Carrot and Ginger Tea Sandwiches and Blackberry Elderflower Spritzers

Of all the cards, flowers, and gifts I gave mom through the years, none of them could ever outshine the Mother’s Day breakfast in bed I made for her when I was a child. We would be at a brunch somewhere, or I would make a special meal for her, and she would say how lovely everything was, but then she’d get a certain look.

“Remember that breakfast you made for me when you were in school?” she recounted. “You were so little you could barely carry the tray! There you were with a cup of coffee, some scrambled eggs and toast – even a little flower in a vase. And you had a booklet you had cut out of the newspaper.” (The Miami Herald printed a special Mother’s Day gift that kids could give to their moms.) She remembered every detail. And she retold it every year. 

What mom wants most is time with you. Treat her to a special spa day using things you have at home. Natural ingredients are all the rage in beauty products and these spa recipes are made from food ingredients. Anyone can do this. Kids, husbands, even mom herself, if no one gets the hint. The recipes are so easy even the littlest ones can help. 

First, a Papaya Vitamin C Face Mask to make mom’s skin glowy and dewy. Made from just two ingredients, the yogurt adds probiotics and lactic acid, and papaya adds vitamin C. Antioxidants fight free radicals and help skin repair itself, firming the skin and helping to even skin tone. Plus, it will help mom feel rested and rejuvenated. 

Or maybe your mom would like a cleansing and refreshing Matcha Face Mask. Honey is a natural humectant, which helps to draw moisture into your skin. Matcha adds antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, which help to relieve redness. This mask will also deeply moisturize and nourish dry skin, leaving it soft and supple.  

Finally, what mom wouldn’t love a foot bath? If it’s a nice enough day, you can do this outdoors on your patio. Make sure you have comfy seating with pillows, maybe light a scented candle, and don’t forget some relaxing music. I did this with my mom and she loved it. I filled a basin with nice warm water, dissolved some epsom salts, added a few drops of lavender essential oil and some floating flower blossoms. We sat and soaked, and visited, and had the best time. 

You can make this Rosemary Foot Scrub to add to the experience. It smells wonderful and feels indulgent. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can use a heavy coffee mug. Chop the rosemary leaves first, and then use the underside of the mug to smash them on your cutting board, releasing their fragrant oil.  

Because all of these use fresh ingredients, I suggest making and using them on the same day, with the exception of the foot scrub, which will keep about 4 days. I used a mini food processor for the papaya mask and you could also use it for the foot scrub. Or, if you have a smoothie-size blender that would work perfectly for these recipes, too. 

No fancy spa date is complete without a little something to eat and drink. Don’t forget to treat mom to a snack and a special beverage. My mom loved having tea and her favorite tea sandwich was a Carrot and Ginger Sandwich. Use a mini processor if you have one. Cut your carrot into chunks and then process it, pulsing until it is finely cut. Add your ginger, cream cheese, a pinch of salt, and a little maple syrup or honey, and pulse to combine. 

Using whipped cream cheese is easier, and you should add as much as needed to make a spreadable filling. I have tried using dried ginger, but it really isn’t as flavorful as the fresh. I have even used candied ginger, soaked in hot water, and then diced small before adding it to the processor. Your filling should be just a little bit sweet, so adjust a little maple syrup or honey. You can use white bread, a light rye, or something seeded. Mom loved these and they are just delicious! 

For a non-alcoholic sipper, try these Blackberry Elderflower Spritzers. You can find Belvoir Farm Elderflower Lemonade at World Market. Put it in a pretty glass and feel free to add Prosecco or stronger fortifications if that’s what mom prefers. 

Celebrate mom with your whole heart. To all the moms out there, wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day.

Papaya Vitamin C Face Mask

  • 2 -3 Tablespoons 2% Greek Yogurt
  • 3/4 cup organic papaya, skin and seeds removed

Combine yogurt and papaya in blender, or mash until very smooth. Slather mask over clean skin. Let rest 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing off with cold water. 

Matcha Face Mask

  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons matcha
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (as needed)

Combine honey, matcha and enough olive oil to make spreadable. Smooth over clean skin. Leave on 15-20 minutes, then rinse with warm water. 

Rosemary Foot Scrub

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
  • rosemary leaves, lightly chopped
  • rosemary, lavender, or peppermint essential oil (optional), a few drops
  • 1/4 cup shea butter (optional)

Combine sugar, coconut oil, and rosemary leaves in a mortar and use pestle to crush and combine. Add rosemary oil and shea butter if using and work in until desired consistency. Use as a foot scrub, then rinse with warm water. 

Carrot and Ginger Sandwich

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon cream cheese plus more, softened
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • pinch salt
  • butter, softened for spreading 
  • sliced bread

Mix grated carrot, cream cheese, ginger, maple syrup and salt together in a small bowl. Butter two pieces of bread; spread carrot mixture on one side and top with other slice of bread. Cut off crusts and cut sandwich into preferred sizes. Repeat with remaining filling.

Blackberry Elderflower Spritzer 

  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or water
  • 1 25.4 fl oz bottle Belvoir Farm Elderflower Lemonade
  • 1 – 2 12 fl oz cans LaCroix Black Razzbery sparkling water 

Combine blackberries, honey and water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. As mixture thickens, press on blackberries to release juices (a potato masher can be used). Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer to remove solids. Reserve remaining liquid, setting aside to cool.

Add 1 teaspoon blackberry syrup to each glass. Top with 2 ounces elderflower lemonade and enough sparkling water to fill glass. Garnish with fresh blackberries.  

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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