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Happy-Gourmand

Female energy of spring

May is a month for matriarchs, it seems.

Mothers' Day was May 14 in Canada and this weekend we celebrate Victoria Day (Queen Victoria's birthday). In Quebec they have Patriot’s Day, but I'm sure there were female patriots, too.

What is it about this spring month that connects it to our celebration of women?

I know Queen Victoria didn't choose her birthday, but we could have adjusted that holiday.

"May Two-Four," as it's known in much of the country, is the unofficial start to the summer season. So why didn't we just go with that reason for a modern-day holiday?

I think it's because our vision of matriarchs fits so well with the positive energy of spring. The generally sunny disposition of moms despite all the challenges they endure is a lot like the flowers of May.

Mothers’ Day was created by a woman in America who wanted to pay tribute to her mom. Unfortunately, she withdrew her support of the idea once she saw how commercial the occasion had become.

I agree that just like most holidays now, most of the fuss is around the material side of celebrating — buy flowers and a card, take mom out for a meal.

History has shown that admirable leaders appreciate recognition from their followers more than most other forms of pomp and ceremony. I know my mom’s fondest memories are of homemade cards and the slightly botched recipes I made over the years.

My mom has long been a fan of the royal family. When I was a child, she recounted stories of the Queen Mum's acts of support for the people – like being out and about in London during the Second World War even after the bombings. (This was Elizabeth, the current queen's mother). She sounded like a superhero.

I always thought the Queen Mom was a wonderful personification for Victoria Day — widowed, but still a busy and popular public figure, and known for giving great moral support to the people.

Queen Victoria was, of course, also a strong woman. She was a world leader in an age when men were generally regarded as smarter and better than women.

The monarchy was established and run on constitutional power, but she worked privately to effect change and was a moral compass for her people.

My mom always said we have no royal connections, but I still wonder if she is a distant cousin. She was the moral compass in our family, the one who taught good manners and encouraged empathy.

She is still elegant and graceful, but never haughty; her elegance came through naturally, even when in grubby jeans working in the garden.

You might not be a monarchist, but I hope you can see your way to cheering on strong women. Spring is a time of renewal – why not make a fresh start if your habit was to buy Mom a card, and let her prepare the picnic for the May long weekend?

I’ll finish with a quote from Queen Victoria. I am sure a lot of great moms out there have said much the same thing.

“Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves.”



More Happy Gourmand articles

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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