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The gift of food

June 9, 2013

You’d be right in saying that I’m a little bit cynical about Baby Showers.  Ok, let’s not beat about the bush, I frickin’ hate the modern day concept.  They are all about expensive gifts and ridiculous games; much akin to the materialism that has taken over Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the meaning behind them is sound…I just think it’s got lost in translation.  It should be all about friends and family getting together to show their support to the soon-to-be-mother, sharing her excitement and easing her fears of the unknown.  It’s an opportunity to heap love upon her (though not in the way the father did 8 months or so before!) and confirm to her that she’s surrounded by people that care and will be there for her when faced by the trials that having a new born can bring.

The predicament for me is that my best pal is just two weeks (or sooner) away from having her first child.  And despite my prejudices towards baby showers, I had to do something to show her that we care.  So I pondered what I thought the celebration was about and that’s where the idea of the ‘Casserole Party’ came from.

I’ve got lots of friends with children.  I’ve seen them blooming throughout the pregnancy and then I’ve seen them blooming crazy when existing on virtually no sleep.  I’ve seen even the most organised and enthusiastic cooks lose all desire and ability to spend time in the kitchen when there’s a new born demanding attention; feeding the child becomes the priority, feeding yourself, an unfortunate afterthought.

Many expectant mothers take on a spot of batch cooking prior to the birth – filling the freezer full of home-made ‘ready meals’ –giving them one less thing to worry about in the weeks to come.  So, I thought it would be great if we were able to assist in this process.  Armed with a list of what food goes down well in her household, I instructed (bossy, as I am) friends to bring freezer-friendly containers full of home-cooked dinners, complete with any special cooking instructions.  Offers of cottage pie, vegetable curry, meatballs, bolognaise and chilli sprung forth and thus the deed of giving was arranged.  Now instead of shopping in Mothercare, we’ve all been able to show our love and support in the nicest way possible – by spending time cooking the new mother and her husband dinners for the days to come when they will need to be looked after.

On top of our freezer ‘donations’ we’re all gathering around the expectant mother’s house today, taking with us some more food to lunch upon.  This gives us to opportunity to present our gifts, whilst showing our affections and sharing in the excitement of her pregnancy.  After all, there’s nothing us ladies like more than a good chat and a gossip over lunch, is there?!

I can’t help but think this is how friends would have done a ‘baby shower’ in the old days before America introduced us to the concept of ‘nappy cakes’ and baby shower gift lists.  And it feels nice.  It feels right.

After all, what’s better than the gift of food?

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