What is MamaBake?
MamaBake is a movement of group, big batch baking mothers.
Mothers come together regularly in their local neighbourhoods and cook one big batch meal each. At the end of the session the big batch meal is divided up amongst each mother who then goes home with a range of freshly cooked meals for the week.
MamaBake has over 100 in real life groups across Australia and overseas. Click here to see where they all are across the world.
The MamaBake movement and it’s groups are guided by our MamaFesto.
How to MamaBake?
Why do Mums love MamaBake?
Our MamaBakers tell us that MamaBake brings them:
- Free time from making dinner every night,
- Deep friendships that last,
- A sense of kinship and community, and
- A place to share kitchen wisdom and recipes.
MamaBakers’ children love MamaBake sessions and enjoy getting hands-on and involved in the community cooking propcess. They love trying out new meals from other mums and can see the power of community in action. They also love playing with the other children!
How do I start MamaBaking?
Simple! Call a couple of friends, set a time (allow about 3-4 hours in the day), date and a venue (someone’s house), cook up a big batch meal each, bring a plate of nibbles for the mamas and children, divide it up amongst you and head home with a few meals sorted. That’s it.
Oh, and everyone helps put the hostess’s house back in order before they leave!
More here: 5 Simple Steps to MamaBaking
I’m looking for a group to join. Where can I find one?
Do a search for ‘mamabake’ on Facebook, there are many groups there.
If you can’t find one in your area, start your own! To do this, join, free, to receive your free eKick Off Guide. Print out the poster at the back of the Guide and pin it up on your local noticeboards. Or, simply call in a couple of friends and just do!
What do I need to bring to a MamaBake session?
You will need to bring:
- whatever kitchen utensils (usually a big pot!) you need to make your dish
- as well as the ingredients needed.
- Also bring a plate of nibbles to share (for mamas and children).
My kitchen is small. Can I still MamaBake?
Despite what it looks like (masses of people cooking at the same time and lots of equipment needed), you don’t need a huge kitchen in which to MamaBake.
What we’ve found is that women need the stove top/oven/workbench at different times so overall it has always worked out. If you’re really concerned, you could do a quick email-round before the session asking Mamas what they are cooking and what they will need and when. That way you can rotate who works where, when.
You could also ask some of the women if they might like to come with a pre-prepared meal so they don’t need to cook at the time. We’ve found that his can often be easier for some mothers anyway. More about small kitchens and MamaBake, here.
Does my group need to hire a commercial kitchen?
We recommend keeping the group small so that you don’t need to get into needing big halls and kitchens and organisation. When you get into that realm it can get overly complex, tends to fall to one person to organise, starts to involve more money than necessary and generally becomes a right royal pain in the rear.
Keep the numbers small and sweet and you won’t need to go there.
How do you work out costs?
We know this sounds counter intuitive but don’t think about cost. What you’ll find is that once you start, MamaBake is something you will do again and again and that everything just works out, expense wise, over a period of time. One week you’ll be able to knock up a big batch Moroccan Lamb Harira the next it might be the humble dahl.
There is a silent agreement when you start MamaBaking that you make what you can when you can and that you give (at some point) the same as you receive.
How do you manage food intolerances and dietary requirements?
This is one conversation we encourage our MamaBakers to have at the very start. If the requirements are workable for you then proceed, if not, the group may have to regroup so that MamaBakers all share the same or similiar dietary requirements.
How can I start my own MamaBake group?
Go to mamabake.com, register and create your own group. Copy the link once you’ve created the group and share across your networks asking your friends to join you.
Or, print out the poster at the back of the free eBook: MamaBake’s Kick Off Guide, (you would have rceived this automatically when you joined the MamaBake movement) and pin it up on your local noticeboards. Or, simply call a couple of friends.
I’m a little intimidated by cooking up large batches of food. Can I still MamaBake?
Big batch cooking can seem a little intimidating but don’t let it be because it isn’t once you get going!
We recommend you take one recipe you’re really confident with and double or triple the quantity.
If you still don’t feel comfortable doing that, ask if you can go along to an established MamaBake session as a guest to check out how they do it. Maybe you could shadow a MamaBaker to see how she cooks a particular dish and ask her for the recipe.
How do you work out how much food to cook?
MamaBake is about making life easier for mothers so we say to cook up the biggest quantity you can and divide it out as best you can.
How do you MamaBake when you have preschoolers underfoot?
Little ones love MamaBaking! Get them involved in the cooking. Set them up with a little table or on a cloth on the floor, give them dough to knead and shape, or get them stirring pots, or topping and tailing beans etc. There’s is always something little hands can get involved in!
Usually, there are other children so they will play with one another also.
MamaBakers who have come with food already cooked and prepared often take the role of child carer whilst the other women cook. She might kick a ball around with them or set up a cosy story corner for them. It always works out.
I have a business and want to sell my products at the MamaBake group session. Is that okay?
No, this is absolutely not okay – not under any circumstances. MamaBake groups are purely in existence to build communities for women. Please do not use the group session to sell any kind of product.
If you have been sold to during a MamaBake session, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
I work outside of the home and would love to MamaBake but where do I find the time?
MamaBake isn’t just for stay-at-home mums. Working outside of the home, especially full time, is when you’ll really need something that saves you time!
We recommend holding a wine and cheese evening for a couple of hours one night where each mother brings along a pre-cooked meal that just needs dividing up ready for you to take home.
That way you can cook your big batch when you would normally cook (and when you can), relax with friends and go home with a few nights worth of dinners sorted. Ticks a few boxes, non?
What are the responsibilities of the MamaBake Hostess?
MamaBake is in existence to make your life easier; and that includes the hostess!
The hostess opens her home to MamaBakers (this will rotate), provides one plate of nibbles (everyone else will bring nibbles also) and makes sure everyone has a cup of tea or a glass of water to hand.
Everyone cleans up at the end so that hostess doesn’t have a mess to clean up.
Some MamaBake groups have a deal whereby the hostess doesn’t have to cook a big batch meal but still gets the divvy up meals as a thank you for hosting the session. This can work really well and act as a great incentive to Mamas to host.
More information on how to host, here.