Our weekly delivery of raw ingredients from My Food Bag arrived today.
I used to enjoy cooking, but during the dark days of last year the need to plan the menus, go to the supermarket and prepare the food came to seem a daunting challenge, especially as I was finding it a struggle to eat. I resorted to buying in ready-made dishes from the various companies which service the Auckland area. These tended to become monotonous, and generated excessive amounts of waste packaging, but were a great help when the health of the family was at its lowest ebb and my days were occupied with hospital visits.
Even after both Brian and I had largely recovered, my culinary creativity was still lacking. I relied on a limited repertoire of dishes, most of which could be made in in bulk in the slow cooker and heated up as required. This too became monotonous so, despite feeling rather guilty about spending extra money on a domain of life that I should have enough time and energy to manage myself, I decided to try My Food Bag. So far this has been a success – but not in the way I expected.
I no longer have to choose the menus or buy the food, but the time I spend on last-minute dinner preparation has greatly increased. Far from becoming lazier in the kitchen, for the first time for years I am doing things like grating beetroots and toasting sesame seeds. Tonight’s recipe, “spiced chicken with carrot, feta and mint bulgur”, will require 18 different ingredients and five separate cooking utensils. The quality is excellent, with fresh seasonal vegetables and free-range meat, poultry and fish; the quantities are large so there is often enough left for next day’s lunch; and most of the packaging can be recycled. All except one of the meals has tasted delicious, we have been introduced to many new recipes and techniques, and Brian has not minded doing the washing up.
[Update one month later: We have now downsized to “My Own Food Bag” – intended for one person, but quite enough for us two]