"Would you like to try a sample of fabulous food?" Who couldn't resist such an e-mail? The fact that the e-mail offered seasonal Vermont goods made it even harder to say, "No." But then it got better-Graze, a Vermont-based farm delivery service, would deliver the products DIRECTLY to my front door. When time is so limited these days, and heading to a grocery with two little boys is...well...challenging at best, I was thrilled.
What surprised me most, though, about Graze delivery was this: not only did they deliver fresh Monument Farms milk and Goat Ledge Farm Camembrie Cheese and Castelton crackers, but they delivered meals in bags. Seriously! We got a the fixings for a Caprese Salad with Maple Brook Farm's delicious mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes. We got prepared free range chicken tenders that even my finicky son devoured. We got a bag with grass-fed beef, cheese, salsa and whole wheat tortillas, for easy to make tacos and, finally, a Pizza Kit with a Flatbread crust, sauce, cheese and sliced pepperoni. I enjoyed the fresh pasta salad with escarole, swiss chard, feta and orzo. My kids loved the brownies and we all enjoyed the tender mini-banana muffins. The Goodie Goodies protein bars were the only item that wasn't quite our style, a bit too healthy (and spongy) for us.
The scoop: trying to provide two little boys with healthy and seasonal food is hard enough. And now, as a single parent I am finally understanding why, yes, some people use mixes, buy prepared foods and go to restaurants frequently. But I still am holding fast to my desire to sit around the table at our house and eat. It is far less expensive, and, frankly, much easier. I often feel as though I need to choose between caring about the food I give my children and life's challenges.
But, for this week, at least, Graze made it feel like I didn't have to choose. While I wouldn't typically have my food delivered from Vermont (and it made the locavore in me a bit uneasy), the food we were given was simply, good. Now, granted, we didn't pay for this thanks to Graze's generosity, but they did provide a price list. And, I was shocked at how reasonable the prices were: The entire taco kit was $14.00. The pizza kit was $13.50. And the tray of chicken tenders (which also come in a gluten-free version) that easily fed us for two meals (one adult, two pre-schoolers) was only $12.00. And, get this: delivery is FREE. In other words, all this was far less then going out to eat, far better than prepared food at most stores and, offered me a bit more time to read with my kids rather than cooking one.more.meal. In the future, I look forward to trying the eggs, the raw honey and the Millborne Farms Drinkable Yogurt.
When my teaching year begins again and the boys and I arrive home, cranky and tired at the end of the long day, I know I will be turning to Graze.
Graze Vermont Artisanal Foods, 1-888-934-7293