Each time the end of March comes around, Mother’s Day takes me by surprise. It’s not that I’m trying to be the most awful daughter in the world, it’s just that I have a French diary. French diaries plot la fête des Mères at the end of May. UK Mother’s Day is at the end of March. How can I forget? You’ll be telling me that Mum’s Day is different in America and Australia, too? Er, 11th May, to be precise. Can we have a set Mother’s Day for everyone, please?
This UK Mothering Sunday on the 11th, we won’t be together. It’s not that we’re so far away, we just can’t pop over for a chat with tea and scones or macarons. For the past 21 years, apart from regular visits, our main shuttle has been from Paris to Edinburgh via ‘phone.
Mum’s the world’s best listener. She’s a shoulder to cry on and the perfect hugger. ‘You just want a warm, don’t you?’, she teases my eldest, Julie. Lucie says, ‘I love Granny’s smell’. Me too, plus the ironing smell.
Somehow Mum is always there for her grandchildren and still for me. She’s there in my mind when I can’t find the whatsit truc I hid in a safe place. How could I possibly scoff as a young Mum, thinking that I’d be different one day when she’d hand me a Christmas present in April, explaining that Santa had mislaid it?
Now that the house renovations are nearly finished, I’m going through photos and came across this one: Granny and Grandpa with the girls over on a visit to Paris about 5 years ago. They had taken the kids to the Tuileries Gardens and just before returning on the RER, they bought ice-creams. On arrival home, naturally the kids were excited to describe the highlight of their day (yes, they are kind of food orientated) but on realising it was just before dinner, I earned my nickname, ‘The French Police’.
I remember that day vividly now and can’t think about it without tears swelling. What a jerk I was. So, the French don’t eat between meals and I’ve become one of them? Perhaps, but why did I ruin an evening? Mum, I’m owe you a lifetime of macarons, on demand.
Mum’s favourite macarons are rose and orange blossom; and let’s not forget Dad’s which are lemon meringue, chocolate and milk chocolate caramel. Thank goodness for the freezer, when I can store some in advance for any visits!
Next Christmas, don’t throw away greetings card boxes like this one: they make excellent macaron boxes.
Save chocolate boxes, too. This was the perfect size for a wee present of chocolate-pistachio macarons just to say, Thank You!
Other times I’ve dared to use an old Ladurée macaron gift box. This one was bought from our nearest ‘Capital of Sweden’ store.
Other boxes I’ve collected from my visit to NYC, when I popped into NewYorkCake.com. The cellophane clear wrapping on the left is ridiculously cheap bought in a large pack (such as 50 treat bags or 100 treat bags from Wilton). Keep fancy ribbons handy and it’s a quick doggy bag treat for visitors.
Large carton patisserie boxes (like these cake boxes), are not only excellent for storing a large batch of macs in the fridge and, when ready to eat 24 hours later, wrap a bow around it for an elegant but speedy present.
Funnily enough, Mum was the one who gave me these treasure chest and striped pastel paper boxes. ‘I’m sure they’ll be perfect for macarons’, she said with a sweet twinkle in her eye.
- I completely forgot about these until the other day. I found them wrapped up carefully in a large paper bag.
- They were in a safe place.
Just perfect for her next visit.