family

Recipe Boxes – great idea or overpriced ridiculousness?

I love cooking. One of the hardest parts of being a parent has been the lack of time to cook. I can’t babywrangle, prep veg, and do everything else all at th e same time.

Now R is weaning, I can plonk him in the highchair and let him paint his face in rainbow goop using a broccoli brush while I actually make good food.

I heard about Hello Fresh from one of my friends who sent me a £20 off voucher for the first box. Being the tight Yorkshire woman that I am, I thought I’d give it a go, certainly at least once!

The box arrived, helpfully delivered within a window of one hour which you are informed of in the morning, allowing the day to be planned accordingly.

The meals were; Moroccan steak with lemon couscous; paprika pork, butter bean stew with new potatoes; and Jamie Oliver’s chicken noodle stir fry.

The produce was fantastic quality. The beef flank in particular was amazing. I found the portions overly generous, baring the single chicken breast between two people,  but I am a meat fiend so that’s to be expected.

Next up I tried the Gousto recipe box. The meals were harissa chorizo with white bean mash, Asian dipping fish nuggets with rice and sugar snap peas, and lemon pepper chicken.

Once again, these meals were excellent. A managed to cook one evening following the recipe so that I could work and was very pleased to have three pans on the go at once!

The cost was higher than if you put the meals together yourself coming in at £39 from Hello Fresh and £34.99 Gousto for three meals for two people. However, if the quality is consistent I can see why people would pay that!

The box was well received by R.

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If you’re short of time and ideas, or if you can’t cook, recipe boxes from these companies are great. For me, the convenience of the box does not make up for the price. I can feed my family for much less.

It was nice to have dinner cooked by my husband without worrying about it being burnt! He’s terrible at potatoes. Once he boiled whole jacket spuds for mash and didn’t understand why they wouldn’t cook through… A's Dinner

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family

On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day has always been a difficult one for me. While the person that gave birth to me is alive, we no longer speak. She’s toxic, personality-disordered and in no way a healthy person to have in my life.

It can be hard though as the festival of mums approaches. The shops fill with reminders, emails are sent from online stores, and Facebook fills with outpoured sentiments all proclaiming that THEIRS is the best mum of all.

All that cultural conditioning meant that it took me a long time to cut my mother out of my life. My Nanna always convinced me that I should talk to her and it was only after she passed away I learnt that this was because it got my mother off her back; constant phone calls crying about how no-one loved her and how awful her daughters were.

It wasn’t just peer pressure though. There’s an idea of what a mum is and no matter how much my mother failed to live up to this, there was still a part of me that thought that perhaps she could. One day. If only I could be the daughter that she wanted me to be. Someone that neither of us could figure out what they were like. Her; with slaps, kicks, put downs and bizarre archaic punishments; me with self harm and quiet desperation.

I woke up this morning and still felt sad. I thought it’d be wonderful – no more reason to feel bad on Mother’s Day but honestly I’m still heartbroken and having my son makes me wonder how could she have done that?

Anyway, I’ve had a lie in. It’s 9.35am and R is down for his nap with me. I’m so happy that we had him and maybe this is the day of the year that cements my commitment to gentle parenting and not ending up like my mother.

 

I’m lucky to have met a fantastic bunch of mamas since I had R. They’re all inspiring me to do my best, to be loving, nurturing, and responsive to my baby’s needs now and in the future. Thanks to them, my husband and my wonderful son, doubts that I had about having children, about not being able to cope and resorting to reverting to the parenting example I had have been erased. I think our family is going to be alright..

 

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