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Jan 11, 2007 12:19 PM

Super Suppers/My Sister's Kitchen

Not sure if this is the right forum, but has anyone else heard of these places. I've been hearing tons of advertising on the radio for these places. Essentially, you either pick up a pre-prepared meal or assemble it there yourself, take it home and cook it. They apparently chop all the ingredients up for you and you throw it together. Do these people mean to tell me that people can't even dice an onion or mince some garlic? (that's what they seem to imply in the advertisements)

Has anyone used this service? If so, what's the quality like and price vs. value? This whole concept seems to boggle my mind. Someone, please enlighten me.

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  1. don't know your location but there are palces like this around here (Balt/Wash) called Lets Dish they have a website too but I don't know the address.

    1. Seems like these places are sprouting up all over. Sort of wish I'd thought of it!
      I have not tried it but know someone who has. This woman does not like to cook and has a busy schedule. Their kids are grown, both work, and it fits in their budget. She loves it because she can spend a couple of hours assembling meals and be just about finished in the kitchen for several days. Not having tasted it I can't vouch for the food (they are happy, though) but think the concept is ok.
      Just remembered that occasionally her grown daughter joins her there and they spend the time together and each go home with their haul.
      Again, this woman does not enjoy cooking so the idea of someone chopping her onions for her is appealing. Not so much a matter of "can't, more "don't want to".
      Plus, they clean up the kitchen after you!

      1. I haven't tried it yet, but would like to. For me, it's not so much "can't" or "don't want to", but "don't have the time".

        Putting together your own food (that you can freeze) in a place like that is preferable to buying ready meals - or spending all day Sunday preparing them in your own kitchen. For some of us working moms, it sounds like a good idea.

        You don't have to agree, but I'm offering that perspective.

        1. I'm with you cbauer. It really seems pathetic. I was boggled at Thanksgiving when I saw Stuffing Mix in my grocery produce dept. It was chopped up celery and onions ini a sealed bowl. So I guess you buy your bagged dressing mix and the sealed bowl and throw the stuff together. Just like slice and bake cookies. Homemade y'all!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Looking for time-saving ways to produce home-cooked meals is pathetic? Who knew.....

            1. re: cackalackie

              Yes it is. It takes seconds to chop celery and onions in a food processor and a few more in a mini chopper and less than 5 mins. to chop by hand. It also is less expensive and does not involve the use of wasteful packaging

              1. re: Candy

                I'm with Candy. This "food concept" seems absurd to me. The extra drive alone is more time-consuming than chopping veggies, and by all accounts the quality of the food in these places is pretty bad.

                And so the downward trending continues....

                1. re: uptown jimmy

                  Who said people are making an extra drive? I've heard that people do it on their lunch hour.

                  And why the need to be so judgmental about people in different situations than you?

                  1. re: cackalackie

                    Sounds pretty confrentionaly defensive to me. Many of us find this pre chopped stuff pretty silly. It really does not take much time. I was totally boggled by frozen crock pot stuff. There is a real difference between homemade and home- cooked. I think uptown jimmy and I prefer to know where our food is coming from, what ingredients are in there and actually have some control over the quality of what we are eating and select our own meat, fish and vegetables. Maybe we are not really comfortable with allowing someone else to make those selections and and not having the quality control with allowing someone else to make those decisions for us unless we are dining in a restuarant. We all have to choose how we are going to spend our time but I will point out that my mother raised 4 children while holding down a full time teaching job. Yeah she would occasionally resort to Kraft Dinner, I would not touch it. But for the most all of our food was from scratch cooking. She had no food processor, no blender until I was about 12, a hand mixer and her own hands. She managed to supervise homework and read to us every night. She also did this with my father gone, he was an AF pilot and was often not around. None of us were negelected. We had well prepared meals and there were few short cuts. It made me the cook I am today and I remember those meals fondly. She controlled the cooking and what was being prepared but I was there in the kitchen and learned
                    much. Opening pouches of this and that is not going to be a good example. Not learning how to shop and select good food is really sad. It starts early. I have a photo of me standing on a chair and "helping" to roll out pie pastry, maybe 4 years old. I guess if those moments are not important and you can't make a bonding moment out of food prep then is is sad. But if it is not in your values then you don't make the time for it.

                    My neice has 3 boys, 8 to -1. She cooks from scratch and manages to put a good dinner on the table. She learned from my mom, my sister and me. She does not work outside her home and her boys all have quality time with her. She buys fresh food and does her own prep. It is important to her. All 3 of her boys will know their way around a kitchen as do my nephews. It is just that important to al of us.

                    1. re: cackalackie

                      Can't find anything in my post that is overly "judgmental" about people, except when I pointed out that it involves an extra drive, which negates any time saved, unless of course they walk to the place, which you know isn't happening.

                      My closing line was sound and, I think, inarguable, and it contained two basic points: first, the quality of food in these places is by all accounts largely shoddy, and they therefore are another example of a downward-trending in the quality of food in this country that has been occurring for decades now. Second, this board has for a while now been seeing more and more people who seem confused as to what Chowhound is all about, if I may be so bold. Not to imply you, of course...

                      Ultimately, this is Chowhound. Chowhound exists to provide a forum for people who have strong opinions about food, people who are tired of mediocrity in food, people who are comfortable making well-informed judgements about food.

                      There is a Chowhound mission statement. I humbly suggest doing a search for it, and then reading it. It details the basic reason for Chowhound existing. It's a good read. :)

            2. Yeah, it does sound sort of funny when you put it that way but I try to remember that I am really interested in food while others simply are not. Or, like Cackalackie said, a lack or time can be the driving force here. Many of us pay the cleaners to wash & press our shirts because we don't want to, for whatever reason, while my own sister who loves to iron wouldn't dream of it. I cannot relate to that personally (hate ironing!) but understand our boats are afloat on different waters. Same thing with food. Different interests and priorities.
              I do believe, however, that I'm having a much better time in the kitchen than she's having in her laundry room but I suppose she'd disagree. ;)