Wouldn’t it be fabulous to have a staff? Many Vancouver moms fantasize about having a housekeeper, chauffeur, nanny and personal chef, and I’m not any different. You can imagine, then, that when I recently had the opportunity to check out the new Nourish Mom service from Sydney Badger Cuisine I was more than a little excited.
Learning to Cook, Nourishing Moms
Sydney Badger says that as a teenager she was afraid of food. “You know, like a lot of girls I thought mayonnaise was evil,” she relates. Things changed for her when she was at a camp in Ontario, though. She spent 10 summers paddling her canoe and learning to cook over an open fire. She attended culinary school, and started teaching other people how to cook, as well.
After attending Salt Spring Centre for Yoga, Sydney added Yoga Instructor to her list of titles, and started teaching pre and postnatal yoga classes. Working with expectant and new moms, she noticed that they often didn’t have much time to cook, and Nourish Mom was born. This fabulous service involves Sydney coordinating with you to plan a menu, buying the groceries, coming to your house and preparing a number of meals, leaving them in your fridge with instructions on how to re-heat, and then cleaning your kitchen. She works around your dietary restrictions, takes your preferences into account, and offers you a number of options to choose from.
Choosing the Menu, Letting Sydney do the Work
For me, it started with a quick phone chat to lay the groundwork, and talk about the kinds of foods my family eats. Then Sydney sent me a list of seven different meals, from which I chose five. Several of the meals offered different options, like brown or wild rice, or different types of meat, so there was the opportunity to customize. Then Sydney sent along a shopping list, and I let her know what I already had on hand. For example, some of the recipes called for cooking oil, rice, spices and so on, and when I had those already she didn’t buy them for me. She even followed my guidelines about where to shop – did I want budget choices or organic options, for instance.
While I was very excited about having Sydney Badger come and cook for me, I was also a little bit nervous. Would it be weird to have someone in my house all day? Would I have to stay at home and help? Would she judge my messy cupboards and fridge? I needn’t have worried. After a quick tour of my kitchen, Sydney went to work and let me know that I could go about my day. While she cooked I worked, picked up my daughter from day camp, read … just whatever I would normally do. She also assured me that her cupboards were messy, too, and that I didn’t have to worry about the state of my spice drawer. Plus, she made me lunch with some of the extra ingredients she had on hand.
A Week of Gourmet Food
When it was all over, I had five meals in fridge, plus leftovers in my freezer and a sparkling clean kitchen. Those five meals were a lot better than anything I could have made myself – for instance, the first dinner I ate was pesto-proscuitto baked fish, parmigiano and pea risotto and almond green beans. The quantities were quite generous, as well, so there were lots of leftovers for lunches and other dinners. In the end, the food lasted me about a week, during which time I felt that I was eating much better than I normally would.
My grocery bill from Sydney was about $125, which isn’t bad compared to what I often spend at the grocery store for my family of four. Plus, I was left with extra ingredients like spices, vinegar and noodles where there were leftovers. My picky kids didn’t eat everything, but they enjoyed most of it, and there was something from pretty much every meal that they ate with gusto.
A Fabulous Gift
If I had paid for the service, the cost of having Sydney Badger prepare the five meals for my family would have been $295. It’s not super-cheap, but it would make a fabulous gift for a new mom. Plus, it’s far more useful than teeny-tiny clothes that are outgrown all too soon, no matter how cute they may be. After experiencing it for myself I have to say it would make a pretty fabulous gift for any mom with kids of any age. If you want to do something really nice for friend who’s going through a rough time, or to help someone celebrate a birthday or anniversary, Sydney Badger’s Nourish Mom service would make an excellent choice.
To find out more about Sydney Badger Cuisine and all the services she offers, including Nourish Mom, visit her online. To see some photos of the day and the fabulous food, check out this gallery:
Sydney Badger Cuisine
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.