Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Graze Delivered: Life Got Easier Via Vermont

"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

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