Mother’s Little Helpers

Today is Mother’s Day in France, La Fête des Mères, and the paper is full of ads for things to buy for Mom and places to take her out for dinner.  Although in the US we tend to think of the day as a triumph of modern marketing, Wikipedia tells us that Moms have been a big deal since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and that a day to celebrate maternity existed in England even in the 15th century.  I say go, Moms!

The morning bakery cases were overflowing with special Mom-pleasing pastries, and since we’re far from our sons Shel brought me a tutti-frutti tartlet and a second cup of coffee to mark the day.  And since it’s still raining, raining, raining, I’ll spend the afternoon cooking that chunk of wild boar that’s been reposing in the freezer, somthing I’ve been saving for a special occasion.

Although our recent visit to the Halles de Nîmes, a truly wonderful food market, shows how a French Mom who can pay the price can manage not to have to cook at all.

There were confited duck legs,

olive and mushroom-stuffed duck legs,

cheeses as far as the eye could see,

the delicious little sea snails called bulots,

duck and cherry paté in pastry,

and sweet crunchy treats to have with that morning coffee. 

Food therapy for the busy Mom, all there, spread out and inviting, every morning of the week, even on Mother’s Day.  I can’t help but think that, likely as not, it’s some other Mom who prepared those delicacies, and who’s there working, even on La Fête des Mères, to sell them with a smile to those who need a break, who deserve a little pampering.

So this morning when he went to the bakery Shel took our boulangère a jar of our homemade cherry jam, in honor of the fact that she’s working on Mother’s Day even though she herself has four very young kids, one a newborn.  If she has any croissants left after the morning rush I hope she’ll sit down with a cup of coffee and a jam-covered bite or two and take a few quiet deep breaths. 

A rose for her and for all the Moms that make the world go round.

Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France

3 Comments on “Mother’s Little Helpers”

  1. Nancy Says:

    …and a rose to you and Shel for being so mindful of the work others do on such a day!

  2. Amy Says:

    Abra – I have loved your visit to France the pictures have been gorgeous and the writing quite entertaining. Email me so I can write to you before I leave for Viet Nam. I will be in the region that used to be considered “little Paris”.

  3. Betty C. Says:

    I’ve been enjoying more of the local ready-made dishes this year — some of them are just excellent.

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