A meal delivery service that comes with a side of sanity
Published: February 21, 2018
By: Sarah Broussard Weaver
My family recently began receiving boxes from one of those companies that send overpriced pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe in environment-killing packaging. We signed up for this even though I could buy more groceries for less money.
Even though these companies are arguably a sign of First-World laziness and privilege.
Even though I could shop for and cook the same meals myself from recipes on the Internet.
The fact is, I’m at a time in my life where I just won’t do it. I’m finishing up my bachelor’s degree. My husband has a job in IT that requires late nights and travel. We have four children 13 and under, and they all need help with their homework and wear clothes that must be washed. The dishes pile up even though I buy paper plates. I try to write in my spare time. I’m just not going to regularly research recipes, load up my grocery cart and actually cook the stuff before it goes bad. I am exhausted just thinking about it.
Even with all these excuses, I couldn’t make myself pull the trigger on a meal-delivery service. I fantasized about it but it was my husband who signed us up. He saw an ad and thought it sounded like a good idea. He said it would teach our
13- and 10-year-olds how to cook. This brought visions of burned fingers and fires, but I agreed.
Their first recipe was made under the watch of a babysitter. We came home to delicious roasted cod with coconut basmati rice and bok choy. The cod had been turned over too often and broke into small chunks but it tasted better than a lot of restaurant food. I was in love.
Not all the recipes have been that good, but they were all way better than hot dogs or frozen lasagna. And my kids have learned what bok choy is and how to cook it, something that would never have happened under my watch. They now
know what “sauté” and “brown” mean.
An unforeseen plus is that I am also learning new cooking terms and skills. Yesterday I had to make homemade aioli. It was very easy but it would have never occurred to me. Last week I made fish that wasn’t fried (I’m from Louisiana, so fried fish is
the definition of fish). I roasted a mix of three kinds of mushrooms — cremini, shitake, and maitake — without having to search for them in the store and garnished — garnished! — things with chopped parsley and lemon.
My kids are learning how to cook and so am I. I save the recipes so that I have good dishes I feel confident in making later because I have done it before. It’s worth paying more at this point. This is my reassurance to myself that I’m not awful for paying extra for convenience, and a reminder that the frozen lasagnas were convenient too (also full of
preservatives and lacking in vegetables).
And if anyone out there is in the same boat, I want you to know that I’m with you. If you need an expensive box of ingredients delivered to your front door, I get you. We’re doing a good job. We’re making it. Sometimes we make it from scratch and plate it and sometimes it’s a frozen meal, but the bellies are full and the faces are happy. Good job.