Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch

I almost passed them over during the purge of my chest freezer last week: a bag of greyish-coloured chopped rhubarb and a solid lump of last year’s raspberries.

The fruits were encrusted with a layer of ice and most likely freezer burnt. I nearly tossed them in the bin, along with the other unwanted items from the recesses of my deep freezer, but I hesitated. Sure they were not as appealing as the fresh new rhubarb stalks that are pushing up in my garden, but what if I cooked them down for their juice? It was worth a shot.

Together with sugar, water and a splash of lemon juice, I simmered the rhubarb and the raspberries in a pot while I finished emptying my freezer. It wasn’t long before the concoction began to emit the intoxicating smell of raspberry-rhubarb pie, or something very similar. My taste-buds watered and I dipped a spoon in for a sample: tangy and sweet, it tasted of spring even after a year in hibernation.

I strained the bright red syrup through a coffee filter to keep it clear and stashed it away to cool. Obviously it would make a terrific base for a celebratory Mother’s Day sip, something along the lines of a Raspberry-Rhubarb Collins Party Punch.

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Musings on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is particularly poignant this year as I’m basking in the warm rays of new motherhood. Clara still carries the newborn look about her, and utters those precious little squeaks while fast asleep and produces content coos when engaged face to face.

The wonder of her birth and arrival is still fresh in my memory, but fresher still is loss, as last Friday, at the age of 91, my grandmother passed away peacefully.

Today my mum will be marking her first Mother’s Day without her own mother, Baba to us grandchildren, and Babka to Clara. This isn’t meant to be sad (I believe it was my Baba’s time, however difficult it was to hear of her passing),  but more of an observation of the passing of generations. It’s only natural to contemplate the seasons of motherhood when the eldest in the family tree leaves this earth within weeks of the arrival of the youngest little girl.

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Men making meals for mothers

Written by Danny.

Let’s face it: Mom’s are special, and deserve extra special attention and effort.  Our family typically eschews  most “commercial” holidays, such as Valentine’s and Festivus, but Mother’s day is a commercial reminder that is more than appropriate to celebrate.

So skip the chocolates and flowers: mothers just want time out of the kitchen.  Even Aimée, believe it or not.  The solution for so many is to pick a great restaurant and treat Mom.  And that is a good way to do it, of course, but then great restaurants probably cost a great deal, and you may spend more time with mom waiting in line to get a table than sharing a meal together.  So do it at home!

If you’ve been a reader of Simple Bites for some time, or any of the other SLM sites, you won’t find many recommendations to get gift certificates or other “big-box” standard fare.  Instead, SLM (and this author) believe that handmade gifts and just plain-old time spent together is one of the best gifts that you can give a person.  (One of my Christmas presents this year was a big latte bowl, some special coffee, a book and 2 certificates allowing me a sleep-in while Aimee got the kids up and fed.  Amazing.)

And so for Mother’s day, I’ll be doing breakfast in bed for Aimee with the kids and will be visiting my mom later that day – and bringing food. [Read more…]

How to Have Peace, Serenity AND Breakfast in Bed on Mother’s Day

Most mornings, I make breakfast, but there’s one day of the year I like to have it served to me, in bed preferably.  That would be on Mother’s Day.

This gesture of love is too sweet for words, with adorable little waiters tripping over themselves to help and watching me eat each bite with pride on their faces.

Let’s be honest, though; there IS a downside to this Mother’s Day tradition, and I’m not the only woman to perceive it. In recent lurking on popular women’s forums, I picked up on underlying grievances at having to exchange a short period of relaxing and pampering for cold eggs and a messy kitchen to face after having dressed. (Not to mention hollering instructions down the hall to the kitchen. Raise your hand if you’ve done that.)

How can we make this much-deserved experience more enjoyable? [Read more…]