Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day in North America and some other countries, a day we celebrate our mothers and all they do for us. Usually this involves the purchase of mass-produced greeting cards, flowers, candies, and often more expensive things like jewelry.

But it turns out that Mother's Day, as it is celebrated to day, is yet another example of the law of unintended consequences. The woman seen here, Anna Jarvis, worked tirelessly to have an official day set aside to honour mothers and all they do, for "families to get together in church to recognise the real value of motherhood". This culminated in the creation of Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May. BUT, within a few years, the holiday had become completely commercialized, and she was so horrified that she had herself incorporated into a company and tried to copyright Mother's Day - then, she could prevent it from being celebrated. The woman spent all of her family's inheritance, and died penniless, unsuccessful. What a sad story (read more on the BBC here).

So, if you want to keep the spirit of the holiday, as it was originally intended, you might think about simplifying the holiday. Mothers LOVE home-made stuff made by their children, and that doesn't seem to fade with the age of the kids! So along with the flowers, why not make something for your Mom this year?

For the last several years, I have made my own mother her favorite soup for Mother's Day: French Onion. And she loves it! She SO looks forward to it, she talks about it throughout the year - I don't think there's anything I could buy her that would make her as happy as that soup!

Family Recipe - Ann's French Onion Soup

(At least) 2 cups onions, raw and sliced very thinly in rings (Note: I usually just about fill a large saucepan with onions, they reduce quite a bit during the cooking process)
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1-2 10 oz cans beef consomme
1/4 cup water
1 beef broth cube (or packet, like OXO brand)
1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine

Shredded mozarella cheese (as much as you like)
French bread, sliced about 3/4" thick

- On low heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, (separate the rings as you go), and cook for about 30 minutes, covered, until soft, but not brown. Stir occasionally.
- Add boullion, water, Worcestershire sauce and red wine. You can add one or two cans of boullion, depending on how many onions you have. Heat to boiling. Add broth cube, stirring till dissolved. - Let boil about 5 minutes or so, during which you can toast the bread, and put one piece in the bottom of each serving bowl.
- Pour soup in bowls, top with cheese.

Makes about 4-6 servings, depending on the size of your bowls.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!