Fact is that we all have a mother. She may have carried you lovingly in her stomach for 9 months or she may have had to rely on another woman to do this. Maybe, you were raised by an aunt, a grandmother, a sister. Maybe, come Mother’s Day you won’t have good memories of your own mom. Maybe, you’re a mother yourself and you’re looking forward to Sunday when your role in the lives of your children will get some extra attention. Or maybe, your mother’s day will be spent alone because of some event in your life meaning your children are currently not with you. Whatever the situation, whatever the past, this Sunday it’s time to celebrate the woman or women in your life that loved you and helped you become the fabulous person you are now.
I’m a mother. I have been for the past 4 years and there are days I love it. And there are days I hate it. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve got this parent thing down. I see my kids play nicely together, they are happy, they sleep like angels and shower me with cuddles and kisses. More often than not though, the reality is that they fight, wake several times during the night (blanket fell off, midnight trip to the bathroom,etc.), refuse to get dressed and ignore my instructions to tidy up (this usually goes hand in hand with a blank stare of indifference to the situation that is an explosion of Duplo Lego blocks).
When do you get it? When do you figure this motherhood thing out? When does it get easier? The more time passes the more convinced I am that the answer is “No one knows”. And that is a hard fact to accept for someone like me. I like to know what I’m doing. I like to get it right. But I have to admit that as time goes by I am starting to accept that I will never be the perfect mother because there is no such thing. It just doesn’t exist. As long as I’m doing a good job 90% of the time I think we’ll be OK. And as long as I do exactly what it is I need to do for my kids, I think we’ll be OK.
My own mother lives 800km away from me. She lives in Belgium, I live in Germany. We haven’t lived in the same country for 11 years. But she’s always got my back. She’s honest and understanding. She’s also one of the strongest women I know. I admire her. I love her. And I hope my kids will think the same of me when they are older. In the mean time, I will happily settle for a snot-covered kiss while being “treated” by doctor S. and Doctor K. by means of hammering IKEA toy bolts into my poorly tummy (because that’s how you treat stomach ache apparently).
(approx, 20 macarons)
Ingredients for the macarons:
110 finely ground almonds
160g powdered sugar
3 egg whites
Ingredients for the pineapple curd:
250ml pineapple puree, strained
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp butter
1. First make the curd so it has time to cool. Mix all the ingredients, except the butter, in saucepan with a whisk. Then heat the mixture on a low-medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove the curd from the heat and add the butter. Stir until all the butter is melted and incorporated. Leave to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
3. Use a foodprocessor to mix the ground almond and powdered sugar until it is really fine. Then sift the mixture.
4. Mix the egg whites and sugar in a glass bowl. Place the bowl on a saucepan with a couple of cm of water in it. Place over a medium heat. Don’t let the water boil!
5. Stir the mixture constantly as you use a thermometer to check the mixture heating up to 55 degrees C. When it reaches 55 degrees C, transfer the mixture to a standmixer with whisk (or use a handmixer) and whip it on a high seeing until you get a soft meringue.
6. Add half of the almond-powders sugar mixture and fold it in. Then add the other half and fold it all in so no lumps remain.
7. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
8. On a lined baking tray, pipe small circles about 5cm in diameter.
9. Carefully, tap the baking tray on your working surface. This will get rid of any bubbles and spread the circles out a bit.
10. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
11. Leave to cool.
12. Use a piping bag or teaspoon to fill the macarons with the pineapple curd.
My macarons aren’t perfect. But then neither is being a mother.
Happy Mother’s Day!