Today I succumbed to the latest trend in dining: meal preparation kitchens. I tried out Sous Kitchen in San Carlos and assembled two 4-to-6-serving meals: Crispy Mustard Chicken and Mojito Chicken. I had a coupon for $10, so both dishes (at $30 each) cost me $50 total. A bit of a splurge for us, but it's cheaper than takeout, and it isn't every day that my in-laws are here, so we want to spend more time talking and less time cooking. We had the Mustard Chicken tonight and it was wonderful! We can't wait to try the other dish I made and I can't wait to go back and try more dishes on their menu while my in-laws are here.
If I were a working parent who had to slave in the office all day and come home to hungry, tired kids and not a clue what to prepare for dinner, this would be a Godsend. Even as a stay-at-home parent, if I could afford it, I think I would use this service quite often. No dinners from a box or a jar or a microwave, no peanut butter sandwiches. Just fresh, real, tasty food that took me 10 minutes to assemble in their kitchen (versus an hour cooking at home plus more time cleaning up), ready and waiting in my freezer.
Their kitchen is a sight to behold -- immaculately clean, organized and spacious. Gleaming stainless steel appliances everywhere. Shiny modern measuring spoons and cups. Clean, bare counters. Pre-sliced, defrosted meat waiting in the fridge. Ingredients neatly lined up at each preparation station. Personnel standing by, ready to whisk aside all the used bowls and spoons as soon as you're done with them. It's like having my own sous chef, prep crew and cleanup brigade.
Compare that with my own kitchen -- crusty pans soaking in the sink, leftovers cooling on the (well-splattered) stove, tea stains on the countertops, papers everywhere, kids' artwork strung up with clothespins on the window, cereal crumbs under the table even at dinnertime, tacky white fridge cluttered with magnets and photos. And just one drudge-- me. Wow, now I wish I had a kitchen like theirs at home.
But really, well, actually I'm glad I don't. Rather, I'm glad that I get a chance to "have" a beautiful, immaculate kitchen 0ver there and my own messy, cluttered kitchen over here. Because for every ten minutes I spend preparing meals in their beautiful, immaculate kitchen, I gain thirty minutes in my own messy, cluttered kitchen interacting with my messy, cluttered family. Because after all, kitchens are not just for cooking, are they?
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