Back at the end of January, The Teacher on Fire (@teacherfire1 on Twitter) sent out that he had some codes for some free Blue Apron meals, and I jumped at the chance to try them out. My wife and I have mentioned trying them for about a year now, and to try for free wasn’t something I wanted to pass up. (The Teacher on Fire also got me involved with alt-coin trading on Binance.) I thought Blue Apron would be a nice date night at home for the wife and I.
So to begin, the codes worked great, and I set up an account with ease online. I then picked my two free meals which where a creamy shrimp sandwich and beef medallions. Each meal was to feed four people each, and take about 30-40 minutes each to cook. Perfect, I thought, even though I have a family of five, my two boys won’t eat those meals, and I can make them some chicken nuggets or heat up some pizza and I can eat two portions. The meals would be at my door step on Wednesday February 7th.
When Wednesday arrived, a box was waiting for me, and it was filled with fresh ingredients, packed in a cooler bag with an ice pack keeping it cold. It was also 55 degrees that day, so I wasn’t worried about it going bad. However, this could be a different story if left in the Texas sun in the summer. I opened the box, unpacked the ingredients, and put it in the fridge. I can’t cook anything, so seeing raw fresh ingredients was overwhelming to me. I see kale, raw potatoes, and bloody beef, but no meal can be imagined from those items. There are also recipe cards with numbered steps, and pictures to help for people like me (idiots).
The next night I decided to surprise my wife with the creamy shrimp sandwich meal when she got home with the boys from practices. I pulled out the recipe card, opened the fridge, and laid out the raw fresh foods. I was already out of my element looking it over, but pushed
through for the sake of the little pride that was left inside. I began trying to cut the raw sweet potatoes, and almost lost the end of my thumb as one of them rolled suddenly and the knife crashed down. My daughter came in to watch at this time, since I let out a loud high pitched scream, followed by a loud sigh of relief. (I told you I was an idiot at cooking, and it was my first time to cut a sweet potato ever.) I gathered myself and put my daughter to work cutting celery and pickle chips, as I continued to almost lose my fingers cutting sweet potatoes. I continued to follow the directions step by step, seasoning shrimp, cooking them, baking the potato wedges and toasting the buns. After an hour and ten minutes, the food was done, and I didn’t cut or burn myself once (close calls many times though). I was stressed out, tired, but proud of my work. It was also a delicious gourmet meal that was about $8.99 a plate made at home by me. Everything was fresh, spiced right, and clean tasting. The spices and flavors where perfect and that made it all worth it, since I had to guess on some of the instructions. My wife was surprised, and loved the effort on my part to try something new. Plus, coming home to a gourmet dinner is a way to a woman’s heart.
By the weekend, I worked up the nerve to try to make the next meal by myself, as a gift to my wife who was home, but didn’t want to make dinner. I almost sliced a finger cutting the potatoes and onions,
so I quit cutting onions and threw half of it away frustrated, and I didn’t know what rough cut kale off the stalk means, and I tossed half of that in the trash too. They also assumed I knew what salt and pepper to taste means on kale. I half assed somethings and hid the evidence in the trash can as I prepped the veggies. I also got really overwhelmed and began yelling for help, as the mashed potatoes and kale where both cooking, and the tiny steak things where all beginning to sizzle. My wife came in and took over on the meat, and I finished making fresh mashed potatoes, from actual potatoes. My wife salted and peppered to taste for the potatoes, because they sucked the way I did them. She also seasoned the kale/onions to taste better too. If she wasn’t there at the end it would have been a disaster with too many things cooking at once, and no flavoring on some of the stuff. This meal was a solid hour and a half for me. I felt like a total failure at first, but then it tasted so good, I got a little pride back as my wife built me back up with complements.
So, my review is that Blue Apron is awesome, if you can cook already! I was stressed,
and hated cooking it. The food is awesome, the ingredients where fresh, and its delivery was to my doorstep. It is very easy to get it set up online also, and you can skip weeks if you want too. It is pricey at $8.99 a meal, but if you want to use this to replace gourmet dining out, then you will save a fortune over a restaurant. The instructions are easy to read and use, and I had no problems there, just the assumption that I knew certain things, and that I even had olive oil, salt, or pepper at my house already where my problems (My daughter had to show me where to find olive oil, salt, and pepper in the kitchen, and where mixing bowls and stuff where located too.) Cooking is also very dangerous!! If I had to cook 7 nights a week like this, I would have lost a finger tip for sure, so amateurs be very careful!
I cancelled my Blue Apron account after the two free meals, because it was not a fun date night idea for me. I am not skilled enough to cook like that, and my motivation to learn to cook better is not that intense. I feel with enough time and maybe a simpler menu for idiots like myself, I might try it again, but this is not for me or my family of five at this time. It only fed three of us instead of four. The meals are not for a growing family with growing kids. Also, adding a dessert would be awesome too. So, give it a try if you are a skilled cook, who enjoys good food, and wishes to limit your meals out.