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Mother's Day: Florals, Quiche Recipes, and Cherished Memories

Mother's Day: Florals, Quiche Recipes, and Cherished Memories

Posted on April 30 2024, By: Jonathon Hawes

Mother's Day: Florals, Quiche Recipes, and Cherished Memories

Greetings as I sit by our lovely window seat at the marché! 

The month of May has arrived and with it comes fresh blooms, wonderful spring produce and spending time with mom! Or if you have a slightly more complicated relationship with your mother like I do, recognizing the important women in your life. For me, that’s my grandmother Gabrielle, my aunt Cindy and my mother in-law Hong.

For this month’s newsletter, I thought I’d share a few anecdotes about these incredible women along with some wonderful Mother’s Day delights like a fabulous floral collaboration with Stephanie from Balconi Floral as well as my recipe for an Asparagus & Leek Quiche!

An ode to the important women in my life 

Perhaps we start with my mother-in-law, Hong. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know her while also learning everything I can from her. After fleeing from Vietnam during the war, she managed to build a successful grocery business with her husband, Jack despite not knowing a word of English. Her resilience, her spirit, and her wisdom has not only inspired me but has become a pillar in how Triet and I navigate our own lives.

Here's a little story that always brings a tear to my eye. When she first arrived to Canada, she lived in Lethbridge, Alberta where she had to learn how to navigate a new country in a language she did not speak with no money and no driver’s license. So, on days where snowstorms overtook the city, she would often call the police to ask for a ride home as it was really the only option she had. And despite it being a distant memory to her now, she continues to instill humbleness, gratitude, and resilience in both of her sons. Something I have and always will marvel at.

The next woman I’d like to talk about is my aunt Cindy. Growing up, my aunt opened my eyes to a whole new world of food, flavour, and fun. She shared her love for cooking and entertaining with me, which inevitably had a huge impact on who I am today. Now, I could go on and on about her wonderful dinner parties or her knack for picking the perfect bottle of wine, but I think what I’ve always admired most is her ability to make anyone and everyone feel welcomed, comfortable, and at ease when they are in her home. A skill that can only come from those with the most generous of hearts. 

It probably comes as no surprise that Cindy is the daughter of the final woman I’d like to talk about - my grandmother, Gabrielle. Known for her outstanding butter tarts and “sucre à la crème”, I could have spent every day in her kitchen. And if I wasn’t in her kitchen, I was in her and my grandfather's garden. A man with a green thumb, my Grampy taught me how to clip hydrangeas so that we could bring it back to grand-maman for her fabulous crystal vases. I'd watch as she meticulously arranged each flower, enjoying every moment of her company,

Although I wish I could have had more time with her, the memories that I made with my grandmother have left such an impact on me that I often find myself feeling her presence in the simple things like arranging fresh flowers and baking something delicious to share with those you love. 

Flowers, flowers, flowers 

Speaking of beautiful flowers, I’d like to turn your attention to another incredible woman, Stephanie from Balconi Floral. She is a talented florist that offers gorgeous arrangements with competitive pricing. Now, because I consider myself an older middle-aged woman in a gay man's body, I find it necessary to always have fresh flowers in my home and Stephanie never misses. Time and time again, Triet and I are blown away by her work.

So, in preparation for Mother’s Day, we’ve decided to collaborate with her and the team at Balconi Floral to bring you two exciting ways to get your hands on some flowers next weekend: 

First, Stephanie has very generously offered to provide our Mon Pitou guests with a discount code for any floral arrangements purchased for Mother’s Day weekend. When placing an order online at https://www.balconi.ca/, use code JonathonHawes 10 at checkout for 10% off!

Secondly, Stephanie and I have created a gorgeous arrangement together, which will be available at Mon Pitou in very limited quantities on Mothers Day, Sunday May 12th. So, if you’re treating mom to brunch, or just feel like walking by to pick up coffee and pastries to enjoy at the park, don’t forget to grab a lovely bouquet!

