A Borders mum is becoming an online sensation thanks to videos she produces at home in her Ettrickbridge kitchen helping others by making meals less of a big deal.
The Batch Lady, otherwise known as Suzanne Mulholland, is becoming such an internet star that she now has an online global following of more than 60,000.
From her farmhouse kitchen near Selkirk, Suzanne, 43, broadcasts videos sharing her knack of batch cooking and meal planning to her Facebook page, YouTube channel and website.
An expert in how to reclaim time by organising meals for a week at a time, Suzanne lives with husband Peter and children Jake, 12, and Zara, 10, on her family’s farm near Ettrickbridge, having moved back from Edinburgh 15 years ago.
She says it was looking after children and her elderly parents, both Alzheimer’s disease sufferers, that turned meal planning into a way of life for her.
“I really got into batch cooking when I had toddlers around my feet and life was chucking things at our family which meant I was horribly stressed and had very little time,” she said.
“I felt very isolated up the glen. It takes me an hour round trip just to get a pint of milk, so I had to get organised.
“I was lucky that I’d trained in time management for my first job and was able to help myself out of a black patch.”
It wasn’t until a few months ago that her following really took off, though.
“A few parents at school asked me about it, and it’s just gone huge, considering I live in Ettrick,” Suzanne, now offering advice to subscribers from New Zealand to California, explained.
“Some of my followers will tune into every new video and use every recipe on my website, but some say they just like my Scottish accent and my tidy kitchen.
“A lot of mums use Facebook, and I have 40,000 people following my videos there and 60,000 between my website, Instagram and Twitter.
“All the recipes are free on my website. It was never really about making money. I’m really all about the fact that people are enjoying it.
“It’s great fun shooting the videos, but it’s also fun doing live events and really feeling like I’m helping people to get themselves sorted.
“Time is such a precious commodity these days.”
And with her popularity growing day by day, Suzanne only looks set to get busier.
She is filming in London and will be demonstrating at the Royal Highland Show in Ingliston in June.
Suzanne’s method cooks a sequenced recipe set for a week, usually based around the formula of cooking at least five nights of planned family dinners in under one hour.
And while she has demonstrated this at numerous cookery shows already, she admits she’s a little nervous ahead of her first big charity event in St Boswells next month.
“Shows often include me making 20 meals in one hour, so they’re hard going,” she said. “Usually I’m confident and absolutely fine, but this will be the first big local show I’ve done that will be full of familiar faces.”
The event is in aid of the Borders Children’s Charity, for which Suzanne has served as chairwoman and treasurer and is currently vice-chairwoman.
“The charity has been going for over 50 years and gives financial help directly to children who desperately need it,” she said.
“I’m so proud our work has been recognised and that the charity has won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
“Hopefully, the event will be fun and show people my batching method over a glass of wine, but it’s also about raising money for kids who really need it.”
Tickets for the show at St Boswells Village Hall on Tuesday, May 7, cost £10, with all money going direct to the charity, are available from eventbrite.com or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org