Preserving Recipes/ Spring

Ramping It Up for Mother’s Day


May 12th will mark Mother’s Day and spring is in the air. Let’s celebrate with the first gift of spring – wild leeks and a perfect Mother’s Day breakfast.

The honouring of mothers is an ancient tradition celebrated throughout the centuries in cultures around the world. The ancient Phrygian festival of “Cybele” honoured the great “Mother”. In the Middle Ages the custom was for those who moved away to revisit their mothers on Laetare Sunday – the 4th Sunday of Lent. First Nations peoples honour mothers every day! In India, the Druga festival is dedicated to mothers. In North America, Mother’s Day is said to be attributed to three women who were activists for peace, social welfare, and health. They were Ann Reeves Jarvis, Julia Ward Howe (also author of the protest song “The Battle Hymn of the Republic) and Ann’s daughter Anna Jarvis. Thanks to these women, Mother’s Day was declared in Canada in 1915 on the second Sunday of May.

As wild leeks are out, why not incorporate them into your Mother’s Day menu? I love wild leeks but consider them a real treasure as they are dangerously over-harvested in many parts of Canada and the US. Their slow seven-year cycle to mature means it’s incredibly important to sustainably harvest – take no more than one quarter of a clump. I now harvest a few leeks for a couple of meals, a bit of pesto for winter and possibly mix them with other vegetables for a quick refrigerator pickle.  Love them but protect them! Here’s a wonderful way to celebrate spring and Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who care for children, the aged, our planet and the welfare of others.

Wild Leek Baked Eggs

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Blanch the leek leaves in boiling water for 1 minute. Place on a paper towel to drain. Sauté chopped and lightly salted wild leek bulbs in butter very slowly until soft and translucent. In a bowl, beat eggs, cooled sauteed wild leeks, cream, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and cheeses. Heavily grease 4 – 6 ramekins. Line the bottom of the ramekins with the wild leek leaves. Pour in egg mixture. Bake in a 350 over for 25 minutes. The centres should still giggle. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temp. These are also delicious the following day. The recipe can be doubled. Add some fresh bread or scones, and salad for the brunch menu and there you have it!


  • 1 small bunch of wild leeks thoroughly cleaned and trimmed. Separate the leaves from the bulbs.
  • 2 TBSP butter and more for greasing the ramekins or baking dish
  • 1 cup cream (or half and half)
  • 3 eggs
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ¾ cup grated Gruyere cheese or other sharp cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

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