Quick tip…

If you’re not sure where to start with flowers, one of my favourite tips is to stick with white and green. Call me old fashioned, but I find that elegance is always achieved through simplicity. So don’t overthink it, keep it simple, and save those carnations and baby’s breath for the high school graduates!

Asparagus & Leek Quiche (and a story to make you laugh)

Whenever I think of Mother’s Day, my mind automatically goes to brunch. And as much I want you to come to my restaurant for it, I can recognize how wonderful it is to make something special at home for the mom in your life.

When deciding on what recipe to share, I thought back to the women mentioned earlier and a silly story about a quiche my grandmother once made popped into my head. So, here’s the recipe for my Asparagus & Leek Quiche followed by one final story:


  • 1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted is fine, just adjust seasonings as you see fit!) 
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • 1 tablespoon of good Dijon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 large leek (white and light green parts only), halved and thinly sliced
    kosher salt and fresh black or white pepper
    1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
    4 extra-large eggs
    1 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 cup half and half
    1 Tablespoon of chopped dill 
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • 2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese 
  • Your favourite Pie crust recipe fitted into a 9 inch pie plate, chilled (Ina Garten and Martha Stewart both have wonderful recipes in case you’re in need of one!)



  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. On low heat, melt the butter in a large skillet with olive oil. Add the leeks and season with salt and pepper. Cook the leeks until they are almost translucent about 5-6 minutes, then add in the asparagus and cook until they’re still crisp but tender, an additional 6 to 7 minutes then turn off the heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, cream, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and the freshly chopped herbs.
  4. Roll out your dough into a 12 inch round and place it in a 9 inch baking dish, then brush the bottom with Dijon. {Place the baking dish on a rimmed sheet pan to catch any spills.}
  5. Sprinkle the bottom of the quiche with cheese and top with sun dried tomatoes and asparagus and leek mixture.
  6. Pour the custard mixture on top. I usually save some cheese and asparagus to sprinkle on the very top just before baking for visual appeal, but this step isn’t necessary!
  7. Bake until the centre of the quiche is just set, about 50 minutes to an hour, and rotate halfway through.
  8. Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and voila!

To me, quiche is best served when it's just slightly warm. Not hot but not cold! You could even make it a day in advance and zip it into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 300 just before serving. I love to serve this with a simple butter leaf lettuce salad, and with a big bowl of fruit with freshly whipped cream for dessert. 

Now, for the quiche story. My grandmother was known to be a bit of a clutz, even in the kitchen! One crisp spring day, she decided to make her “famous” quiche – a special dish often reserved for entertaining friends and family over lunch. She always baked it in her favourite French porcelain dish and that day was no different, taking it out of the oven and letting it cool on the counter while she prepared some lemonade. 

She was a short woman and often struggled to reach the top shelf where she kept her crystal pitcher. As she reached and reached to try to grab it, the pitcher fell and smashed right onto the side of the quiche dish. Just like that, lunch was ruined... until she was struck with a “brilliant” idea. Why not vacuum up all the glass that had shattered over top of the quiche? It would be good as new, right? 

A few moments later, my grandmother comes out with the quiche and places it on the wicker dining table in her beautiful sunroom where we had all gathered. Without hesitation, we all dug into her quiche and savoured every bite until I felt an unexpected crunch. At first, everyone thought that I was joking when I said that I might have bitten into a piece of glass, so I had no choice but to pull it out and show everyone. Next thing I knew, the quiche was gone and promptly replaced with a fresh green salad.  

On that note, I'll end this by wishing you all a wonderful month of May! And if you end up making my quiche this Mother's Day, make sure to tag me on instagram at @JonathonHawes. Also feel free to reach out anytime if you happen to have questions about any recipe or tip I send out. I’d love to keep in touch!  

With much love and gratitude,  

Jesse Jonathon Hawes xx