I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to try a meal kit delivery service for a while, so I was happy to have a reason so readers of the July issue of Produce Retailer Magazine could see what one of these looks like from the Pamela's Kitchen point of view. 

To be honest, I’ve almost done it a few times, but hesitated at checkout because of the price tag. I ordered a 2 meal per week plan for a family of four from Blue Apron, which cost $69.99. That seems like a steep price for our family, but others I’ve talked to about this service think the price point is fair when compared to dining out.

I did take advantage of a $30 discount the company’s been sending me in the email since I first signed up and hadn’t ordered yet.

My son Ike joined me in the kitchen for the trial on a Friday night. A few things surprised me:

1.  There was a lot more prep than I expected. Green beans weren’t pre-trimmed or washed and the onions and garlic were whole, not diced. Sugar snap peas weren’t trimmed, washed or stringless, according to the directions. They were stringless upon further inspection.

2. The meals seemed basic, but both took me more than an hour to prepare, and I consider myself to have pretty good kitchen skills.

3. I was impressed with the introduction to new ingredients. I’ve never bought maitake mushrooms before and thanks to the recipe I prepared, they may get in my regular grocery rotation.

4. I’d like to see larger portions of produce. There were fewer than 30 sugar snap peas for a side dish for four people. My toddler ate all of mine, in addition to his.

5. There a lot of steps, including making onion rings—with a cold water soak—from scratch. 

6. There were no leftovers. That’s a huge bummer because my husband usually eats dinner leftovers for lunch the next day.

7. Overall, the process was well explained and even a novice home chef could stumble their way through it. 

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