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A Special Mother's Day Tribute

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

With Father's Day around the corner, I thought it might be a good idea to finally take the time to blog about what we did as a family for Mother's Day. It was a busy time, as we were still in the thick of 'homeschooling'. We had just two weeks of school remaining, and we were maintaining a grasp of what was left as far as the children's daily Zoom schedules and work loads were concerned. Often, we were four or five people all trying to use the same home network, and sometimes our networks failed us. As it caused for some frustrating moments, we always looked forward to the weekends when we could disconnect and unwind a little, slow roast a dinner, take a family walk, and play a board game or two. Mother's Day was no exception, as my little one finally mastered the skill of riding a bike without training wheels. It was cause for celebrating all- around.

While we had been spending a multitude of mealtimes at home by then, and life may have seemed more monotonous with each passing day, we really did enjoy slowing down for the day and reconnecting with one another. I had placed an order with our favorite local bakery, By The Way Bakery, for what would be one of the most spectacular cakes we ever did display. With two out of four family members unable to consume gluten, By The Way Bakery provides not only gluten-free goods, but often dairy-free and nut-free ones, as well. They are definitely our 'go-to' bakery in Greenwich! I had seen an image of a Dolce & Gabbana inspired cake on their Instagram account, and requested the very same one be made for our special celebration. Grandma (my mom) was still visiting, and so that was another reason to celebrate (as if we needed any more). My French mother-in-law wouldn't celebrate Le Fête des Mères for another two weeks, in Paris. We would, however, still arrange for a Zoom call with her later in the day.

As you may well know by now, I am a lover of both vintage glass and new glass items and find great pleasure in the 'hunt' for such treasures. My love for melding the two is one of the very reasons Backcountry Mercantile was born. It was, therefore, only natural after selecting a cake, that it was time to decide which cake stand would be used to display it. I am a huge fan of the Mosser Glass products. They are made of flint glass, in Cambridge, Ohio. Their newest color, Georgian Blue, has caught my eye, and I had recently stocked up on the cake plates in the elegant blue hue just before Mother's Day. It would then be decided that the Georgian Blue cake plate would display this gorgeous creation! It was nearly a perfect match.

McAardle's Florist & Garden Center in Greenwich was my next call. My sister kindly offered to send my Mom a bouquet of flowers for the occasion, and I suggested that she select a color scheme similar to that of the cake I had ordered. They could not have done a more precise job! The colors of the rosettes were in fact the exact same as the flowers made of sugar and intricately placed on the top of the floral wrapped cake. I was thoroughly impressed!

Now it was time to select the china and glassware for the table setting. I had recently purchased some antiqued brass candlesticks from Terrain, in Westport, and so brassy-gold was on my mind. If you have never been to Terrain, it is a place where you can get lost for a day. Their magnificent garden center hugs their tranquil café, creating reason to meet a friend for a latte or lunch. I love nothing more than a place where I can find a multitude of inspiration while shopping, and yet also a spot to have lunch, all under one roof. (Note that this time I ordered my candlesticks on-line, as the shop was still closed due to COVID-19).

Now, back to brassy-gold. I had been wanting a reason to use my Gram's antique china and gold rimmed glassware for sometime. It then only made perfect sense to honor her and use both collections for this special occasion. The brassy candlesticks, the gold-rimmed china, and the glassware were all a perfect match. I had a few funky gold vases, previously purchased at McAardle's, that were used for some additional violet-hued rosettes. I found those during a last minute trip to Whole Foods. They were 'almost' the final touch. Gold-stitched linens and my Gram's sliver-plated cutlery were the final selections for the tablescape.

Without even planning so from the start, I had found a way to honor my Gram on Mother's Day. The same set of gold rimmed china and glassware was packed in the trunk of her car and driven out to Monterey Bay, CA, from Long Island NY, when my Pop was stationed at a naval base there. It then made its way back to the East coast, where she and Pop would retire to Florida later, and is now in my home here in Connecticut. I feel so blessed to have it in my possession, and I was equally honored to have been able to set my table with it on Mother's Day. It is what I call a 'true mélange of passé and présent'. If you haven't already guessed, the above oil painting is a portrait of her that ironically also made it to my house, from South Florida. It was safely packed in the trunk of a traveling friends' car, to ensure she would get here safely, in one piece.

The children placed cards with hand-written notes at my place setting early in the morning, a tradition we follow for each birthday, and in this case Mother's Day. My husband surprised me with one of my favorite Champagnes, a Laurent Perrier Rose, that would be poured to enjoy with brunch, but not before a special toast was made. Tradition holds that my husband or I would make the toast, but this year my younger daughter would lead, warming all of our hearts.

My husband is the 'trained chef' in the family, and so it was understood that he would be cooking for the day. An Osso Buco dish went into the oven at the wee hours of the morning. It would braise all day and be enjoyed later in the evening for dinner. Another surprise, and a grand delight not only to my eyes but to my palate, was a warm crab dish followed by a cheese soufflé for brunch. Blueberry and cherry clafoutis were presented for dessert (the floral wrap cake would be reserved to follow dinner). Can you sense the carb overload here? A walk was in order!

Oh, and I almost forgot the fabulous roasted potatoes. (Oh my, we really did indulge in a lot of carbs in one meal!) I believe these are all some of my favorite foods, so it was easy to please. There must have been some form of protein served with this meal, however my memory fails me, as it was not photographed. I have reason to believe I simply dove in and indulged at this point.

My youngest served coffee and tea before we retired from the table to take our walk. Notice the 'sugar florets', opposed to sugar cubes, in the photo above. How cute are they? I also found these at Terrain. They are made in France by a company called Canasuc. They have been a conversation piece numerous times when serving tea in my home.

By dinner, I was done photographing food. Well, let me rephrase that. My husband becomes irritated when I stage food while others are waiting to indulge in his delicious creations. I suppose I can't blame him, although when he goes to such effort to prepare such a lovely meal, I can't help but take the opportunity to snap a few photos. Pictured below, is the Oso Bucco before being plated.

Oh, there is one more thing. ;) We enjoyed some Meursault, a favorite of mine, with dinner before retiring to the family room for a show. Thus had been a totally satisfying and indulging kind of day. We created memories that I will remember for a long time to come, and I hope that my children might just follow in our footsteps and plan the very same for their own families in the future.

The beautiful cake featured is a Floral Wrap Cake from By The Way Bakery.

The floral arrangement is by McArdle's Floral and Garden Center in Greenwich.

The Georgia Blue cake stands are by Mosser Glass and can be purchased in our on-line shop.

The Brass Candlesticks are from Terrain in Westport.

The gold-rimmed china and glassware are heirloom pieces from my Gram.

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