Thursday, 18 June 2015

Fresh Food

I was going to post something more thoughtful this week.  But... it's been a long day.  I got a grand send-off to work this morning; all three boys waving from the front door.  Which was very heartwarming - except that I leave at 6:30 am and really they should have all still been in bed!  Then I got back from work, and we had to run some errands and feed everyone and stop Toby and Theo from arguing and put them to bed and you know.  All that stuff.

I'm waaalkiiiing!

But at least dinner has been easy for the last three days.  Our latest impulse buy was a deal on a three-meal box from HelloFresh.  The idea is that they pack up the ingredients for three recipes, add in the cooking instructions, and deliver the whole lot to your door in a carefully insulated container.  Full price, as you might expect, it costs only a little less than our usual week's shopping bill, but with the offer it was relatively affordable.  About the price of a dinner out, for all three meals.

So.  Our box arrived, and we dug in.  All the food was fresh and in good condition.  The "exact quantities" of ingredients seemed a bit variable, though.  There were cute little tiny bottles of rice vinegar to add to the prawn stirfry, but then there was a 250g bag of spinach to put into the pitta breads with our Moroccan-style burgers.  Hmmm.  It's not as if fresh spinach keeps well, either.

The recipes were definitely tasty.  We are fairly adventurous eaters anyway, so they didn't strike us as being too out of the ordinary, but they had a good mix of flavours and were healthy and quick to prepare.  They also included a couple of ingredients that I'd heard of but wasn't sure I wanted to buy a whole packet: rose harissa paste and dukkah spice mix.  It was a bit of a treat for us to eat prawns, beef and chicken on consecutive days - all from highly-regarded suppliers, apparently - and the three-person quantities were more than adequate for two hungry adults and two picky little 'uns.

And I didn't cook a single one of those dinners!  Graham usually lets me get on with the cooking, but I think he found the step-by-step recipes and labelled ingredients very approachable.  He certainly had no trouble producing the desired result!  I got the impression that the company's target customers are people who never really learned how to cook, work fairly long hours, and have enough disposable income to grab a takeaway several times a week.  If that is the case, I think it works very well.  For us, it was far too expensive to consider doing every week, and the recipes were basically spruced-up versions of stirfry, burgers and chips, and chicken with (sweet) potatoes and veg.  Good, but not super-special.

For a one-off treat?  Definitely.  And thanks for the recipes.  As a regular part of our diet?  I think we're good enough cooks not to need such a tailored approach.  HelloFresh... and goodbye.

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