TRAVEL HERE: FOOD DELIVERED TO MY DOOR
Have you tried out the latest culinary trend? You see them everywhere. Some companies call them meal kits. Others call them recipe services. I call them wonderful. From the moment I first heard of them, I knew I was their target customer and I couldn’t wait to sign up. See if you have the same kinds of complaints about preparing meals. You might be a candidate for meal kits, too.
Meal Planning is a Mess!
I love a good meal. I enjoy cooking a good meal. I don’t even mind cleaning up after a good meal. What I hate is planning and shopping and managing ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I love browsing through a gorgeous cookbook and imagining making the dishes, but the fun stops as soon as I pick out a recipe.
There’s only two of us in this house and every recipe has that one ingredient. It could be almost anything – a spice I don’t have in my collection and may never use again, a vegetable I have to buy that will ruin before we can finish it or a can of something I will only use a portion of and have to figure out what to do with the rest.
These are not insurmountable problems, but I get tired of dealing with them – especially when I live in the boondocks and Kroger is the only place I have to shop. Here’s why:
- I need three mushrooms and all there is available is that huge plastic-wrapped carton of them.
- The tomatoes are awful and the cucumbers all have soft ends.
- The recipe calls for X, but it’s not in season or they don’t carry it in Texas or whatever. Of course, I find this out only after I have all the rest of the items for the recipe in the cart.
- After scouring through the produce department I ask the clerk if they have any shallots and they direct me to the seafood department.
- I want things to quit changing every time I go to the store.
- Remember when the canned onion rings you needed for green bean casserole were made by Durkee’s. Forget that. Now you have to figure out who bought the company and how they are packaging them on any given week. Will they still be in a can or will it be a bag this time and a box next time.
- My favorite fish recipe ever was made with White Wine Worcestershire sauce. Apparently I was the only person that liked it, because it is no longer available and the recipe just doesn’t work with regular Worcestershire sauce.
- Once I could get brand-name green beans – DelMonte, Green Giant or S&W. Not now. Kroger is saving me money by only carrying their store brands – and I don’t like their store brands.
Cooking the Recipe
Let’s pretend that once, just once, I picked out a recipe and found everything I wanted at the grocery store with very little hassle. Now, I have to keep it somewhat real, so nothing actually came in a package that fit the recipe, but just getting home with everything I wanted would give me a thrill.
The next thing one has to do is figure out what order to do stuff in so that everything will be ready at about the same time. I have a few meals for which I have mastered this skill, but they are few and far between. Most of the time I’m throwing things in the warming oven and then being mad because they dried out or getting to the table to face crunchy rice, too raw meat or any other number of fails.
Then there’s all the ambiguity of recipes: a pinch of this, a drizzle of that, add this until that happens, stir until it has this consistency, salt and pepper to taste. Quit that stuff!! Tell me exactly what to do and don’t leave it to interpretation. If I had wanted to play a guessing game, I would not have used a recipe.
Oh yes, and every once in a while, something you have made five million four hundred thousand and thirty-seven times, turns out completely different from every other time you made it. You didn’t change a thing – it just happened!
When you’re all done the worst for me is not cleaning up the dishes. I hate the rest of it. Was my husband hungry when we were through, because it wasn’t enough food OR do I now have leftovers, because the recipe’s idea of a “serving” and reality are two different things? There’s about half a can of chicken broth left and a half a head of cauliflower, both of which I have to store and figure out how to use – not to mention the thousands of mushrooms, because I couldn’t buy three. If we liked the recipe, great. If not, well then, should I keep that spice or throw it away?
When a meal is over, I want it to be over, but it seems it never is. Six months from now I will still have that extra piece of meat in my freezer, but it will be frost bitten and I will have to throw it away. I feel the same way about laundry. You gather the clothes and sort them and wash them and dry them and fold them and put them away – but then you have a sock without a mate, a blouse that has a button missing and there’s always something that’s going to need to be pressed or taken to the dry cleaners or something.
So now you know why I was so excited about meal kits, recipe services or whatever you want to call them. If you have any of the same feelings, then you might be interested in meal kits too.