What’s for (boxed, home-delivered) dinner?

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, February 23, 2017

“On the day when

the weight deadens

on your shoulders

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and you stumble,

may the clay dance

to balance you.

And when your eyes

freeze behind

the grey window

and the ghost of loss

gets in to you,

may a flock of colours,

indigo, red, green,

and azure blue

come to awaken in you

a meadow of delight.”

~ John O’Donahue,
excerpt from “Blessing”

Here’s a deep dark secret, dear readers: Some of you will be shocked to hear this, but I’ve been cooking at night, sometimes several times a week. Oh no, these aren’t Lean Cuisine boxes from the grocery’s freezer section. Long-time readers will remember the time a Healthy Choice steamed entree was nuked into a rubber concoction because I didn’t read the fine print.

Lately there are no nuked offerings on the menu. Dinner involves real food which must be rinsed, chopped, prepped, stirred, cooked, served on a proper plate and enjoyed with flowers and candle.

Me, an empty-nest-middle-age-single-woman past the long ago life of preparing meals daily for family. Me, a woman who has her mother’s china service for 12 that gathers dust instead of dinner parties. Me, a woman who made her dining room into an art studio. I’d forgotten the pleasure (and work) involved with mindful cuisine.

I have discovered those box delivery meals: Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Plated, Peach Dish. The menu choices beckon, delicious-sounding to make your mouth water from just looking at the on-line pictures.

Now, someone like me cannot afford to order weekly boxes. Uh uh. So, if I can snag a “free” box, I do. Or a half-price deal, or a trial. All the main ingredients needed to create a fresh, delicious dinner with chef-inspired recipes that are new to your repertoire show up at your door. You just have to be willing to commit to doing it. It’s contagious, fun, educational, and it’s convenient. You don’t spend hours at a grocery store hunting up fresh ginger root, sesame oil, adobe sauce, organic grass-fed beef or such. Disclaimer: you do have to cook, then clean up.

You buy yourself a good knife, glass prep bowls, and keep the iron pan ready for action. You unpack your weekly box, which comes in refrigerated packaging, and pick what you want to fix each night. It helps if you have a partner to eat with, but if not, you have another meal for the next day. In my case, I usually share a bite with River, or call a willing victim to help out. It’s hard to quit—I went from Lean Cuisine these past few years, to Chef Bardos, even snagged a chef’s jacket from a thrift store. What’s for dinner? Let’s eat!


Saluda Welcome Table is every Tuesday at Saluda Methodist Church from 5:30-6:45. All welcome, donations appreciated.

Learn more about Saluda Community Land Trust (SCLT) by visiting saludaclt.org or calling 828-749-1560. Monthly meetings are the first Wednesday each month, 3 p.m. at Saluda Presbyterian Church. Mark your calendar for SCLT’s annual meeting on April 26, 6 p.m. at Saluda Center.

Ward’s Grill hosts a free veterans breakfast on the third Thursday of each month. All vets are welcome.

Calling all artists: the Saluda Business Association invites you to enter the juried Saluda Arts Festival on May 20, 2017. Entry deadline is March 17. Visit saluda.com to link to the arts festival page.

Donations to help support Saluda Historic Depot can be sent to P.O. Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or on the HistoricSaluda.org website. Saluda Train Tales returns March 17 with Bob Loehne. Visit saludahistoricdepot.com for more information.

Happy February Birthday to: Laura Williams, Wylie Rauschenbach, Wesley Pace, Biddie Dawson, Ginny Jones, Jenna Igoe, Suzanne Igoe, Pam Thompson, Catherine Raymond, Eva McCray, Ellen Rogers, Margaret Miller, Paul London, Ward Sandahl, Bill Klippel, Pat Bares, Dwight Smith, Ingrid Sandahl, Fred Baisden, Duane Bateman, and Ragan Thompson.

Thank you for reading this column, dear readers. As ever, the goal is to make you feel like you’re enjoying small town life in a friendly mountain town called Saluda. Feel free to contact me at bbardos@gmail.com, 749-1153, Facebook, or visit bonniebardosart.com.