I’ll admit that I really appreciate convenience. Example: Today, I ordered a Christmas present from a store that has a brick and mortar location less than 12 miles away from my house. But it will be shipped directly to my doorstep (for free), and with the ease of a few clicks of a button. No heinous traffic involved. My generation is all about convenience.
My dad and Sarah recently gifted me a free week of Blue Apron, a food delivery service that provides you with recipes and exactly the amount of ingredients you need to cook 1-3 meals for 2-6 people each week. So, we took the bait, created an account and ordered 3 meals.
The delivery arrived at work in a refrigerated box, with the ingredients for three complete meals neatly organized inside:
- Congee and Carmelized Pork with Crispy Shallots and Black Garlic
- Greek-Style Braised Chicken Thighs with Fingerling Potatoes
- Pan-Seared Salmon with Arugula, Candy Stripe Beets and Horseradish Sour Cream
We decided to tackle the pork first, but we totally messed it up. Still delicious, but definitely not how it was supposed to turn out. We weren’t off to a great start, so I wanted to cook the chicken thighs one night while I had the house to myself. If it was a success, dinner would be ready when everyone got home. If it wasn’t, no one would ever have to know.
I followed the recipe that was provided much more closely than I did with the pork dinner, preparing all of the ingredients before they were needed. This is an important step that I (unsurprisingly) missed in the first round.
Admittedly, I was grossed out by the bones and innards of my chicken thighs. Home alone with blood on my fingers (literally), I was ready to send my parents a text message saying that I didn’t think that Blue Apron was for us. In fact, I’d much rather prefer the kind of chicken that you can buy in the grocery store. (You know, the chicken breasts that come in pre-packaged plastic wrapped packs of three, even though there are only two of us, and we always put the extra one breast in the freezer and forget about it for a year, and then we throw it away. Every. Time.) So, with this waste of food in mind, I kept cooking, following the fool-proof, picture-by-picture recipe.
It wasn’t a failure. It was delicious, and I made it. With my own hands. No, I didn’t use my incredibly imaginative mind to put the recipe together on my own. But I executed it flawlessly, and it was incredible.
More often than not, when I’m in the kitchen on my own, I choose a simple recipe. Like I said, I enjoy convenience. This dinner was more complex than simple, but it was delicious, and worth the complexity, and something I would not have necessarily chosen for myself from the aisles of the grocery store. And to be honest, the price is much less than I would have spent in the grocery store to make the exact same meal. In fact, I did my research. I would spend $47.56 to duplicate this meal. I would have leftovers of a few random ingredients, and I’d have only a few days to use them before they would begin to go bad. With our busy schedule, it just wouldn’t happen. We would have increased our cost almost 150%, only to throw away a portion of it.
Blue Apron fits our lifestyle. Pittsburgh is an ever-growing city, meaning it takes longer to get everywhere. Specifically, the grocery store. So, every once in a while, having our meals delivered to the office is nice, and stepping outside of the box of our own taste is even better. What’s on next week’s menu?
- Flank Steak and Creamed Kale with Sunchokes
- Thai Chicken Meatballs with Red Coconut Curry, Bok Choy and Rice Noodles
- Crispy Salmon and Barley Fennel Risotto with a Fresh Herb and Walnut Salad
Do you use Blue Apron or a different food delivery service? Tell us about experience!