Ah go on, go on: foodie presents for Mother’s Day
Irish mammies can be hard to spoil – many of them would prefer to look after you. Here are some ideas to ensure your mum doesn’t make her own Mother’s Day dinner
Forage for supper: Bring your mother to a wildfood masterclass at Brook Lodge in Macreddin Village, Co Wicklow
Don’t panic, it’s not this weekend: you still have a week to sort your Mother’s Day present. However, if you were born to that impossible-to-spoil breed of Irish woman – think Father Ted’s Mrs Doyle – who invariably tries to make her own Mother’s Day dinner (hello, Mammy Collins) then these food-related treats might help you out.
The National Library is holding a special lunch with guided tour of its Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats exhibition on March 15th. With exhibits from Yeats’s lifetime, including his love for Maud Gonne (mammies love a bit of romance) you can work up an appetite for the buffet lunch in the library’s Café Joly, which will include hot and cold mains, salads, charcuterie, artisan breads and cakes from Hansel and Gretel Bakery. Tours are at midday, with lunch at 1pm, or lunch at 1.30pm and a tour at 2.15pm. €22 each. Book with Café Joly at email@example.com or see nli.ie.
Alternatively, you and your mum can help mothers in need at the annual Unicef Ireland Mother’s Day lunch, next Friday, March 13th, in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. All proceeds go to Safe Motherhood Programmes, to assist vulnerable mothers and babies in 190 countries around the world. Tickets are €100 per person and include a prosecco reception at noon, with speeches from Mia Farrow and Donncha O’Callaghan (watch the mums swoon), a fashion show and lunch to include a vine-ripened tomato salad, roasted farmhouse chicken and pavlova. Book at 01-8090276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d prefer a more hands-on approach to treating your mum, you could treat her to a wildfood masterclass at Brook Lodge in Macreddin Village, Wicklow, run by chefs from the Strawberry Tree restaurant and Evan Doyle, co-author of Wild Food. The class (on March 19th) includes a tour of the village and kitchens, and tuition on wild foods in Irish hedgerows, and how to identify, gather, preserve and cook them using traditional methods. A two-course lunch is followed by a foraging mission around the village. From 11am to 3.30pm it costs €95 including lunch. Book from 0402-36444 or email@example.com
Looking beyond our shores – or hedgerows – to Japan, you could try your hand at making sushi with your mum at a class on March 16th at Cook’s Academy, South William St, Dublin 2 (cooksacademy.com). From 6.30pm to 9pm, you can learn how to make proper sushi rice, how to roll nori rolls such as California rolls, how to prepare sashimi and even sushi crepes. Classes are €70 per person.
You can’t beat afternoon tea for a real feeling of decadence (especially if there’s bubbly). You might as well go the whole hog and treat your mum to some five-star indulgence.
In Cork, Hayfield Manor’s (hayfieldmanor.ie) afternoon tea will be served on the 14th and 15th with a live pianist. The menu will include: a glass of Champagne; sandwiches, with fillings such as smoked salmon with avocado puree and roast sirloin of beef with horseradish; scones, of course; plus cake galore; and tea and coffee (€39 each). This menu is also available gluten-free.
In Galway, the G Hotel (theghotel.ie) has it’s Pink Afternoon Tea on the 14th and 15th in the Ladies’ Salon. Expect an assortment of pastries, scones, sandwiches, including walnut and goats’ cheese mousse, tea or coffee and a glass of pink Champagne. It’s €37 for one or €59 for two. There’s a kids’ version too (€14) that has sandwiches, a milkshake or hot chocolate and cupcake, brownie, rice krispie bun, rocky road and cookie.
Finally, if your mother loves the gifts you make best, why not bake Eunice Power’s impressive Coconut Thank You Cake from last week’s Saturday Magazine – recipe here. The brownie points will see you through to Christmas.