I know that you all know how much I truly love my mother. The things she and I have been through the last two years have made us stronger than ever. She is indeed my best friend, confidant, and amazing beyond words. She is my rock and the reason I go out everyday and try to be the best version of me that I can. I owe that to her for all of her sacrifices, heart ache, and money spending that I have put her through. I owe it to her to continually pay back in life what she has given to me. I owe it to her to always treat others with kindness even though they may have hurt me. I owe it to her to always take the high road and choose my battles, because she has taught me that I can choose how I react to situations for the best. I owe it to her to be thankful of where I am in my life and recognize that life is always going to improve beyond where I am at in the present moment. I owe it to her to hold my head high with confidence as a beautiful woman that she has created from her own beauty. I owe it to her to be the best daughter she could possibly have prayed for all those years ago, because she has been that mother that God knew I was going to need. She has shown up every single day for me, and I owe everything to her.
So when it came time to think of a Mother’s Day gift, it became difficult. I knew she was missing her own mom, and I remembered that we didn’t make the traditional birthday cake at her birthday earlier this year. It was time…yes time…to make Bishop Bread. It seems almost sinful to be making it any other time than on her birthday. I mean, it has been a time honored tradition for an incredible amount of years to be made only on her birthday (that’s me not telling you how young my mom is). Sometimes life calls for throwing tradition out the window! But wait, the recipe calls for candied cherries, which makes complete sense why this cake was only made around the holidays. Grocery stores always had an abundance of candied cherries during Christmas. If only for those god awful fruit cakes everyone seems to make. I had to find them somewhere, right? Very wrong.
After running out of time and places to hunt them down, there was only one option. I had to make candied cherries myself. One of my friends had suggested I make them out of Marschino Cherries. Bleh. Sorry, folks, I am not a fan of these artificially brightened treats. However, I needed my candied cherries. I took to Google, and Google came through with flying colors. It landed me on ShaunaSever.com. Thank goodness there was a recipe out there.
They were incredibly easy to make, and here is the link to her post… http://shaunasever.com/2010/12/how-to-make-candied-cherries.html. Her recipe is below.
This is a full recipe that will yield about 8-9 ounces of candied cherries. It’s easily scaled up or down, even if you just need a tiny amount for a recipe.
- 1 16-ounce jar maraschino cherries
- 3/4 cup sugar
Drain the cherries, reserving 1/4 cup of the juice. Combine the reserved juice and sugar in a small saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the cherries, and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes-1 hour, until the cherries are slightly shriveled and firm to the touch. Remove from the heat, uncover the pan, and let cool completely.
When the cherries have cooled, remove them to paper toweling (leaving the syrup behind, your recipe doesn’t call for it) and pat dry. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six months.
We were originally headed to Fearrington Village for brunch, but considering the weather, Mom decided she would rather go to Chapel Hill and visit A Southern Season and Weathervane. Love love love going to A Southern Season. It should really be named A Southerner’s Food Heaven. First, we ate!
We lucked out and got a seat in the cafe area. It’s really not that bad, but if you are more than two, you should ask for an extra chair when sitting at the booths. We were immediately advised that their regular menu was not available, and they were only offering a $34 Prix Fixe menu for Mother’s Day. Which isn’t a bad thing. I just missed their main menu. Overall, it was a great experience because I was with my Mom/parents. It is Mother’s Day afterall.
They had a beautiful menu and a fresh daisy on each table. It was set nicely, just as would be expected.
Mom ordered the baked baby brie, orange blossom honey, fig preserves, and toasted country bread for her starter. I’m not the biggest brie fan, but this had a really nice flavor with all of the elements combined.
I ordered the Grilled Summer Squash Soup as my starter with charred peppadew peppers, and a sweet corn crem fraiche – No, I didn’t shake it up or stir it before taking the photo. It was presented this way. You eat with your eyes first, and although this ended up tasting decent, it certainly wasn’t plated well. A little bit of a let down for as amazing as this place normally is.
My Stepdad ordered the Fried Green Tomatoes with a buttermilk cucumber, green tomato relish, and crispy greens. He said the greens were so soaked in grease, it was hard to enjoy them. However, they were indeed fried, and we came to the conclusion that maybe that’s the only way some people can eat healthy greens…fried. The dish was perfect otherwise.
They both ordered the out of this world Weathervane Shrimp and Grits with heritage Andouille Sausage, redeye shrimp gravy, shitake mushrooms, and pimento grits. Even though we never saw actual pimentos in the grits, this was the best dish of the entire meal at the table. Very thankful this is on the regular menu!!!
I ordered the Tea Glazed Organic Salmon with heirloom pea succotash, preserved lemon, skinny bean salad, and a green tomato vinaigrette. This was probably the best cooked piece of salmon that I have had in an extremely long time. Delicious and buttery.
They copied each other again at first with both ordering the Salty Caramel Apple Cobbler with a brown sugar streusel and buttermilk ice cream. However, contrary to what your brain tells you, this cobbler was served cold. I asked the server if it was supposed to be served cold (we were kind of early in their lunch service so maybe they just hadn’t had time to warm it thoroughly), and after going to the back and returning, she informs us that it is supposed to be served cold. Hmmmm…if this is a new trend, you can have it. Ice cream (especially such tasty ice cream like the one on this dish) should be melting gently over the HOT apple cobbler. Maybe next time put that it is served cold on the menu?
After the Cobbler debacle, Mom ended up with the same dessert I had chosen – 11 Layer Chocolate Cake with dark chocolate ganache, roasted strawberries, and a peanut butter mousse. This was a win in the richness of the cake and the perfection of the peanut butter mousse. I’ll take a pound of that to go, please!
The few little things that I wasn’t pleased with didn’t outweigh the stellar service, the ambience, or the overall enjoyment of being with my family at a nice restaurant. It truly was a good experience. I can’t wait to go back and order my own plate of Shrimp and Grits!
If you’ve made it to the bottom, I hope that you have all enjoyed your Mother’s Day. If you’re like me, and have only been blessed with being a mother to a cat, then Happy MeowMa Day to you (as I refer to the day). If you’re not able to be with your Mom, then I hope that she left you with wonderful memories that you can look back on today, and know that you are a better person because she was in your life.
With love to my own Mom, J