Mother’s Day was always very special for me, because, on that day I wanted to show mother how much I loved her and needed to tell her how important she was in my life. She was my very best friend as long as I can remember.
I remember a particular mother’s day in Kapfenberg while we lived in the refugee camp.
It was a Saturday and school was only half day. My Austrian girlfriends were all discussing the Mothers Day Afternoon Coffee they were having with their families. Walking together from school we passed a florist shop. They stopped and saw beautiful potted Hydrangeas in various colors, they went inside and bought these lovely flowers to give to their mothers next day.
We were refugees from Coratia therefore, I had no money to do the same for my mother, and felt very sad. As I walked slowly behind my friends and being close to tears, one of the girls turned around and asked: “ Would you like to come home with me and pick Lilac blossoms from the bushes on our farm to give to your mother?” She was the daughter of a farmer, a Berg Bauer, a mountain farmer, and had to walk a long distance to and from school every day. I knew if I went with her I would not be home before dark and my mother would be terribly worried. But knowing how happy I would make her to give her a bouquet of Lilacs, her very favorite flowers, the next morning, I decided to take the scolding that evening.
I remember walking home at dusk holding several branches of lilac in my arms, the blossoms dancing above my head and the fragrance making me dizzy with excitement. I hid the Lilac branches behind a bush outside the building where we lived till the next morning. Miraculously they survived in the cool night air and were still beautiful next morning when I gave them to my mother with a big hug. I will never forget her smile expressing happiness and joy!
This was a great luxury, since eggs were very scarce and a very small amount of butter was allotted per family. The Table was set with a white embroidered cloth and the Lilac Bouquet placed in the center. This was a very special day. It was Mothers Day in Austria and I was only twelve.
For your mother’s special day, you and your family might want to create an Austrian Afternoon Coffee. Here is the traditional Austrian Kugelhupf recipe to help you set the scene.
Der Wiener Kugelhupf
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
6 whole eggs – separated
2 cups of flour, measured then sifted
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp Cointreau
6 Tbsp Milk
½ cup of raisins 0 optional
Zest of 1 orange
Preheat oven to 350 F – Grease and dust Kugelhupf form.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Add egg yolks – one at a time, beat well after every addition.
Sift together flour and baking powder
Add orange zest and the liqueur to the butter mixture
Add flour and milk alternately, mixing gently
Beat egg whites to medium peaks and mix into the above dough.
Pour into prepared Kugelhupf form
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 min.
Cool 15 min and turn out on to the platter
Dust with powdered sugar
Serve with shipped cream…….mit Schlag!
Happy Mothers Day!
I always gave mother lilacs on Mother’s Day. If the blooms had disappeared on the bushes I found them either painted on a card, on a scarf, or on a pin, but, always lilac blossoms on her special day!