazing vegan food is Oh She Glows, where Angela Liddon details her unwavering love of vegan cooking. There are LOADS of recipes on there, and she’s as focused on nutrition as she is on animal welfare, so you’ll be giving the gift of wellbeing, too.
If we’re feeding a mixed bunch of vegans and omnivores, we love her Crowd Pleasing Vegan Ceasar Salad which is gluten and grain free, raw and free from processed sugar. It’s great at this time of year when you want to start eating the cool, fresh foods of summer but still need a little comfort in your food. For an unflinchingly decadent dessert, try her Dark Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Tart – just a glimpse of this beauty will be enough to make Mum feel treated. An added bonus of cooking from the Oh She Glows website is that if your Mum really loves what you make for her, you can buy the cookbook for her next birthday.
Wine-loving vegans have long suffered from poor labeling and vague production laws that make it really difficult to know for certain that what you’re buying is genuinely animal friendly. A few weeks ago we mentioned that the Co-operative supermarket chain is doing better than most when it comes to clear labeling of their own-brand wine, where they list all ingredients so that you can find a vegan tipple without too much trouble.
On Mothering Sunday, however, you might want to opt for something a little more special than own-brand bubbly, so we have trawled around trying to find a beautifully bottled, suitably swanky vegan champagne for you to give to your Mum this weekend. The best we’ve found is Oeil de Perdrix Rosé NV Champagne which you can pick up at Majestic Wine outlets. If you’re not sure that your nearest Majestic has this in stock then give them a call – their staff tend to be well-trained and happy to help with any queries about vegan wines.
As a vegan company, animal welfare tends to dominate our thoughts, but we do try to be just as careful about other ethical issues in our shopping habits, which is why we probably won’t be buying Mum any cut flowers this weekend. Most of the flowers that you’ll find in supermarkets and florists have been flown in from overseas (Kenya is currently one of the biggest producers of cut flowers) and like any fresh produce, this is hugely energy-intensive way of getting out-of-season treats into our homes. The flowers are stored in refrigeration units throughout their journey so that they get to you in great shape, but the environmental fallout for something so small is disproportionately enormous. Most flowers are also grown using a frightening cocktail of chemical fertalisers, insecticides, fungicides and more that washes straight into the local waterways. On top of this, as with any intensively farmed product, there are also issues around worker health and safety. Fairtrade flowers are readily available (you can buy them on the Marks and Spencer website), but it seems that this model is helping the large farms more than the small independent growers, so even these flowers are often not as planet- or people-friendly as you might hope.
Instead, we prefer to pick flowers from our own gardens (the daffodils are finally showing their sunny little faces) or head to a local, independent nursery to pick up a beautiful, seasonal, UK-grown plant.
Make a Date
What could be nicer than buying something for your Mum on Mother’s Day that lets her know that you want to see her again soon? Spa days, weekends away and afternoon teas are all great ways of spoiling your Mum, but one thing we love to do is buy tickets for something really exciting, that you can enjoy together. This time of year is great because so many cultural festivals have just released their tickets, and there’s so much going on for the next few months.
One of our favourite books to come out last year was Letters of Note, a collections of beautiful, interesting and history-making letters from world leaders, celebrities and everyday people alike. Last year the people behind the book put on a few shows called Letters Live in which journalists, actors and comedians read some of the most fascinating letters aloud (we saw Caitlin Moran, Stephen Fry and Russell Brand reading at the Southbank Centre last spring) and this year they have a short run at the stunning Freemasons’ Hall in Soho where none other than Benedict Cumberbatch will be on stage reading from this treasure trove of letters. There are still a few tickets left and we can’t think of anything we’d rather receive on Mothering Sunday.