Cooking is Fun if People Eat

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The stir fry sauces came in pre-measured, fish-shaped containers. Cute! Photos and kitchen provided by Karen (at right).

In my house dwell some very picky eaters. I’m not going to name names, but I will say the writer of this article is not one of them. My sister-in-law insisted I take advantage of her Hello Fresh meal delivery service link which would get me two free meals, so I did. There is a “family plan” for picky eaters, so obviously I chose it. I’m not much of a chef, though I go through phases where I want my family to eat well and buy lots of veggies, salads, and healthy snacks for the family. By contrast, I also go through phases where trying to regulate what my family eats feels futile and I just throw Oreo Double Stuf cookies, Fruit by the Foot, and Lucky Charms into my grocery cart.

By contrast, I also go through phases where trying to regulate what my family eats feels futile and I just throw Oreo Double Stuf cookies, Fruit by the Foot, and Lucky Charms into my grocery cart.

Part of my aversion to cooking is that I feel like the people who live in my house do not want to eat anything new. It seems like I’m always cooking the same old boring meals that they like. My efforts to cook a new dish are served with a side of my angry looks, daring anyone to admit they don’t like what I’ve just cooked for them. My husband has learned the hard way not to criticize my cooking while at the table, and for the most part chokes down whatever I’ve made in front of the kids. (Later he confides in me if he didn’t like it–which I can always tell anyway even though he thinks he has a good poker face).

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The pork dish was yummy!

For the cost of only email harassment, the Hello Fresh box arrived on our front step, containing two meals for a family of four. The first meal: pork tenderloin, sautéed apples, sugar snap peas, and mashed potatoes-with-surprise-cauliflower went over pretty well. (Nobody could taste the cauliflower.) My goal was to involve the whole family in the preparation of the food–picture the whole family laughing together over cutting veggies and stirring the pre-measured spices just like in a Hallmark commercial or whatever–but even though there were no scheduled activities that day, there was homework that lasted longer than we thought and other miscellaneous crap that prevented the kids from helping prepare the meal as a family. Once I realized the cauliflower would be cooked and mashed together with the potatoes I was relieved they didn’t help with the prep anyway. (I have achieved some cooking success by hiding many ingredients in my meals.) My husband dutifully chopped potatoes at the counter with me as he looked around nervously for the exits in case I freaked out about who would eat it, which I did not do. As for the meal itself, other than the pork taking much longer to cook than anticipated, the meal was a hit, so yay.

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Everything was pre-measured.

The second meal was a stir fry, featuring chicken. Unfortunately, of the four people in my family only two of us like rice. (I know, you’re thinking, “Who doesn’t like rice?” This is the level of pickiness I am talking about, people.) When I realized the date by which the food needed to be cooked and the schedule of my children were not going to coincide as I had hoped, I changed the plan. Instead of cooking this delicious meal for my family, I decided to bring along the uncooked meal to prepare and eat it with my scrapbooking friends instead. The meal would not go to waste and I could taste it to see if my family would have really eaten this dish.

Who doesn’t like rice?

We did absolutely no scrapbooking since I usurped the time talking about meal delivery services, plus they joined me in the kitchen for the actual preparation of the meal, and we speculated about how this meal was going to turn out. It was fun! Karen took photos and they took a copy of the recipe home. We loved the dish and I was delighted at the outcome. It has not even been a week and the scrappers have already cooked it!

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Happily eating! Yes I am drinking sweet tea.

So, all in all, the meals were delicious and different, it’s a great time prepping together (if you can get everyone into the kitchen), I do not think my family would have enjoyed the stir fry meal, and the meals were eaten by everyone who enjoyed them. A win-win.

Do you have any experiences about food delivery services, recipe ruts, or picky eaters? Please weigh in!

4 thoughts on “Cooking is Fun if People Eat

Add yours

  1. Pre-made meal services sound even easier! But the best part of the food delivery service is the (perhaps outdated and glamorized idea of) everyone in the family helping out with preparation of the meal. As it is, my kids do help (sometimes) with meals I buy and prepare normally, but the delivery meal as something “different” is the lure; kids are curious as to what’s in the box. They would have loved the fish-shaped containers the sauces arrived in.

    1. It looks like the picky eaters–I mean family–menu offers a lot of variations on chicken, pork and stir fry options. A lot of it is seeing how the people like it–the good news is that when you make it yourself you can separate the rice from the rest of the meal, for those who don’t like rice. My neighbor recommended “all the twenty-minute options,” so that’s another way to choose the meals! Good luck!

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