Simple ideas to celebrate Mothering Sunday despite the situation
PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:37 21 March 2020
In the UK, Mothering Sunday is arranged around the Easter calendar and always takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, so this year it falls on Sunday, March 22.
Mother’s Day is often the busiest day of the year for local eating establishments, yet due to last night’s announcement by the Government the restaurants, attractions and cafés across East Devon will be closed, so the usual Mothering Sunday activities may need to be scaled down somewhat.
Nevertheless, there are many ways to spoil mum without leaving the house!
When it comes to gifts, several local businesses are now offering delivery services, so do checkout the websites and help support local traders in the process.
Yet, for those families already in self isolation, there are some simple activities to create great gifts and alleviate boredom.
Most mum’s love receiving presents created by their children. A hand painted ceramic plate, a framed picture, or a collage of family photos make affordable and memorable gifts, and most of the items are usually sitting at home in a cupboard somewhere.
Baking a cake is another option. The most traditional cake to make for Mothering Sunday is the Simnel Cake, which essentially is a fruit cake layered with marzipan and is decorated with 11 balls of marzipan.
Simnel Cake Recipe
150g/5oz plain flour
110g/4oz butter or margarine
110g/4oz soft brown sugar
350g/12oz mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
55g/2oz chopped mixed peel
1 lemon, grated rind only
1-2 tbsp apricot jam
1 beaten egg for glazing
Pinch of salt
To make the marzipan/topping
You will need:
125g/4oz caster sugar
125g/4oz ground almonds
1 egg to coat the top of the cake
1 tsp almond essence
Place the sugar and ground almonds in a bowl. Then add a beaten egg. Next, dribble in the almond essence and knead together until the consistency is smooth. Finally, roll out a third of the marzipan to make a circle of roughly 18cm in diameter. Repeat this, to use for the top of the cake. With the final third, divide this into 11 small balls to use for decoration. Then, put the marzipan to one side as you start on the cake.
To make the cake:
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 1, 140C, 275F.
2. Grease and line an 18cm cake tin.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until it becomes pale and fluffy. Next, gently beat in the eggs. Sift in the flour bit by bit and now add the pinch of salt. Mix in the dried fruit, peel and grated lemon rind and stir well.
4. Pour half the mixture into the cake tin. Flatten the top of the mixture then cover it with the circle of marzipan. Finally pour over the rest of the cake mixture, smooth the top and leave a small dip in the centre.
5. Place in the preheated oven and bake for one-and-a-half hours.
6. Once the cake has cooled, coat the top with the apricot jam. Then cover the top of the cake with the pre-rolled marzipan. Finally, with the jam, glue the 11 balls of marzipan around the edge of the cake. Lightly brush the cake top with a little beaten egg.
7. Return the cake to a preheated oven of Gas Mark 3, 180C, 350F for around 10 minutes.
Alternatively, if it’s proving difficult to get hold of the ingredients to make anything slightly elaborate at the moment, a simple afternoon tea is likely to go down a treat. Finger sandwiches, traditional scones, jam and cream, and a selection of sponge cakes, washed down with a pot of tea, is a simple form of indulgence. And the forecast for Sunday is looking pretty good, so afternoon tea in the garden could be a highly feasible option too.