A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon the MamaBake Facebook group by accident. The post above appeared in my newsfeed and although I am not naturally drawn to recipe content, this one caught my eye.
I had no idea what MamaBake was but I was quite overwhelmed that a group of women drawn together by a desire to bake was crowd sourcing meals for a family in need. I found myself sharing what I had read with anyone who would listen. The response to the call-out was impressive. Women from suburbs in the vicinity were putting their virtual hand up to supply a meal for this family. Some even cared enough to enquire about dietary needs and issues. One woman was able to make the meal but she wouldn’t be able to get it to the family due to the location of her work. So another complete stranger offered to arrange a meeting place to collect the meal and drop it off for her.
Talk about renewing one’s faith in humanity. Here was a group of random women, organizing themselves for the greater good. The only thing they get in return is the personal satisfaction that comes from helping someone in need. It’s the best feeling in the world. I was feeling the glow from just reading about it.
The idea intrigued me so I clicked through to the website to find that MamaBake is indeed the most wonderful of initiatives. Although women in the group will happily step forward to help a stranger when required, the community was actually formed to help all women. It’s purpose is to save women time. Hallelujah.
MamaBake started in February 2010 with a group of four women in Lennox Head after founder and editor Michelle Shearer had the idea of sharing cooking and meals to lighten the domestic load of mothers. The site’s mission statement is: liberating mothers across the world through group, big batch baking.
“I had the idea after being brought a lasagne by a good friend out of the blue,” Michelle explained.
“Her meal meant that I could go for a surf instead of cooking dinner and I felt that this small freedom was something that needed to be shared by all mothers.”
The idea begins with the basic but very real premise that most women need to cook meals for the family every night. The MamaBake women understand the power of teamwork. They invite their friends over once a week for a group big batch bake. Each woman makes a super-sized batch of a recipe, then the meals are divided up so that each woman takes home a family serving of each dish. The meals are then refrigerated and reheated each evening, saving busy working mothers an enormous amount of time and stress during the week ahead. The MamaBake website offers recipes to use. The women post photos and anecdotes about their MamaBake session that often includes wine and laughter.
“It is a fairly guerrilla concept so we can never be exactly sure how many groups get together once a week but we know there are many out there and that it happens frequently.”
A year after the site launched, in March 2011′ Time Magazine awarded it the accolade: A Pioneer/Protagonist of the Collaborative Consumption Movement. MamaBake had also been listed as a Promising Practice by the Global Network on Sustainable
It’s genius. There are MamaBake communities across the country baking, sharing and saving valuable time every week. If I could cook I’d join them.
Check out MamaBake online: