It’s not that I can’t cook, I just don’t prefer it. I have always been more of a spectator in the kitchen. A don’t-let-that-boil-over attendant. A this-needs-a-little-more-salt critic. An occasional pot stirrer. Not the chef. The concept of these home delivery meals appeals to me because of the convenience, the supposed simplicity, and most importantly for me- the lack of waste. I have noticed a trend in my grocery visits- I get excited and over purchase. Either the food goes bad before I get around to using it or I realize I don’t know what to do with it, how do I incorporate this into my culinary endeavors?? What do I do with dragon fruit?! In an attempt to derail this waste-train, I signed up for a week of Hello Fresh
The website is super user-friendly. I easily created an account, picked my plan (classic, family, or vegetarian- I chose classic) and selected my recipes for the week. My plan includes three recipes with two servings per meal. I had maybe 8 or 9 meal options to choose from which included a breakfast recipe and an elevated recipe- Roasted Duck for an additional $5 per serving. I like that you can choose your delivery day. The way my week runs, Thursdays make the most sense. There are also subscription frequencies- weekly, once a month, twice a month.. I opted for immediate subscription cancellation as automatic renewals make me nervous.. But they do have a cool feature that let’s you skip weeks without cancelling your account. The cancellation process was easy and I got a coupon for my next order.
I had read some awful reviews of boxes (I don’t recall if it was Hello Fresh or one of the other delivery services) showing up ripped/leaking/missing supplies. I am happy to report mine arrived on time and in one piece. Bunny has assumed the role of sous chef this evening.
These are the recipes I chose for this week. I decided start things off with the Mushroom Gravy Chicken. It is highlighted as one of their Hall of Fame meals. I’ll be the judge of that.
Shameless kitchen selfie…Fun fact- My mom made my apron.
Each meal comes with a detailed recipe card. I like that they get as specific as what pots and pans you will need. This is SUPER helpful to kitchen novices who usually find themselves elbows deep in marinade when they realize the baking pan they need is sitting dirty at the bottom of the sink. Another gold star- they give you exactly what you need.. Two tablespoons of sour cream, one clove of garlic, and so on. NO WASTE! This is also really smart for portion control.
The cooking part was kind of a blur. I like my steps one at the time, not three at once. I could clearly hear my mom’s voice in my head “Jennie, I’m going to stop you right there for a moment. I’m at the point in my recipe where I need to concentrate” Solidarity, Klare Fox! Between the couscous boiling and the chicken browning on both sides before putting it in the oven (is that a thing??), and chopping vegetables.. I was all over the place. But somehow it all came together in maybe 30 minutes or less. In my research I had seen one of the cons of Hello Fresh was the prep time- the slicing, chopping, boiling.. but I didn’t mind it. There’s something therapeutic about it. For a few moments I got lost in my thoughts-
I thought about my mom.. I so clearly remember her walking in the door from work, trading her heels for slippers and, still in her banking uniform, go straight for her apron and start making dinner. While she crafted up the night’s meal, she would listen as I rattled off the highlights of my day. Thinking back, I can’t remember if I ever asked her how her day was. As a single girl in my 30s, there are some days I go straight from work right to bed. No talking, no dinner, just bed. I sometimes forget it’s a luxury of my season of life. Here Klare Fox was- working a full day, making a delicious meal for her family, helping her kiddos with homework, ironing clothes for the next day, and who knows what else all before even thinking of bed, of a moment to herself. What a woman. I thought about my Nanny. That woman could COOK. I can see her standing at the stove over a pan of fried chicken. I can see her hands patting out biscuits. I can see her satisfied smile as she sits at the head of the table watching her family laugh and eat together. I sure miss that girl.
Y’all. Hall of Fame FOR REAL. This meal was DELicious! A ton of flavor, perfect portion size, a home run. It will definitely make the lineup again. I have two more recipes to try out- steak and nectarine salad and a one-pot pork chili. I’ll keep you posted.
As always- reduce, reuse, recycle