One time when I was cross country skiing at my parent's property in Nova Scotia, I had a wild idea come into my head. I thought it would be fun to surprise my Mum for her Valentine's Birthday because I am never ever there on her birthday. Then the ideas started to flow . . . decorating my brother's little cabin in the woods, her pulling up on horse drawn sleigh to an elegant feast and a croquembouche (I have always wanted to make one of these gorgeous French wedding cakes made of yummy choux pastry and spun caramel sugar) in all it's glory.
For three or four years I dreamed of making this come true and this year I decided on a whim to go. I have been super busy since the fall and had just returned from a shoot in Ecuador, so it seemed a bit crazy, but a dear friend advised me to not make it so complicated and to remember that the most important thing was that I was going. . .
So, I enlisted some fellow conspirators to help me out. Our friend Debbie (who rents an apartment from my parents) and my father knew I was coming and both did a lot of sneaking around for me. Debbie was a huge help cleaning up the cabin and transporting various goods from my parent's house right under my mother's nose! My dear friend Cheryl allowed me to come crash at her house and do all the cooking there even though it was in the middle of a busy week for her & her husband. I am so grateful for all the help!
I let go of some of my grander plans for an elaborate meal, a perfectly decorated cabin and the horse drawn sleigh since there wasn't any snow (what! this is usually when Nova Scotia is buried in snow). But in the end, it was a success because my Mum was totally surprised, the cabin was welcoming and cozy with a fire, the food was made with love and was compliant with her food allergies (I have links to the recipes below in case you are interested in an Auto Immune Protocol luncheon plan) and most importantly, she felt loved . . .
Hope you enjoy & remember to just do that thing you've been thinking about for a long time in all its imperfectness!