Cooking with Blue Apron

Friday, July 17, 2015

As someone who only learned to turn on a stove at the age of 22, I have a bit of a complex when it comes to cooking. While I have grown leaps and bounds since the day when even making instant ramen was an intimidating thought, 12 years later I am still just about getting comfortable in the kitchen. I thought throwing myself in the deep end by endeavoring to cook a 5-course dinner for my 30 Before 30 Project would do the trick, but to be honest I haven't cooked a single one of those dishes again since crossing it off my list! Some might call that trauma; I'd like to think that I just learn new skills differently.

What seems to be working at making me feel more at ease in the kitchen are curated meal subscription services. If you haven't come across them yet, these services make cooking at home a convenient and stress-free affair by delivering a recipe and every ingredient you need to cook a great meal straight to your doorstep. I've developed a mini obsession with these services, trying different ones to see which works best for me. I wrote about Plated earlier this year, but over the past few months, the service I've ended up ordering the most from is Blue Apron. In terms of cost and recipe choices, it suits me well. The ones I still daydream about are the Pork Dan Dan Noodles (top left) and the Za'atar-spiced Steaks with rutabaga-barberry tabbouleh and labneh (bottom left).

My Blue Apron meals: Pork Dan Dan Noodles, Za'atar-spiced Steaks with rutabaga-barberry tabbouleh and labneh, crispy catfish

My Blue Apron deliveries were key when I was in lockdown mode while writing my Master's thesis. Immersed in research and writing, I didn't have the brain power to spare to think about what I would eat, so it was great to recieve boxes of goodies just waiting to be cooked. It was also great as stress relief to cook a nice meal without having to worry about tracking down obscure spices and herbs. It made me realize that it's not so much cooking an exotic meal that I find cumbersome but the actual hunting down (and inevitable forgetting to buy) all the necessary ingredients. I can imagine what a different experience that 5-course meal project would have been had I been able to order the whole thing from Blue Apron! Maybe a Blue Apron dinner party should be on my next to-do list ...

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