Food is the shortest way to a person’s heart. 🙂 My love for cooking has stemmed from watching my mom lovingly prepare meals everyday. Even when she was sick, she made sure she had a good enough meal on the table for the rest of us and that was her way of making sure we knew she cared for us. In return, we showed her our appreciation by polishing off our plates and often asking for seconds. Cooking, for me, conjures up images of my parents’ kitchen back home, the aromas wafting throughout the house especially right before meal times and the look of satisfaction on my mom’s face when we enjoyed what was put before us. My grandma helped with all the chopping so I didn’t really get to dabble much until the day my mother realized I would end up married without knowing how to boil an egg. 😀Today I cook practically everyday, although there are some weeks where work gets in the way and I have to make do with basics like scrambled eggs or a quick pressure cooked rice dish. The hubby is pretty easy going so he doesn’t mind, as long as it’s a home cooked meal. Like my mom, I love trying out new cuisines and then incorporating those ingredients into my Indian meals instead. There are some instances though where we have friends over that don’t go gaga over Indian food and then I’m at a loss. For instance, I’d never made lasagna or chicken parmesan or Italian wedding soup or Mole. Part of the reason is that while I can find ingredients to make it and I’m not lacking in inspiration, there is a good chance it might not turn out right or if it does, it doesn’t appeal to our flavor profile enough to warrant a repeat and then I am stuck with all these ingredients and no other recipe to use them in.
Enter meal service Blue Apron! I’d like to mention here that I am not being paid to write this blog or tout their services. But I think they came up with a genius solution to help restless cooks like me try out a variety of cuisines without going overboard. When I first heard of this service through friends and realized it was almost $60 per week for 3 2-person meals, I figured it would be a rip off, a very expensive one at that. But the more I heard about them and the more people signed up, it piqued my interest. I had been meaning to sign up for a cooking class anyway but this was an opportunity to try a multitude of cuisines in the comfort of my home and have no leftover ingredients to look up recipes for. This was actually a win-win! So I signed up and my box arrived that very Sunday.
I was as excited as a kid in a candy store! Oh and I was blown away by the packaging and the level of detail for the prep and cook. Each ingredient was labeled and neatly packed. The meats were separated from the produce and kept cold between ice packs at the bottom of the box. The produce was fresh and stayed “alive” for well over a week. And the variety was thrilling! Italian meatball dishes and Korean gravies and soups and fish I had never made before. I was in culinary heaven. Some of the dishes were a tad bland but those were easy fixes with a little added heat. In the almost 10 months I’ve been ordering, I’ve cooked some very palatable meals and with the exception of a few, all meals have been downright delectable. The only one meal that stands out as a disaster execution-wise was the chicken and biscuit meal where the breading on the chicken and the biscuit kinda fell apart while eating. It was a good meal, but just badly composed. I would say it was me but there were a few posts claiming the same challenges. But 3-4 meals out of 120 is not bad at all! Plus the portions while they claim to be for 2 were often plentiful, resulting in some easy take-to-work lunches.
Since then I have received flyers for Hello Fresh and Sun Basket and some others. I’ve had friends who’ve tried more than one and seem to like the others too. I’ve so far stayed loyal to Blue Apron although I’ve since switched to a twice monthly schedule and now down to ordering only weeks where their menu has something I haven’t tried before or would love prepared a different way. I’ve saved off some of their recipes and remade them because we enjoyed them so much the first time around. I may not stay with Blue Apron much longer but it has given me an education and width of experience I would not have gained from going to a mere cooking class. Cooking is therapeutic for me and Blue Apron is the best therapist the culinary market has to offer! Tonight I will be making their crispy cod and jasmine rice recipe. Can’t wait to see what flavors this dish unfolds!