Barbara Barrett

Romance at Work

Even Authors Have to Eat

 

home chef

Parsley-Capers Medallions of Pork with Warm Cauliflower Salad

Have you ever stood before your open refrigerator door and pondered to have for dinner that night? In recent years, it has become a common occurrence in my life. It’s not that I don’t like to cook. I don’t plan well. Also, when most of my brain power is absorbed in writing, I lack creativity in the kitchen.

 

Enter my salvation, the weekly meal delivery service. After hearing friends and family rave about the tasty, nutritious home-cooked meals they’ve prepared thanks to these hunger helpers, my husband and I recently signed up for two meals a week. Trial basis for now, mind you, to see if this is a wise investments. After three weeks, my conclusion is yes, definitely!

Customers of this particular company get lots of choices: number of meals per week, types of protein, vegetables, and other ingredients preferred/disliked, and day of the week selections should be delivered. For this period, we limited our protein choices to beef, chicken, and pork. We’ve already tried some of each. So far, the sirloin steak, which we’ve had twice, is my favorite.

We’ve found it works best if we prepare these meals together. Each meal has required a certain amount of chopping, slicing and mincing, just like the cooking shows you see on the Food Network. My husband has taken over that duty. While he and the knives are doing their work, I’m prepping the meat, mixing various items, seasoning and placing items in the oven or on the stove.

The beautiful thing about this process is that most of the ingredients needed for the meal arrive pre-portioned in refrigerated boxes, which will survive outside your door for several hours, if you’re not home when delivered. The only “extra” ingredients we need to provide are salt, pepper, olive oil and cooking spray plus aluminum foil and the appropriate pots, pans and cooking sheets.

We’re still adjusting to the prep process itself. For instance, our kitchen counters are in an L-shape. The oven is at the short end of the L, the two drawers that house most of our utensils, the cutting board and potholders are in the corner, the sink comes next, and at the top of the L is a small counter space. I’m learning that the chopping should be done on that latter counter space, so that I have access to everything else, including the stove and oven. The first few times, he chopped in the corner, which prevented me from getting at the items I needed. kitchen

We learned we need at least two timers, sometimes three, to stay on top of the various operations taking place simultaneously. The recipes and pictured instructions refer to meat temperature, so we also purchased a meat thermometer rather than guess. The chicken and beef were to be browned in a pan on the stove, which produced a certain amount of splatter, so we now have a splatter guard as well.

Is this expensive? It’s cheaper than purchasing a similar meal in a restaurant. If you’re used to meals of frozen chicken breasts and frozen or canned vegetables, or sandwiches or hamburgers, probably not. But it’s provided us welcome relief, at least two nights a week, from deciding what we want to eat. That’s a huge relief when you’re trying to develop a plot, strengthen a hero’s motivation or enliven dialogue.

One more thing. My husband wants me to add that a chief reason using this service for meal prep is the togetherness. Yes, we bump into each other sometimes and one may question the other’s techniques on occasion, but in the end, when we’ve been going two different directions throughout the day, this is the time for coming together.

Welcome to new followers of this blog. Hope you’ll stick around. News of my next project coming soon.