The October Cooking Challenge

I’m doing a challenge! Follow me? Wait! Let me backtrack, I need to explain.

Confession: My name is Pamela Denholm, and I signed up for a meal kit service. Yes, I know, I am surrounded by the most beautiful local food on the South Shore so it’s kinda ridiculous. Yes, I know that my livelihood is predicated on the farm to table philosophy, scratch-made meals from farm fare, and that this is a sell-out. Yes, I realize I have espoused newsletter upon newsletter of ‘how-tos’ with tips to store, cook, and use every morsel of your box. I know. I cheated.

In my defense, like many of our customers, I struggle to balance this busy life. I feel like I am constantly push-pulled in many directions. There are not enough hours in the day for me to be the kind of wife, parent, citizen, earth-custodian, gardener, artist, writer, and pet owner, and woman I want to be. Plus, and I know many of you can identify, I feel as though I am genetically predisposed to feel guilty. I didn’t take the dogs on a long enough walk, we had eggs on toast for dinner, I didn’t really listen to the convoluted story about who said what in school, I am late with the newsletter, I forgot to phone the farmer back with a final harvest count . . . guilty, guilty, guilty, condemned.

“Plus, I was wicked curious. How did it compare to our offerings?”

Our lives are moving too fast. I needed a way to slow it down, free up some time. I needed help. PLUS – I have to admit, I was wicked curious. How did it compare to our offerings? Can we do better for our customers? So I did it. I hit the button and got a box delivered. It took two weeks of two meals for a family of four sent to my front door, perfectly portioned, to realize this was not the answer I was hoping for.

I know in my heart that what we are doing at South Shore Organics, the food we are delivering with its nominal packaging and feel-good background, is still the best option for me. It is true to my belief system of ‘do no harm’. No meal-kit company can offer me the same. I know when I look at my children, I’ve done right by them by bringing this food into our home. I’m very proud that together my crew and our farmers, offer the most sustainable, environmentally friendly food system available short of growing it yourself.

“So, I came up with a plan (because I need one more thing to do!)”

For the month of October, I am going to take a challenge. I will be turning a box of our veggies, into meal kits. Here are the parameters:

  1. I will take a delivery of a Virtuous Veggie Box for $40, because fruit doesn’t form a significant part of our cooked meals usually
  2. I will purchase an additional $40 of South Shore Organic add-ons for things like garlic, cilantro, beans, protein, flour, cheese etc. to round out the offerings
  3. I will have a budget of $10 to spend at the grocery store for things we don’t offer, like chickpeas, or coconut milk.
  4. Staples that I have in my pantry and do not need to include in my purchases are: olive oil/butter, soy sauce, vinegar’s, salt, pepper, flour, common dried herbs and spices (pepper flakes, cinnamon, turmeric, curry, cloves, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried thyme etc)
  5. I am not allowed to make substitutions, I must take my basket as is
  6. I have to use every morsel of the basket, no food waste

Each week I will post the recipes, and at the end of the week a summary of what we ate, what it cost, how much time was invested, how much food we wasted, and how much waste packaging we generated.

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My first delivery arrives tomorrow! Will you check back in?

Pam

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5 thoughts on “The October Cooking Challenge

  1. lcollari says:

    Ok. So I am intrigued! I applaud you for doing the legwork for me. I am busy, harried,short on time and over extended too. Meals are always tough. We try to eat organically and locally but in addition we need quick to the table meals that satisfy. I have eyed those “meal kits” many times but wondered what they weren’t telling me and showing me. Thank you for spending the time and money and sharing the results. I am excited to see what you make for your family with a better alternative.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MariaT says:

      I don’t know… I personally just can’t get past the whole “over packaging” of these meal kits. Countless plastic containers sealed in plastic-wrap inside plastic packages stuffed with these mysterious plastic “gel” cold packs. It’s so “easy”… and yet still “ok” somehow?! It can’t be good…

      I mean yeah, it’s totally convenient. Like-hell-yeah. But I feel like we’re back to being part of the problem and not part of solution. I agree with LCOLLARI, thank you for taking this on – and yes, PLEASE share your results.

      Like

  2. MariaT says:

    I don’t know… I personally just can’t get past the whole “over packaging” of these meal kits. Countless plastic containers sealed in plastic-wrap inside plastic packages stuffed with these mysterious plastic “gel” cold packs. It’s so “easy”… and yet still “ok” somehow?! It can’t be good…

    I mean yeah, it’s totally convenient. Like-hell-yeah. But I feel like we’re back to being part of the problem and not part of solution. I agree with LCOLLARI, thank you for taking this on – and yes, PLEASE share your results.

    Like

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