Concerned about us seniors venturing into a supermarket filled with virus-laced carts, shelves and containers, our daughter and her husband sent us a thoughtful gift of several Blue Apron dinners a week For those still unfamiliar with this company, it furnishes you with a recipe and all the pre-measured ingredients you will need to make, for example, Seared chicken and Spicy potatoes. The recipe is printed on an 8 x 10 piece of cardboard with a photogenic shot of the finished product along with smaller pictures of a hand flipping a hunk of chicken or a shot of roasted potatoes sunbathing on an aluminum pan.
The recipe steps are outlined as clearly as if this were Cooking With 4th Graders, but soon enough you sense that this is more fraught with hidden danger than you imagined. For instance, every step of the procedure requires a separate bowl, pan or cutting board and though you mostly get to use one skillet, it involves emptying it twice into other bowls that need to be covered and kept warm. Did I mention that often the bowls are lined with olive oil to gently caress the chicken or the snow peas so that you can’t empty the bowl without running to wash your greasy hands first so the bowl won’t drop when you lift it. Eventually you will do most of this and get to the part that says something like “Whisk together the black bean chile sauce, or stir in the soy glaze,or to a tablespoon of olive oil add as much of the gochujang as you’d like” You start to look through all the little carefully labeled Blue Apron packets that came neatly stacked in the box and fine none of the unfamiliar liquids. What you find instead is a packet of condiments labeled “Italian Chicken with pesto and couscous”. OOps - someone carelessly packed the wrong packet containing all the things that would have made this recipe different from you standard American chicken and tater sling.
My biggest disappointment was the lost opportunity to sample gochujang, an experience that will have to wait until we forgive China for Corona and I get to venture into a Chinese grocery store without a mask and ill-fitting disposable surgical gloves. By then, I will no longer be using Blue Apron and dinner at home will consist of a maximum of two dirty prep bowls, two dinner plates and two oversized glasses of French wine.
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