Batch cooking madnessI have discovered the secret to feeling like the best mummy in the world, even if it’s just for half an hour: batch cooking.

Pictured (left) is the product of yesterday afternoon’s endeavours – half a dozen handmade miniature Shepherd’s Pies, each in their own little tin and each with their own little label.

There’s something about cooking for BB which seems more important than cooking for anyone else, even (diabetic) Misery Guts and even though she is likely to be the least grateful.

Have I cut the carrots as neatly as possible? Check. Have I made sure the cheese isn’t spilling over the side of the tin? Check. Does this dish offer the right balance of protein and carbohydrate? Check. Is omega 3/some other form of fatty acid/at least one of her five-a-day present? Check.

And presentation is everything. I will even confess to screwing up sticky labels when writing out what is inside the tub or tin when I go wrong, and starting again.

There’s also something strangely satisfying about filling the freezer with a batch of meals made from scratch at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon, when the rest of the working world is at their desk or on conference calls or smoking a fag in an office block doorway. I might not be far from the kitchen sink, but I find it quite liberating.

Of course most of the first Shepherd’s Pie ended up on the floor, walls and in BB’s hair, and the rest will probably go the same way, but that’s not the point.

The point is the freezer is stocked with plenty more lovingly created pies and I can look at the little stack and think ‘I did that’. It is a licence to feel smug. Sometimes, in the evening with a glass of wine in hand, I even open the freezer door for a sneak peek.

But don’t tell anyone.