Tuesday 9 July 2013

Batch cooking meets

I'm a fairly new blogger and just finding my way around. Since before the "age of Pinterest" I sat in awe of all the bloggers I ever came across. How did they DO this stuff they wrote about AND still find the time to write about it? I "met" people in various places on the internet, some passed through my life with good advice and wonderful ideas. And some became personal friends whom I have been blessed to hold dear even years after those meetings.

So I'm starting to understand now that the best of most of those blogs started as a way to keep in touch with a small(ish) group of like minded people and they became what they became. I realised that in at least some of those blogs, the photo's that seemed to come from the pages of some glossy home magazine were often staged. Most photo's were taken "for when they were needed" and often were never intended for a blog.

Enter my pink polkadot kitchen table cloth.

 And that seems to me, the perfect picture to bring you to the title of this post. Its a really grainy picture taken with my phone before I realised how to use that tablecloth to its full potential and you probably get an idea of the chaos from which I am slowly unraveling myself. But this was an old habit that started a new (although borrowed) idea. 

We have a Makro card, so I buy all of our meat in large batches, then bring them home and repackage them into portions that we use on a daily basis. What you see on my table here is about 6 weeks worth of meals...if I make them "meat heavy". I'm now firmly in the habit of freezing any leftovers for Friday "take out" night, but I'd love to batch cook (once a month cooking).I've done a few, but they are HARD work.

I've done a lot of reading on the subject, looking for recipes that would suit our family. On my "travels" around Pinterest, I found Jill and Cathy from The Curriculum Corner and their post about "meal sharing" titled Tastefully yours with Tiffany. It really excited me, I've done our annual cookie swap party for a few years now, this really wasnt much different!It has so much potential. Why do those of us who batch cook do it? To get ahead so that grub can simply be pulled out of the freezer and done. Most of us who have young kids face this every day.We spend all day running them around to playgroups and keeping them busy and occupied, and then 17:30 hits and we head into the kitchen to find a toddler attached to each ankle demanding boob, or haribos or (insert your toddlers favourite "me please" here.) And suddenly supper becomes fish fingers and chips (haven't we had that twice already this week?)

This is an ideal solution! You have a bunch of girls decide what they want to see in their freezers, send someone shopping on behalf of everyone. Then you drop the kids to school (those who go) and head over to my house with your slow cooker/steamer/breadmaker (and leftover toddlers). We plug in all the kitchen appliances and get to work, all the while we've created a "mini playgroup" and the kids get on with each other, and if they have a need then there are enough hands to be cooking and fixing kids (and having a good old catchup ourselves.)

Now as I said earlier I've met a lot of my friends on the internet, which means that we dont all live on the same block.This kind of thing is only really going to work with a lot of planning to agree on the things we cook together. There's no point in doing it, if we aren't all going to enjoy the fruits of our labour.
At first I suggested that we all do some of our own research into what recipes appeal and then get together one day to "thrash out the details". But the longer I think about it, the easier I think that makes it to procrastinate. So I thought some more and it came to me...the idea came from Pinterest so why not keep it there?

See, I told you I'm starting to learn how to use my tablecloth:) That's a carrot and coriander burger by the way.

And that is how we've ended up here. I've created a Pinterest board called Batch cooking meets, and invited the ladies involved to pin their "research" there, where comments can be made to help the planning process.

So if you've found us in your roaming, pop over and have a look. Maybe you'll be inspired.
If you have had an invitation from me to contribute, then get over there and start Pinning so that we can get on to the real fun!

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