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What do you get when you combine seven big kids, a toddler or two, two bubbas, five mamas, five hours, three rounds of cuppas and a heap of groceries? Twenty five containers full of delicious, home cooked meals ready for the freezer!
This week I hosted my first Mamabake as part of my plan to make more time for our family. With witching hour being my least favourite part of the day and my general lack of enthusiasm for cooking, I thought a mamabake would be the perfect way to put two of my ideas for making more time into action – including the kids and making it fun. I invited four mama friends around and our kids had a fabulous time running around and playing together while the mamas chatted, drank tea and cooked. It was a lot like a play date but with a bonus at the end – five nights off from the kitchen!
At one stage, as I purveyed the momentary chaos that was my kitchen, I thought about he African proverb, It takes a village to raise a child. Not only did we cook together, we helped to care for each others babies and children, shared stories and advice, joked and laughed and learnt more about each other. A modern day equivalent of the village.
Here are a few tips for mamabaking based on our experience this week;
- Talk beforehand about any food allergies or intolerances that you might need to take into consideration when planning what to cook.
- One pot meals that can be easily doubled/tripled/quadrupled seem to work best. Cooking in a big batch can take some getting used to but the Mamabake website includes recipes and resources to help you work it all out.
- Cooking takes time, especially when you are sharing a kitchen space and equipment, so be sure to allow yourself a good block of time.
- As well as the stove top, we used two electric frypans and a slow cooker to cook our meals.
- Bring along a knife, chopping board and big pot as well as your ingredients.
- Plan what food you will need for the actual cook up day as well – morning/afternoon tea and lunch for both the kids and the mamas.
- Remember to pack containers to take food home in. One of our mamas suggested using the extra deep Chinese style takeaway containers which worked really well.
Mamabaking – would you?
- It Takes a Village
- Ingredients for a Child Friendly Community
- Getting Dinner on the Table
- Making Food Memories