Thinking outside the box
I like a good deal as much as the next person. But I didn't twig when one of those too-many food box companies had a 5€ trial box, and I didn't twig when they had an entirely free trial box this week. (Don't mistake me -- this isn't a produce box you get from your local farmer every week with whatever is in season right now, something I totally approve of, this is a "you get a recipe and the groceries for it (short of pepper and salt)".
Maybe this has appeal for some people? I have no idea why, though. Is this "I'm supposed to be adult and able to cook and I'm not and I'm trying to fake my way through"? Is this for people who are scared of cooking? (People, it might be easy to cook something that's not brilliant, but if you stay away from a few things, like raw egg, it's fairly difficult to poison somebody by accident. Are you that easily scared? Why am I the timid person here when you are scared by food?) To me, these boxes take everything that's exciting about cooking away and reduce it to what I used to call the assembly stage. Many years back, when I would meet with P and E for dinner once or twice a week, making dinner meant carrying it a mile across town and re-heating/baking it at their place, so it had a very clearly separated split of prep and assembly. And even after a year and a half, I couldn't make rice pudding that would be right after setting for an hour.
But I digress. What's left with these boxes when you don't get to feel inside yourself for what you're hungry for, you don't get to have that sudden whiff of rotting apple that triggers memories and ideas, you don't get to think about how to replace raspberry vinegar because you don't have it, all you're doing is following a recipe. Don't get me wrong, I like recipes, but to me, I'm getting two things out of recipes: techniques and flavour combinations. I spend my whole working life writing specs and working to specs, and when I get home (and am in a relationship) there's even more managing other people's expectations, and then I'm supposed to listen to a four-color glossy sheet from a box that may have contained fresh vegetables three days ago when somebody handed it to DHL? No thank you. I'll make Himmel un Ääd, and the onions may not be quite right and mash could need a pinch of salt, a knob of butter and a hint of nutmeg, and yes, blutwurst is a very acquired taste, but the thing doesn't fall apart because something's off by a percent or five.
Sorry, rant over.