The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Kevin Wilson
Managing editor 

Delivered box meals have benefits


April 22, 2018

What do you get for the parents that have everything?

Well, my parents don’t have everything ... just everything they really need. And they can get whatever they want if they don’t have it, within reason. And that makes them a difficult box to check during Christmas season.

Wait, I said. I’ll get them something everybody wants every day — dinner. One of my favorite podcasts had a coupon code with one of those meal delivery services, and that way I can buy a gift and get an honest review from people I trust.

They liked it, and they sent me pictures of the meals they cooked. Two weeks later, I got an invite from them to try the service. First box of meals is on the company, which will process shipment No. 2 about 30 seconds after your first box arrives. “Ah,” I saId. “That’s how they get ya.”

My job at the newspaper is to provide information, and my column is best when it’s about myself (because there isn’t a subject I really know better). So I’ll try to use this space to answer questions should you be curious.

What comes in the box? A recipe card with pictures and instructions, all of the ingredients in the portions you need — individually wrapped in recyclable materials — and large reusable ice packs.

Do you really get everything you need to make a meal? You have to provide your own salt, pepper and olive oil, and pretty much every cooking step requires at least one of those things. You’re on the hook for all of the kitchen tools — strainers, graters, pots, pans, cooking sheets and plenty of aluminum foil. It’s probably incriminating to reveal I went this deep into adulthood without a cheese grater.

Couldn’t you just shop for these recipes yourself and save some money? Yes, but the chefs will try to include some obscure item that makes it worthwhile. We all have vinegar, but we don’t all have white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, palm vinegar, black vinegar, etc. — and most people can’t afford to buy every obscure vinegar just to have two teaspoons on hand.

Is it difficult to cook? No, but you do have to juggle several different tasks. “While the vegetables roast, bring pot with rice to boil ...” Every step is efficient, so you can go from start to eating inside of 45 minutes.

Do people only seem to call you while you’re in the middle of doing all that cooking? How’d you know?

How are the portions? They look small, but they’re enough for a meal. Most meals are for two, so either I’ll have them with a friend or I’ll bring really awesome leftovers to the office.

“What’s that, Kevin?”

“It’s Togarishi chicken with sweet Asian coleslaw and jasmine rice.”

“What’s Togarishi?”

“I have no earthly idea.”

Is there a benefit beyond good food? It’s nice to get some basic lessons on how to do specific cooking tasks. Every meal I cook builds skills for meals I can make myself with groceries. I can replicate the curry chicken and rice I made last week way cheaper, now that I know what ingredients work best.

What about the price? I’ll be honest. I think the services are prohibitively expensive. The service I tried charges $11 per serving, plus $8 shipping. Each meal has two servings. I was also given the option of free shipping if I added a third meal, so it’s either $52 for two meals or $66 for three meals. So you’re not saving anything off of a restaurant.

Did you have a creative way to end this column? No.

Kevin Wilson is managing editor of The Eastern New Mexico News. He can be contacted at 575-763-3431, ext. 320, or by email at: [email protected]


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