I confess that I don’t understand people who don’t enjoy cooking. For me, cooking is relaxation and a way to express my creativity away from a computer screen.
I worry about those folks who love to eat but hate to cook. I think they’ll end up with a rusty gut from all those ingredients on the back of the packet that you can’t pronounce or spell without writing it on the palm of your hand.
One of my non-cooking friends tells it this way.
“Maureen, I know you love to cook but not all people have a cooking gene. It’s too hard for me. I don’t know the difference from stirring and folding and don’t get me started on whisking to a soft peak. What’s soft and what’s medium? I never know what’s going to be easy and what’s going to a disaster on my plate. Rather than fail at yet another thing, I buy ready to eat meals or we eat out.”
I sat there and silently wondered, “Where was her mother when it was time to learn to cook?” I didn’t say it out loud because that would have been unkind but seriously, every kid male and female should be taught how to cook. My mother never let us experiment in the kitchen because we might make a mess but she did teach all three of us how to cook and even though we’re all old now, we still love to cook. The three of us in the kitchen is something to behold.
If you know non-cookers like my friend, there is a new service called Hello Fresh that does home delivery of a box of fresh food that includes everything someone needs to make the recipe that’s included in the box. Last week I was invited to a demonstration of Hello Fresh in Brisbane and while the service isn’t sold as a “how to cook” service, that’s all I could think of when I saw that box. I thought, “Maryanne! That’s all she needs!”
I apologise for the photos. It was dark-ish on the patio where we were and then came the storms. I didn’t bring any flash and it was just too dark. The photos aren’t very good and they’re grainy too.
How Hello Fresh works. You subscribe for a 3 or 5 day dinner box for 2, 4 or 6 people and then once a week the food box is brought to your door. Included is everything you need to make the recipes except standard pantry items like flour, oil, mustard, etc. Things that almost all of us keep in our pantry.
Currently, there is no choice other than omnivore or veggie – you get what the weekly menu is and sadly that wouldn’t work for me. One meal is always fish and I’m not prepared to go vegetarian just yet. I don’t do fish. (notice there are no fish recipes on my blog until today? Not a coincidence. I have real trouble with most of it.)
The ability to choose my meals would be very important to me. I’m sure they’re right that getting a surprise allows you to taste things you might not have tried before. I’m not one that’s into food waste, however if I don’t like it, it’s going in the bin. I was assured by the owner of Hello Fresh that as his business grows and his website’s capability to allow choosing, we’ll be able to fix that little problem of mine.
I really enjoyed the dishes that were prepared. What’s great about Hello Fresh was that not only were all the major ingredients, even the spices, for all the dishes included, the price is a very reasonable $10 per person. While that might seem high to some, remember that the menu selection, grocery shopping and delivery are all included in the price.
Tom Rutledge, owner of Hello Fresh in Australia, was a 2011 Masterchef participant. He is hands on in all menu planning. He loves food and even proposed to his wife in a grocery store.
I don’t think John would find that romantic – but then when we were at the top of the Eiffel Tower at 11pm looking over the city, I said in a very romantic swoony voice, “I think you should ask me to marry you,” he replied, “Are you serious?? Funny, Maureen.”
When Tom crashed out of the Masterchef series he didn’t have a job but still had a love of food. He heard about the Hello Fresh concept that was booming in Europe and decided to bring it to Australia.
Hello Fresh has a huge competitor in the eat at home market called Lite n Easy. It too is a home delivery service but everything is fully cooked and vacuum sealed for your eating pleasure. While I’m sure it’s good, I believe home cooked with fresh ingredients, no preservatives and wonderful flavours you can adjust to your liking is a much better alternative.
Cooking can be fun and if you have children, Hello Fresh is a great way for them to learn how to cook. Most dishes require only one or two pots and the cooking methods are always easy. Everything is there and dinner can be on the table by the time you get home from work (unless your kids are under 7, then forget it, you’ll be cooking.)
Have you tried Hello Fresh or something like it? What’s your experience?
- 400 g potato, chopped
- 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
- 2 spring onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp shallot & black sesame seed mix
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 barramundi
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add the potato and cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Drain and set aside.
- Combine the coriander, spring onion, garlic, half the soy sauce, and the vinegar in a large bowl and toss to combine. Gently fold through the potatoes with the shallot and black sesame seed mix.
- Heat some oil in a pan to medium-high temperature. Brush the barramundi with half of the soy sauce. Place the fish into the pan, jiggle the pan a little so that the fish isn’t sticking and cook for 3-4 minutes, turn and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until cooked through.
- Serve the fish with a side of the asian potato salad.