Mothering Sunday

Sunday the 10th of March was Mothering Sunday and I meant to write about it at the time but we have been having problems with our broadband connection which meant everything went very slow after 5pm, in fact so slow that I could never get beyond putting my password in on Google Chrome. What with being at work and having a day in London, it is only today that I have had the time to put fingers to keyboard to see if all the regigging and fiddling of the home hub at the weekend has been fruitful.

So, Mothering Sunday saw a second attempt at marzipan and almond biscuits. Success. This time I put the fan oven on 170 degrees C  and the biscuits went into the oven with a thumbprint indentation but no marzipan ball. After 5 minutes, I took the biscuits out,  put a marzipan ball on each and returned them to the oven for another 5 minutes. This time the marzipan was still soft and the biscuit was, Goldilocks style, just right. 

Almond and marzipan biscuits: a second attempt

Almond and marzipan biscuits: a second attempt

These were appropriate biscuits for Mothering Sunday as the marzipan connection makes the biscuits as near to a simnel cake as a biscuit can be and simnel cake has been a traditional  sweetmeat for Mothering Sunday for centuries  (although many people associate it more with Easter). Mothering Sunday is not to be confused with Mother’s Day, which  Ann Jarvis of Philadelphia, bereft after the death of her own mother, campaigned to be set aside to celebrate mothers. Congress gave approval in 1914 and President Woodrow Wilson settled on the second Sunday in May.

In the UK, Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent which has its roots in a day of dedication when people of the parish went to their mother church or to the Cathedral. Families got into the habit of going together and a tradition was established. This getting together became especially important as young women left home for work, which was often in service in the city or in a big local house. Young men left to apprenticeships. Time off was granted for Mothering Sunday, which along with Boxing Day, might have been the only fixed holiday in the year. The girls would often bake a simnel cake to take home for their mothers. This day was also known as Refreshment Sunday because of the practice of relaxing the Lenten fast at this time to commemorate the feeding of the five thousand and how could one better celebrate a break in fasting than baking a cake?

Mothering Sunday’s sermon does not have to be too full of sweetness and sugar. A mother’s love for her children, like Jesus’s love, must on occasion be tough love.  Sometimes we too have to say, “Get up and walk”.

Patchwork cushion

Patchwork cushion

Here is a small patchwork cushion I made a few years ago and which I show here purely to give a bit of colour to the page. It breaks all the rules of patchwork as there are several different weights of fabric, ranging from linen to lawn, but sometimes you just feel like breaking the odd rule or two – thank goodness it’s confined to patchwork.




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