5 Mother’s Day Ideas To Make Your Mom Happy

Every year, Mother’s Day sneaks up on me. “Oh, May is so far away,” I think to myself at the beginning of April, when stores begin advertising gift ideas. By the time I’ve given a present any serious thought, it’s the first weekend of May and I’m scrambling to find a gift that’s both unique and thoughtful. As well, I’m a big believer in giving an experience or memory instead of a physical object. This year, I’m on my game and have five different ideas for spoiling Mom on her special day.


1. A cooking class with Chef Heidi Fink

A fair amount of my monthly phone calls are spent with my mom, as I’m always calling asking for kitchen (and life) advice. Let mom finally ask her own questions during a cooking class with Chef Heidi Fink. Her upcoming Local Harvest class features Island products and includes skills demonstrations on filleting a salmon, portioning a whole chicken, and jam making, and also enjoying a meal prepared in-class. “Mother’s Day is one of my most treasured holidays because it celebrates and honours our bond with our parents, and later, our children. It reminds me to give my Mom the love and appreciation she deserves and, now that I am a mother myself, bask in the affections of my kids,” says Chef Fink. For those set on gifting something to mom on the official day, Chef Fink has provided a recipe for rhubarb custard bars.



 Makes 18 large bars


1-1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour (try whole wheat cake & pastry flour)

½ cup cool butter

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ (approx) metal or glass pan.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Butter should be completely incorporated. You can use a food processor for this step, if you like.

Press crumbs (not too too firmly, but firm enough) into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press a tiny bit up the sides of the pan as well. Place pan on lower-centre rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 350 F.



1½ cups sugar

3 eggs

5 Tb all-purpose flour

2 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp salt

1/4 cup whipping cream (I have left this out sometimes and the bars are still great)

4 to 5 cups diced fresh rhubarb, diced small


While the crust is baking, mix the topping ingredients together.  In a large bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, salt, and whipping cream, whisking well to eliminate lumps.  Stir in the diced rhubarb. Once the crust comes out of the oven, pour the topping over it (the crust should still be warm).  Return to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until custard no longer jiggles and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Let cool. Cut into bars.



2. Day at the vineyard

Mother’s Day brunch buffets continue to be a popular choice for families looking to celebrate together, but what if brunch included a wine tasting? Muse Winery serves brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring dishes prepared with their best-selling wines. I personally recommend the Muse merlot chicken and Ortega citrus salmon. Owner, and mother, Jane Elleman stresses the event is all about mom. “Good food. Good wine. The added bonus of relaxation on the Saanich Peninsula. It’s all about spoiling mom!” Wine tastings are available, as are tasting flights and varieties by the glass and bottle.

Reservations recommended 250-656-2552

Adults $34, children under 12 $17

11195 Chalet Road, North Saanich



3. Hike and a reward

If, like myself, you don’t get to see your mom often enough, the gift of time spent together is really the best choice. With the weather finally co-operating, why not plan a day of hiking and indulging? Mom will get to spend all day with her loved ones, enjoying the triumph of conquering a mountain and the sweet reward later. I’m partial to the Mt. Finlayson hike. Only a short drive outside of the city, it feels like escaping without all the hassle. And for those moms with canine children, Mt. Finn allows dogs on the trail with a leash. Of course, a hike isn’t complete until outdoor-suitable treats are consumed. Make your way back to the city and hit up Miss Cold Comfort for well-deserved scoop of ice cream.



4. Mini road trip

A few summers ago, my mom and I took a mini road trip up island. Neither of us are great navigators, so we had lots of detours. One of those detours led us to Merridale Cidery, where I proceeded to fall in love with cider and my mom wandered the orchards with her camera, snapping away. We vowed to return and Merridale’s special Mother’s Day brunch menu seems like the perfect excuse to hit the road again. I already have my eye on the lemon and ricotta crepes ($13) and the sweet potato crust pesto quiche ($16). Orchard activities and tours will also be available.


5. A cookbook minus the book

It wouldn’t be 2014 without a gift for the tech-savvy mom and I can’t think of a more fitting gift than the humbly named app for both iPhone and iPad, How to Cook Everything, from New York Times columnist Mark Bittman. With 2000 recipes, the app caters to all palates. The addition of email shopping lists, illustrated tutorials, and event voice-overs from Bittman make this more than a cookbook, it’s a cooking experience. Find How to Cook Everything in the App Store, $9.99.

Buy It Now

Written By:

Kaitlyn Rosenburg holds a BFA in creative writing with a minor in journalism and publishing from the University of Victoria. Her work has appeared in local publications such as The Martlet, as well as national publications like ...

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