I wrote a few weeks back about dropping one of the many balls that I juggle as a typical wife and working mama with two young children. My first idea came to me from a Facebook post in group created by and for local mothers. A local mother was looking for someone to provide meals for her family.
A personal chef
It sounds like something for millionaires, doesn’t it? Well, I responded to the post saying that I am interested in someone to cook meals for my family too. I got four responses within a day! Much better than I expect, but what does it cost?
One person’s food looked great, but they offered dishes by the kilogram (about 2 pounds). So a great idea for parties or bigger or hungrier families, but my husband and I and a very picky three year old cannot manage that. And I do not want to freeze portions and eat the same meal for a week. Next.
Another response was from the wife of a professionally trained chef looking to build private clients. That is all the info I got. She told me to contact her husband, but did not provide his name or email or address. Weird. Next.
The other one was a small business in a nearby town. They basically offered carry out. Expensive. Not very healthy options. I could do that with the dozens of restaurants in our neighborhood. Next.
The woman we went with is a single mom of two that cooks for her neighbors and other families. (She told me a lot about herself in the course of her cooking, but it is not my place to share that here.) She was very responsive answering questions and provided pictures. The offer was five meals for two adults and two kids for 75 euros. She brought all of the ingredients with her, cooked it at our house one Sunday afternoon in four hours, and cleaned up afterwards.
The kids and I were there the entire time and she offered me tastes as she went. The food was great. It was chicken based dishes with veggies in a variety of sauces. My Midwestern parents would call it stirfry’s, but they were mild curries, tandoori, and a few sweeter teriyaki style dishes. We could have easily stretched the dishes into two weeks of meals by adding more vegetables. As it was, we just added rice each night, but I could have put noodles or potatoes with it.
She brought individual reusable containers for me that are freezer, dishwasher and microwave safe (I paid five euros extra for this). I am weary of microwaving food in plastic so I either reheated a meal in a ceramic bowl or on the stove in a pan. So easy. Some of it tasted even better after a few days of marinating in sauce.
Here is what she made:
Verdict: Once a month. We invited her to come the last Sunday of every month to cook a week’s worth of meals. Our busiest week is the first week of each month so she will come the Sunday before that so we have meals ready for that week plus a few extra.