Great Ocean Food: A different Mother’s Day

May 14, 2020 BY

Like many last weekend we had a Mother’s Day lunch without our mothers.

A strange concept indeed, but more bizarre times I have not seen in my lifetime. But as they say in the theatre, “the show must go on”. So, proceed we did and with only one mother present (my wife) we had the “full enchilada” lunch. Champagne, wines, starter, main, dessert – it was like Christmas Day. Some might suggest that such a celebration during these virus times is uncalled for and quite frankly unwarranted. I beg to differ and, within the guidelines set out by our fearless leader Chairman Dan, have adopted a somewhat “eat, drink and be merry” approach.
This is not to underestimate the seriousness of the situation; far from it. Its just that life does and must go on and rather than be petrified about what may occur, it is best to live one day at a time and carry on the best way possible. As my wife demonstrates in her daily yoga practice, be present in the moment. So even though there were the obvious absences, we relished our lunch, were in contact with our mothers and extended family and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
I hope everyone in our community enjoyed Mother’s Day this year. For possibly the wrong reasons, it will always be remembered. One group I have been particularly cognisant of during this period are the restaurateurs, café owners and of course everyone working in and supplying the hospitality industry. Last weekend must have been devastating and a stark reminder that their usually vibrant and flourishing businesses have been so cruelly affected through no fault of their own. Perhaps there is light at the end of the tunnel. It will be a joy to once more appreciate the pleasures of food and wine in our region while supporting those who have unjustly endured more than their fair share of this medical menace. May that time come sooner than later.
There has been a surge of home cooking recently and apparently the most requested recipe on the internet has been for apple pie. I suggested this to my wife for our lunch, but she insisted on a rhubarb dessert to honour her mother who, although she was not with us physically, was here in spirit. So, rhubarb and strawberry pie it was.

Rhubarb and strawberry pie


600g strawberries, hulled, halved
240g caster sugar
500g rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1.5cm pieces
2 granny smith apples, grated
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
30g rice flour or arrowroot flour
Black pepper
1 egg
1 tablespoon demerara sugar
(For ease, I used Careme vanilla bean pastry, but homemade short crust or puff pastry rolled to a thickness of 3mm is fine)