I’ve been away from blogging for several months due to life. A lot of life. Did you miss me? For my first attempt at blogging again, I thought I’d write about something not likely to make me cry. After all, I’m all about keeping things on the humorous side, right? So, with no further ado…
One of the most important things to know about me at this point is that I am by no means a cook. I can follow a recipe with the best of them, but I have never enjoyed the process. I have always found meal planning and preparation to be very stressful. Several years ago, my husband took over most of the cooking in our house. It works for us; he doesn’t mind getting in the kitchen and throwing meals together and I don’t mind letting him, LOL! In spite of not being a kitchenista, when my son’s girlfriend offered me the opportunity to try Blue Apron free for one week, I jumped at the opportunity. In spite of being a reluctant cook, I am a huge fan of the Food Network and a bit of a closet foodie.
Blue Apron, and similar services, deliver pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to your home on a pre-determined basis. Once I registered with Blue Apron, I was able to select my meal plan (family or two-person), my delivery date (Saturday) and my dietary preferences (no shellfish, my husband is allergic). Once my free week ended, I decided to stick with the program. So here, from a non-cook perspective, is my experience with Blue Apron thus far:
- I have been very impressed with the packaging of the items received. All of the ingredients for three meals (each serving two people) come in one relatively small box. Each ingredient is packaged separately and there are even ice packs to keep everything cool for several hours if necessary. (Not sure I’d want to put this to the test in the heat here in the South though. That’s why I selected Saturday delivery!) Seriously, a couple of deliveries have included eggs and they have arrived intact, nary a crack in sight.
- As much as I enjoy the television show Chopped, I will not be a contestant any time soon! Even with all of the ingredients on hand and detailed instructions, I’m slooooow. Which leads me to the next item.
- However long the instructions say preparations will take, it will take me longer. First, I am double and triple-checking behind myself to make sure that I am not leaving anything out. Second, even though the directions are detailed, sometimes they aren’t detailed enough for me. For example, “separate the thyme leaves from the stems” is not as easy as it sounds. I’ve never cooked with fresh thyme before. If you haven’t either, thyme leaves are tiny and there are hundreds of them per stem. Those who cook with thyme regularly probably didn’t bat an eye at this step. I, however, did. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out the best method to use. I was ridiculously proud of myself for doing so without even using Google!
- Apparently, all homes – except mine – have a ready supply of olive oil on hand. Every recipe that I have prepared so far has called for at least two teaspoons of olive oil. Before I made a trip to the store (for the sole purpose of buying olive oil) I had to make do with regular vegetable oil and even olive oil cooking spray. (Please don’t faint.)
- I have used ingredients that I have only seen on Chopped. Among the ingredients that come to mind are kale, capers, and Castelvetrano olives. (I really, really like capers!)
- My inner foodie is enjoying the chance to try things that I would have never tried otherwise. Seriously, one of my favorite recipes to date was for muffuletta-style grilled cheese sandwiches. This take on the grilled cheese had a filling made from celery, green olives, and piquante peppers. It was delicious! If I had seen a sandwich like this on a restaurant menu, I would have wrinkled my nose and stayed as far away from it as possible and by doing so, I would have missed something wonderful.
- Most importantly, this experience is teaching me to enjoy cooking. I find myself looking forward to getting in the kitchen and trying my hand at the different recipes. While you may never see me hosting my own cooking show, I am slowly becomig a more confident cook and that alone makes this experiment worthwhile.
Have you tried Blue Apron (or one its equivalents)? Tell me about your experience in the comments!