Mother's Day Brunch
Mother’s Day approaches. This weekend, those of us with mothers, possess a unique and rare gift thanks to her presence in our lives. Those of us whose mother’s are not in our lives for various reasons, can take a pause and thank her, if that is your choice, or forgive her, if that is necessary. Our sisters, aunts and daughters are mothers. People who have left their mark on us for life.
We can make a choice about mothering also. I have had a choppy road with my own mom. In my earliest years, I have memories of living in fear of her, because she ruled with an iron fist, but I was equally in awe because of her tenacity and strength. She survived the hardships of war, including starvation, witnessing executions and poverty. At her elbow, I learned to cook my mother’s homeland food. On her knee, I learned to read and write. Today I am grateful for my mother’s presence in my life.
I have learned to be a mother through her and because of her. Now that I have daughters, the greatest lesson I have learned about mothering is that, not only can I love the children born from my womb, but I can love those that did not. We are not necessarily mothers because of blood ties. We can mother others. We can mother those who don’t have access to a mother or a mother’s love We can mother through our nurturing qualities and build families of all descriptions.
My daughter Chelsea, lost her mother suddenly, at age 5. What does one do in the face of such a loss? She has been a patient warrior as life tested her with this and other losses. Over the years of being with her father, and afterwards, I have had the privilege of watching her grow into a young woman. I am her adoptive mother. We acknowledge that she has a mother in heaven and one here on earth. I am her Earth Mother, and much richer for it.
As our tribe of women - Kiersten, Chelsea, Kelsey, Rachel and I - grows, we can now say that it has been of equal privilege to watch Rachel grow from a young woman into a mother. Her sisters have become aunts. Baby Grayson captivates us all but the glue that binds us is more than flesh and blood. Chelsea has a family as we equally have her.
We are committed to one another. We are “watcher outers” over the bumps and flats that comprise life. We count on each other. We support each other ferociously. This net, which defies DNA, is part of the web of life that connects us with a force that cannot be mistaken for anything other than love.
Celebrate that which makes you a nurturer. It is bigger than your heart. Recently I visited one of the world’s Blue Zones, in Nicoya, Costa Rica. While there, in the heart of the peninsula that houses one of the world’s great concentrations of centenarians, I met 5 such individuals. One of these, Rosa, touched my heart with a piercing emotion. I have poor Spanish speaking skills but during our visit, she clung to me asking repeatedly where her ninos were. The translator explained that 4 of her 6 children had drowned. My heart ached for that mother, as a mother. It’s not something I will ever forget, holding on to her while she cried for her missing children.
With the flavors of Costa Rica still on my tongue and the experience of my Blue Zone visit, I give you my Mother’s Day Brunch. The recipes are filled with love and nourishing foods. They are filled with stories.
Make your own story this weekend.
Love to all beautiful mothers.
PS. I want to hear about your mom too! Won’t you share a story in the Comments section below?
COSTA RICAN CAULIFLOWER PANCAKES
Our chef, Alberto, made these delicious pancakes during my retreats in Costa Rica. They are savoury and satisfying and surprisingly easy to make.
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped and then minced fine in a food processor (about 1 3/4 - 2 cups minced)
1/4 cup water
6 scallions, chopped (green and white portions, about 2/3 cup chopped)
1/4 cup finely minced onion
2 whole eggs
¼ tsp unrefined sea salt to taste
2 Tbsp coconut oil
Bring the water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. When it's boiling, place the cauliflower in, quickly stir it, cover the saucepan, and turn off the heat. Set a timer for 10 minutes to let the cauliflower steam. Afterwards, drain the cauliflower in layered cheesecloth, being careful to really squeeze out all the moisture (I had to let it cool a bit first, ouch!).
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the scallions, onion, cauliflower, and salt. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Put all of the egg mixture in and spread it around. Let it cook for 5 minutes or until it's golden brown. Flip the pancake (Studio Snacks uses a plate-flipping method: "I slide the pancake [browned side still down] from the pan onto a large plate, invert the fry pan onto the plate and flip both together back onto the stove, making it so that the uncooked side is now at the bottom." I can attest that this takes some practice and care -- and definitely remove excess oil from the fry pan before inverting it -- but I got better as I practiced!)
Cook it for another 3 minutes or so until golden brown. Slide it out onto a wire rack to keep the bottom crispy and sprinkle over some extra salt to taste.
Top pancakes with Easy Over Eggs.
QUICK AND CLEAN SPRING GREENS SALAD
Makes four servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
4 cups coarsely chopped, fresh watercress, stems included
1 cup pink grapefruit segments, juice reserved
1 medium to large avocado, peeled and diced
1/4 cup finely sliced red onion
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp unrefined sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Toss greens together with the grapefruit, avocado and onion.
Whisk reserved grapefruit juice, vinegar, and oil together.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour over the salad.
1 green apple
1 green guava
2 cups fresh spinach
1 green orange or blood orange
2 cups coconut water
Place all in your Vitamix.
Process until smooth.
Divide between two glasses. Serve.
Chia Seed Overnight Oats (overnight soaking required)
1/2 cup large flake oats
2/3 cup nut milk of choice - home made is best
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup mixed berries
1 teaspoon almond butter
Combine all ingredients in a small container. Mix well and seal.
Place in the fridge overnight.
Adjust liquid in the morning if necessary by adding a little more.
Top with an almond butter and strawberry slices. Enjoy!
CAFE CON LECHE
1 cup whole, grass fed milk or milk alternative
3 oz. espresso
1 tsp maple syrup
1) Make the espresso.
2) Heat the milk in a saucepan over high heat until it begins to foam OR use a milk frother.
3) Pour the espresso into the bottom of the cup. Pour the hot milk on top.
4). Add maple syrup to sweeten.
PALEO GROANING CAKE MUFFINS
Yield: 12 large muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
3 cups blanched almond flour/meal
3 Tbsp coconut flour
¼ cup flaxseed ground
¼ cup chia seed
pinch unrefined sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
5 whole, organic eggs
1 Tbsp raw, organic honey
1 Tbsp coconut vinegar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ cup unsulfured molasses
1 ½ cups grated apple, no peel
1. Place all dry ingredients in medium bowl. Combine well.
2. Place all wet ingredients in separate medium bowl and beat until combined.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Don’t overmix.
4. Spoon into prepared muffin tin, lined with parchment paper liners.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.
6. Cool and serve.