1/ How long have you been MamaBaking for?
2/ How many are you and where?There are about 20 mama bakers in the Blue Mountains – mostly in the upper mountain towns of Katoomba, Leura, Wentworth Falls and Lawson. We have a Facebook group to help us get together. Our small cooking circle consist of 4 mamas, and we have 8 children between us.
3/ What’s the common bond you all share?
We all live in the Blue Mountains – a very community minded supportive environment to raise children. We know each other via friendship and having children similar age. We first gathered interest for starting Mamabake in the Mountains via a local community fruit and veg cooperative, and inviting other friends we know. There is another very active, mostly vegetarian organic MamaBake circle in Katoomba.Apart from our own cooking circles we have special cooking events. Last week we gathered in one of our kitchens to make jams, pickles and preserves. Our children loved the smells and buzz of the kitchen, and we all took home a range of beautiful home made goodies.
4/ What are the favourite meals?
Early days but some favourites; salmon, dill and capers quique, nachos was a favourite with our children, chorizo infused sauce with polenta, veggie curry, and a chicken pie.
5/ How does MamaBake improve motherhood for you?It’s about the solidarity with other woman, the friendship, and sharing skills and company. It is also wonderful for our children to expand their palate, see the time and energy that goes into making meals, gather cooking skills, and inherit an appreciation for good food and cooking.
6/ Do you have any food values you adhere to for the group sessions?
We don’t have any special rules and have managed to be very flexible. We all like spice and trying to introduce our children to a range of cooking. We buy locally and try to cook seasonally. Apart from the specula cooking event, we cook in our home when our babies sleep or there is some quiet and meet for a social time and swap. We are working up to cooking together but not sure if it will be harder. One of our members works full time too.
7/ Why do you MamaBake?Jo: “For me, I just love the feeling on Tuesday afternoon of having done my cooking for the week. Focusing my time and energy on one meal instead of coming up with a menu for the whole week is hugely liberating. And instead of the usual 5 o’clock hassle hour, I can focus more on the kids instead of rushing to get a meal on the table, and that makes everyone happier! “
Tanya: ” I love challenging myself to cook different meals. There is always a meal in my fridge or freezer”
Erica: ” It’s the time saving. Working full time and in a house with four boys, I used to start worrying about what’s for dinner the moment I started to drive home, and then spend time cooking. Now I don’t even have to think of the week’s menu. The other day I got home and could just sit and have quality time with my boys and mum who was visiting from Sydney.”Vanessa: “I like the solidarity of other mamas, introducing my children to cooking and a broader range of meals, and I think I am less wasteful too. Tuesdays and trays of lovingly cooked meals from my friends warms my heart”
8/ One tip for other Mamas thinking about MamaBaking?Just gather your friends or ask in your local community and.. start!