OT: cook at home food boxes

Is there any one here who uses (or knows someone who uses) these
From what I have seen, I can't help thinking that they are horrendously
expensive for what they are
and as you are still doing all the cooking, are subject to the variance of
your skills as well and not saving you any time.
All that they save you is the shopping, and presumably you're still going to
have to do that for "staples"
But they seem to be all the rage.
Like this article here in the grauniad
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I clicked on one of the sample companies. 21 pounds for two portions of a
pasta dish
another one, 16 pounds for two warm "sandwiches!" (seems you scratch-make
the bread from supplied ingredients)
WTF!
Filling up your virtual shopping trolley with premium ready meals from M&S
or Waitrose (delivered to your door) is going to be less expensive, and
probably far less work, for as good an end result.
Is there really a sustainable business here, or it is just a few thousand
yummy-mommies propping up an unsustainable bubble?
tim

Reply to
tim...
tim... explained on 13/11/2020 :
I know of some who have bought them and for what they are, they are horrendously expensive. Designed to catch the people who are too lazy to think for themselves and go out to purchase the ingredients.
Reply to
Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
On Fri, 13 Nov 2020 17:49:17 -0000, "tim..." snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Not come across those, but I do buy some of the 'slow cooked' items, from Tesco e.g.
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or
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or one or two of this selection from Sainsbury's
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Five minutes in the microwave and they're heated through. But you do need to cook some veg as well - it's not included.
The only problem is that many of them serve two people, and I'm on my own now, but sometimes it's two separate bags, so one goes in the freezer.
Reply to
Chris Hogg
As your article implies, they seem primarily to be a way for catering establishments to make money during lockdowns. This article says that one in four people only know three recipes, which includes beans on toast:
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So they may also be a way for people with limited cooking experience to improve their range of dishes.
Personally, I wouldn't bother, but then I grew up in an era before microwaves, which was when ready meals started to take off in the UK, and had to learn to cook when I moved away from home.
Reply to
nightjar
They contain raw ingredients. No "catering" required.
I suppose they save on weighing up the ingredients and being left with surpluses that you have to find a use for or bin.
I saw a chilli con carne packet once and the extra ingredients included the onion, mince, chopped tomato and kidney beans. They might as well have just sold a recipe card, as all else that is required is the seasoning.
Jars marked "Bolognese Sauce" are as bad. Some are honest enough to put "Sauce for" in small letters. Why not include the mince? (You can get tins of "Beef Bolognese" that do, so you only have to cook the spaghetti.)
A bit like the (probably apocryphal) story of cake mixes requiring fresh (rather than powdered) eggs so the housewife can think she is actually cooking.
Reply to
Max Demian
I wouldn't bother, either, but my daughter regularly works 12 hour days and seven day weeks, and travels a lot (not so much lately, for obvious reasons). She's a competent cook, but doesn't have the time to go food shopping, and with her schedule, food would likely spoil before she got to it. So - she orders the boxes of ingredients. Just enough of each for two servings, delivered to her door. The quality is excellent, but yes, it certainly is more expensive than the way I cook. Worth it for her, though.
Reply to
S Viemeister
They're not all like that
some are genuine attempts to leverage a billion dollar business.
You must have seen the Hello Fresh adverts (admittedly a more down market version)
And there was a pasta example that pitched on Dragons Dens (they got short shrift, but someone has given them the 3.5m in funding they wanted)
I'm not convinced that beans on toast is a recipe
nor is anything that is just - cook some meat, separately cook some veg, serve up on same plate
To me a recipe involves some combinatorial process before plating.
And on that basis, I know zero recipes, but I could still serve up a repertoire of 20 different menu items
they are just a load of ingredient and instructions
you get cooking instructions on packaged convenience foods, at a fraction of the price.
At that skill level, what's the difference?
many ready meals will cook in an oven - and be better for it
Reply to
tim...
"Although 73 per cent are confident in chopping an onion, only half feel they would be able to cook a steak to perfection. One third think they could attempt a batter and even fewer could chop up julienne vegetables or butterfly a chicken. Seven out of 10 admitted they rely on shortcuts such as pre-chopped veg, crushed garlic and ready-to-eat rice to ensure dinner is a success."
OK
1) No I can't cook a steak to perfection. I gave up buying steak long before I took red meat off the menu for medical reasons. It's a shame, but there it is. But it doesn't reflect on my ability to properly cook most other things. Pork/Chicken/Turkey/Fish requires none of the skill to get right that steak does. OTOT I don't even try to get calamari right and I ****ed up a partridge breast the one time I bought it (marked down to half price) - wont be trying that again.
2) I wouldn't try to make a batter either. Why would I? Everything that I want comes pre-battered from a packet (personally I prefer breaded, battered doesn't grill well and I prefer the lower oil content of grilling food). Oh I have to go without pancakes - oh well!
3) Who gives a **** how the vegetables are chopped up when home cooking? And why do I need to butterfly a chicken? Does it taste differently?
4) Yes, vegetables often (not always) comes out of a packet ready prepared, so what?
The article didn't seem to have a consistent approach
It starts off with a really low barrier "one in 4 can't boil an egg", and then proceeds to a really high barrier of discussing skills that only one 1 in a 100 actually need. No-one routinely does restaurant style cooking at home. And not being able to (or bothered) doesn't mean that you "can't cook"
tim
Reply to
tim...
but how does it compare to dileveroo
or just ordering online from MS (Ocado), or stopping off at the Simply Food outlet on the way home.
Reply to
tim...
I'm not sure if this is what you are referring to, but we've tried deliveries from a few local restaurants that temporarily provide packaged meals similar to the ones that we have previously been able to eat on their premises. This was partly to provide a bit of variety for us while we can't go out to eat, and partly from the thought that we wanted to help these businesses to survive the pandemic.
Nearly all these various meals were ok, but we've only found one firm good enough to use more than once - now three times, I think. That is Cote at Home from the Cote Brasserie chain. Their online ordering is easy to use, most items were priced quite reasonably compared to supermarkets, well packed in cooled boxes, delivered quickly, and easy to cook or re-heat. Besides items to cook or re-heat they offer a number of French cheeses of varieties that are hard to get even from the likes of Waitrose. I have no connection with the business but so far our experience has been good, indeed we're having their duck confit for dinner tonight from the delivery that came at breakfast time yesterday. The main downside is that you end up with a lot of packaging and so a very full recycling bin.
Reply to
Clive Page
ARW presented the following explanation :
and some of them are excellent. We always keep a few in the freezer, for emergencies or lazy days.
Reply to
Harry Bloomfield, Esq.
I'm referring to the ones that you have to cook yourself
and usually
have to prepare from (supplied) raw ingredients yourself
Reply to
tim...
Not much of a surprise considering other options.
eg Weight Watchers is room (now a virtual room) full of fat women paying good money to be told not to shovel food into their gob.
Reply to
ARW
in message
She knows what goes in it, and can prepare it when she's ready.
Ordering in groceries is fine, but with her irregular schedule, much would be wasted.
Reply to
S Viemeister
on that subject, I came across a virtual tour of a museum last week
16 quid a pop they wanted
tim
Reply to
tim...

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