Saving time and sanity..hopefully

It has been a looong time.  Not quite sure what happened, but somewhere along the line, blogging had to take a backseat.  I started a new job at the beginning of September, the week after coming back from the UK with the children. In retrospect, not the best timing, but it’s done now, and I will quite possibly do the same thing again at a later date due to the fact that my brain seems to have turned to mush and my memory looks to be going the same way.  I am teaching a bilingual programme at a fancy kindergarten.  I go in three days a week, 9-9:40 and 3-3:40, which is low on the working hours, but a right royal pain.  I am out of the house for four hours total on those working days, commuting time and prep. time accounted for, and I teach very bouncy 4 – 6 year olds.  It’s a lot of fun, but then I come home to very bouncy 2 – 8 year olds wanting their dinner and it’s bloody exhausting! 

So from this week, I have begun yet another culinary experiment.  I was getting fed up of deciding what to cook, making meal plans, not making enough food, not making food that everyone liked, being told things like, “Mummy, this doesn’t look very yummy”…umm thanks, L…it’s not a lie if you keep some things to yourself, you know…

Anyway, I decided I would start using Yoshikei, which is a food delivery service.  Don’t worry, I don’t work for them.  This is not a sales post.  They have a few options, including cooked meal delivery, but I am doing a two week discount trial (6,000yen per five days) of their “puchimama” plan.  This is Japanese English for “petite mama”…wait that’s not English either and I am by no means petite, but that’s what it’s called any road up.  Every week, a charming, but rather clumsy lady who has fallen down my steps not once, but twice, brings me a recipe book, and every day, a polystyrene box full of ingredients.  I have a little locked cabinet outside that she can put it in when I’m not home.  It’s a set menu, and every day has two courses.  I get to cook the meal and serve it with rice, that they don’t supply.  They also expect you to have store cupboard essentials to make the sauces/soup, like salt; sugar; soy sauce; cooking sake; fish stock powder; garlic; pepper; margarine.  I chose the 4 people option, which is the biggest amount they do, but I figured since one of us is tiny, it should be enough.  Actually, I was a bit worried it wouldn’t be, because Y eats like a horse, and H is close behind, but I don’t eat a vast amount, really, and there is rice too.

Okay, rambling.  So Monday was Day One.  A super-typhoon day.  But my woman, let’s call her Beryl, made it for her delivery.  Of course she did.  This is Japan, after all.  No need to let a little natural disaster get in the way of work.

On the menu was:

Pork and Ketchup and Spaghetti and crabstick salad.

I was a bit dubious about this one, to be honest.  Looked a bit odd.  It was technically supposed to be served with mushrooms, but I have a mushroom intolerance, so Y cooked those up later and put them in his bento the following couple of days.  Win!

They claim that the prep. and cooking time is 30 minutes.  This took me 35 minutes, so pretty accurate.  I should mention though, that I spent the weekend translating the recipes into English so I wouldn’t get stuck on silly things like how to cut my cabbage into “chunky squares”.  I didn’t translate the ingredient list though, which I should have done, because there’s a lot of “mix b with 2” palaver going on, and I have messed up a bit with putting the wrong sauce on the wrong thing.

Here is the recipe:

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Anyway, this was the box of ingredients, which didn’t look anywhere NEAR enough:

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Obviously I have a bad imagination, because it was plenty.  And the cooked result was:

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Plenty for me and for everyone else.  The pork and Ketchup was surprisingly yummy.  The salad, not so much.  But it wasn’t bad.  L wasn’t keen, but I told him to leave it if he didn’t want it.  I didn’t feel bad, he didn’t hate me.  All good.  Day One, a success! 

Off to bed now, will post Tuesday’s meal next time 😉

Thanks for reading

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4 thoughts on “Saving time and sanity..hopefully

  1. Aha, so you do have to have the extras. Sorry I asked that on the day 2 post!

    I really like the sound of this system and the food looks delicious. I can’t figure out if its expensive though… we spend a LOOOOOT of money on food, more than we should, but if this 6000 for 5 days of just dinners, I still need to buy for breakfast and lunch, plus the weekends. And that’s the discounted price, right? What is it normally?

    • Yes, you do have to supply the extras, but the only extra that I didn’t have in the kitchen was mirin, and I think most households here have that as a store-cupboard essential! You get the menu book a week and even two weeks in advance, so that’s plenty of time to make sure you have the extra things. You have to buy things like rice and juice, etc. and stuff for breakfast and your lunch. I don’t eat a huge amount for lunch though, and I have even had leftovers from the Petit Mama 4 set for mine and F’s lunch the following day. I am actually wondering whether the 4 set is too big, but if I think about being able to use the leftovers, and also in case the children don’t particularly like one of the two dishes, it means that it’s enough.

      It is undoubtedly more expensive than doing the shopping yourself though. I am working more now, so I have had to factor that in to the equation too. Sometimes saving time is more important than the cheapest option. But for me, the not having to think and having the EXACT ingredients delivered, not being tempted by things at the supermarket, and having a nutritionally balanced meal plan is pretty good really! My food budget is 50,000 yen a month. This is for everything, eating out (although we rarely do these days) included. If I did the Petit Mama 4 plan for the normal price (8,250 yen a month), that would leave me an extra 4,250 a week to spend on other food. If I’m vigilant, it’s possible, but I’m also able to bump that up to 60,000 total a month, which I think is still reasonable. They are still doing the campaign though. I think it might be a regular thing. And you don’t have to pay a sign-up fee ever either, so you could just stop for a bit, or quit pretty easily. They have flexible plans where you can just choose particular meals that you like and have them on those days, but those seem to be a lot more expensive. I am still pondering what I will do at the end of this trial, to be honest.

      • I think I need to try it out, it does sound like the answer to my prayers! And I think for the time and stress it will save it will be worth the extra money. I also like the diversity and I can learn to cook as I go along. Thanks a million for such a detailed response. 🙂

  2. sounds like a great system! You ALWAYS buy more shit than you need at the supermarket (at least 1000 yen worth I reckon) and more if you are shopping with small people. Good luck with this program. Am very interested to hear how it turns out!. And thanks for keeping the blog up… :p

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