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Next Sunday is the mother of all celebrations – sorry, bad pun – and you may be looking for a Covid-safe way to celebrate Mother’s Day.
But, sadly, due to the pandemic, Brits aren’t able to thank their parents with a nice dinner out, weekend away or even a takeaway evening in.
So, what can you do to celebrate Mothering Sunday?
Well, according to the lockdown roadmap, from March 8 two people from different households may be able to meet up outside for a coffee or picnic.
And, we’d recommend making it special for your mum by going for a walk and sitting down (outside) for a lush afternoon tea.
So, to make sure you can whip up something impressive, The Daily Star spoke to three culinary experts to get their tips and tricks for making an afternoon tea at home.
Here’s what they had to say:
Nooreen Jafferkhan, owner/director at Fete Lounge & Fete Roome, recommended everything you need for the perfect Afternoon Tea.
She said: “We believe that you can never have enough when it comes to Afternoon Tea.
“Here at the Fete Lounge, we use a 6-level guide.”
- Level One – Tea Tea should be either traditional or outside the box, but whatever your choice it should always be fresh and brewed correctly.Typical weight is 4g to 5g, heated between 80 to 100 degrees for 3 to 5 minutes depending on how strong you like it.
- Level Two – Pastries A few mini treats either sweet or savoury depending on your tongue, it is the best appetiser.
- Level Three – Scones This tradition is a must, whether it’s fruit or plain, scones need to get married. We enjoy partnering up our scones with a lovely apricot conserve and, of course, clotted cream!
- Level Four – Savouries Rather than just finger sandwiches we like to mix this with mini rolls, filled with gorgeous seasonal products with a twist.
- Level Five – Sweet Bakes Cakes needs to be more than cakes, and we prefer desserts such as Tortes, cheesecake and Truffles.
- Level Six – Fruit We love to finish any afternoon with seasonal fruits, dipped in chocolate, it’s a little indulgent but why not.
While Niki Webster, author of Rebel Recipes and Be More Vegan, had advice for keeping things fresh and delicious.
She explained: “One of the best things to do is to make elements ahead and store them in airtight containers.
“That way not only will you be ahead on the prep and planning – you’ll also keep everything really fresh.
“So, for example, you can make the cake ahead of time but don't fill it until the last minute, the same goes for sandwiches and fillings.
“Fill right at the end and add any fresh leaves or fruit right before serving.”
She continued: “If you are packaging it up to send to your Mum due to COVID restrictions – rub a small amount of olive oil on the inside of the bread before adding your fillings.
“This will create a barrier and stop your filling from causing a soggy mess in transit.”
Claire Bradfords, head baker at the family-run Bradfords Bakers, explained that you don't need to serve tea if you don't like it…
She said: “If you and Mum don’t like tea, then consider packing coffee or hot chocolate.
“If you don’t fancy anything hot, then think about making or buying some lovely and refreshing freshly squeezed lemonade.
“Or take it up a notch and pack a bottle of Prosecco! Mother’s Day only comes once a year, after all.”
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She continued: “If you’re planning on baking your own treats this Mother’s Day, that’s fantastic, but please remember to take the shelf life of your fresh treats into consideration.
“And, if you’re putting treats into a box, make sure sturdier items like bread or tea boxes are on the bottom, and lighter, more delicate items like cakes and strawberries on top so they don’t get crushed.”
Finally she noted: “Arrange everything nicely, use your nice drinking glasses, teacups, plates, and bowls, and decorate anything you can with designs and colours you love.”
Bradfords Bakers and The Fete Lounge both offer pre-made Afternoon teas which you can order if you'd prefer not to make one yourself.
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