There is a new, fun trend. Weekly boxes. They are doing them for everyone. You can get them for your pets. Book lovers can get them. But I signed up for a kitchen one. One for people who have run out of ideas for dinner, and who hate to shop for ingredients. I am not going to name the company I signed up with, because they haven’t offered to pay me to shill for them. This is a shame, because I would love the money. However, since I am now a kitchen box veteran, I thought I would give a report.

The box comes on Friday. I has three meals in it. All are completely complete. You get cute little tiny bottles of, for example, mirin (I have no idea), and tiny little bags containing, for example, a single teaspoon of tamarind paste (again, no idea). So all you have to do is get the recipe sheet out, and follow the directions.

Here are some tips:

  • Read the directions thoroughly first. For example, if it says “save one cup of the pasta water after pasta is cooked,” it does you NO GOOD to read that right after you have drained ALL THE PASTA into the colander. Yelling “WAIT, WAIT, I NEED A CUP OF THAT!” as it runs down into the disposal and deep into the sewers of your Midwestern city–that won’t save it. Nor does using the F word six times successively. Good thing for chicken broth.
  • Those little cartons they send the eggs in? They won’t hold the eggs steady if you attempt to carry them across your kitchen. They made it all the way from the distribution center to your home intact, but once they make it inside the kitchen, they open up and deposit their contents on the linoleum.
  • You need your own olive oil.
  • See that there on your chest? Yes, THAT is why they suggest that you wear an apron while “sautéing.”
  • Apparently, lemon zest is now a necessity in every single decent recipe on earth.
  • Sugar snap peas have strings. Who knew?
  • Garlic has snapes. Again, who knew?
  • If it says, “stir gently,” it means “don’t even touch the stuff in the pan, because it will disintegrate if you do.”
  • “Use a non-stick pan if you have one” translates literally into “Go out and get a non-stick pan, you idiot, or you will need to deep fat fry everything to keep it  from adhering to your obsolete cast-iron skillet.”
  • “Serve immediately.” Who doesn’t serve immediately? Do some people plate up their dinners and then go to the movies?

I can tell you this. I am sticking with the box thing. Even the disasters have so far been tasty, even when the parmesan cheese refused to “incorporate completely” into the sauce. Luckily, over here in the heartland, we like globs of melted parmesan. And that mirin stuff is incredible.  

Next up, I am going to make strawberry jam for my baked Brie grilled cheese sandwiches. Good grief. And I can’t wait to find out what Inknut tastes like. Bon appetite, gang.

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