• mamas.writing

Long Family Lunch

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope the bunny found you

This year my plans will consist of a long, slow family lunch, pretending that chocolate doesn’t taste amazing in front of the toddler and confidently beating everyone at cards (‘cause the real card sharks in the family are on the other side of the country).

Today I'll be attempting to cook a whole fish on the BBQ - my first time! Fingers crossed it goes well...

I've never been one to practice meals ahead of time, as I typically only dine with people I don't mind knowing that I'm not perfect and I like experimenting. I used to be part of a monthly dinner club where we had to cook 3 courses from scratch for the group and it had to be vegetarian and you couldn't repeat a meal that you or someone else had cooked. It really extended my cooking experience.

Some friends took the day off before their dinner to prepare everything, they had been looking at recipes for weeks before deciding what they wanted. AND I have to admire them - I learnt so much from their meals, they were all delicious and it taught me that a bit of prep meant you could be out of the kitchen enjoying dinner yourself, instead of cooking the whole time.

I however, took a different approach. I would go to the market in the morning and throw money at the problem - buying fresh produce that looked and smelt beautiful and just figuring out what I wanted to do with it in the shop.

I think well on my feet, and I'm confident enough to know that I wasn't going to make anyone ill or wish they'd stayed at home that night.

But I'm not constrained by 'from scratch' for today's lunch so because I have the fish as a challenge I'm going to make dessert easy. Instead of making custard from scratch for the hot cross bun bread and butter pudding I'll be cutting them up and dumping a litre of custard from the shops on them. It tastes delicious - perfect for our current, sudden cold snap - and the crosses one the buns make it festive.

The dinner club also helped me make life long friends - fast. It was a little group that shared a couple of things in common - we all worked in health and we all loved cooking. I had been a student on placement at the new facility the rest of the club worked at and they were kind enough to include me. Since then I've been on long road trips with them, babies have been born, wedding vows made, and a couple of trips over West to visit me and Margaret River wineries when I first moved away. All because of the dinner club starting up.

I've been thinking I'd like to start a mamas writing club for my post PhD life. I want to keep writing and I love the idea of community coming together to help grow and develop those writing skills - just like my cooking skills grew with the dinner club.

Have you been involved in a writing group? Any suggestions or advice on what works/what doesn't?

I'm all ears - just like the bunny...

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