This Mother’s Day represents the first Mother’s Day without my mother, who passed away last July after a brief, but fierce battle with liver cancer.
I don’t need one day to remember her – Her memory is with me every day, especially when I see the numerous things that my kids do, that I wish her, and my father, were here to see.
Love you, Mom.
That aside, I’m fortunate to have another amazing mother in my life, and that is the mother of my children. She’s been the best mother on the planet for my kids – besides the fact that they (thankfully) get their good looks from her – and possibly their smarts from here, but I digress. She’s been a rock for them and I’ll be forever thankful to her.
One thing that she’s instilled in our family is a love of travel.
As a family, we’ve travelled to the following locations;
- Eastern Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI)
- US (mainly NY, but also Florida and Georgia)
- Ecuador (and Galapagos. Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil)
- France (mainly Paris with the kids, but most of the country over 4 or 5 visits)
- Holland (Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans, Edam)
- Belgium (Bruges, Brussels, Ghent)
- Japan (Tokyo & Kyoto)
- Viet Nam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Da Nang)
- Thailand (Bangkok, Chaing Mai)
- Cambodia (Siem Riep, Phnom Pehn)
- Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Girona)
- Ireland (Dublin)
- England (London)
- Italy (Cinque Terra, Rome, Venice, Florence, Milan, Pisa, Lake Como, San Gimignano)
- Taiwan (Tai Pai)
- Indonesia (Bali, Ubud, Jimbaran)
- Central America (Costa Rica, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Dominican, Bahamas, Puerto Rico)
For Mother’s Day this year, I wanted to do something special for her, so I asked my kids to talk about their favourite places they’ve travelled to, and their favourite foods from those locations.
Taking that information, I then created a menu, of sorts, and attempted to create (or buy) foods which could be a reminder of the joy we experienced travelling as a family – knowing also that there will likely be no travel for quite a while, as things presently stand.
I bought some Japanese, Italian, and Thai treats, and I bought plain croissants, chocolate croissants, Camembert, dragon fruit, a sourdough baguette, and a soy milk drink.
I then attempted to make savory mushroom crepes, frites with a garlic aioli, and French macarons with a vanilla buttercream filling.
Well, the macarons caused me a whole heck of a lot of problems, so I ran out of time and steam, and at 3am, gave up on the frites.
The crepes were not that much of a big deal – I’ve made them many times before, beginning in high school when I took a baking class instead of Industrial Arts for a 3rd time. I earned the 2nd highest mark in the class – and I used the skills that I learned in class to bake quite a bit growing up.
I never really cooked that much, even though I enjoyed it. I think along the way I just got complacent and lazy, having a spouse who cooks creatively and very well, I lost my ability to cook. I want to get that back, so this was the start of hopefully many more attempts at cooking delicious food.
Here is how my macaron turned out. I coloured the shell and the filling different shades of purple.
Happy Mother’s Day to the mother of my children, and to all mothers, everywhere.