Mothering Sunday: An edible tradition

Mothering Sunday: An edible tradition

On Sunday it will be Mothering Sunday - where mums all over the land will ideally have a lie in then receive breakfast in bed and a bunch of flowers not purchased from a petrol station forecourt.

But when did we start celebrating Mother's Day? And what are the culinary traditions attached to it?

Well, the Romans celebrated Cybele, the goddess of motherhood, every March as far back as 250BC. But more recently in the UK, mothers are honoured on Mothering Sunday - the fourth Sunday of Lent.

Traditionally, it was the one day a year when children as young as ten who had moved away to another town or county to work as domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother (home) church and because of that, have a chance to see their family. It is thought that the children would pick flowers and make cakes to give to their mothers.

Simnel Cake is often associated with Mothering Sunday, with daughters in service baking their mothers one of these fruity, marzipan-covered beauties as a gift. However, the tradition has faded somewhat, and now the Simnel is much more readily associated with Easter.

We love Mary Berry's recipe which is about as excitingly fruity as you can get - and a great alternative to chocolate!


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