About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Millennial Meals on Wheels

Home cooking now arrives at your door step in an insulated box.  It is the Millennial's version of Meals on Wheels. Perfect ingredients, perfectly proportioned for a perfectly delicious dinner for 2 (or maybe 4).  It's the latest popular trend targeting Millennials.  It's going gangbusters and they say it could eventually kill off the grocery store. Shopping for groceries is too time consuming so some smarty figured if they just delivered exactly what you need for a recipe, you could participate with a little bit of stirring and chopping and enjoy a tasty meal at home .  It's seems to satisfy the time and hands on dilemma. We supposedly spend 5 years of our life standing in lines but now it's cut it down to 3 because we've demanded faster alternatives.  I kind of like perusing the scandal magazines while I stand in the grocery check out line.  It keeps me up on popular culture but Millennials get that kind of info from Twitter and Facebook.

 I've noticed embracing some type of dietary fad or fetish is absolutely essential to a Millennial's identity.  Can they order a door step meal that addresses those finicky demands?  Yes! Meal delivery caters to the specifics of pescaterians, vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, lactose intolerant, "clean eaters" etc.  They even demonstrate  how to chop the herbs and suggest they might sell you some of the cooking tools you'll need-like a knife.  There are just some things an iPhone will not do for you. I've heard the weary voice of a child calling me at 6:45 from the grocery store, "Mom, what can I cook tonight?"  Well, this brain child has some answers Mom doesn't.

My father thought fast food chains where positively un-American and a sign the world was going to hell. Hot dogs and hamburgers where only acceptable grilled in your back yard or consumed at a collegiate football or baseball game.  The TV dinner and the drive-thru were a Communist plot to my parents although I longed to eat in mindless solitude in front of the TV and ignore the boring rituals and conversations they engaged in, but the seeds where planted and with the inspiration of Julia Child and Martha Stewart, I took the culinary road less traveled.  I like the lengthy process of creating a menu, selecting the ingredients with my eyes, nose and hands and transforming an array of ingredients into something worth eating with a command of techniques.  I'm rather proud I can cook a perfect soft boiled egg and decorate cakes with a pastry bag of icing.

I've been reading Michael Pollan's latest book, COOKED.  He's the author of The Omnivors' Dilemma and has been sited as one of the most influential people in the world.   His philosophy is summed up in, "Eat real food, mostly plants, not a lot." There's a lot to digest (pun intended) in his research and writing but what resonates in this book is that cooking, whether by fire, water or air, is distinctly human.  No other species cooks.  So why do we keep trying to minimize it, avoid it and turn it over to a surrogate? Cooking connects us to our families and friends, our culture and to our land.  It is the single most unique human quality.  The shared meal is the foundation of civilization.  We learn to share, make conversation and listen at the table.  Then there's the uncivilized version when someone yells "Food Fight!" at the fraternity house.  My son said it was the most fun he ever had in college.

I think I approve of this new trend.  It encourages cooking and I'm in favor of anything that does that. My grandmother ordered her groceries by phone and they where delivered to the house, so this isn't a totally new idea. It's just a new chapter in finding balance in life and a better alternative than the cooking escape routes of my generation. If they would put as much thought into making the dish washing and clean-up disappear, that would truly be revolutionary. That's where time is wasted for me.  Could we send the dirty dished back in the box? Come on Millennials, get on it, time is wasting!