Since LB arrived it has turned our life on its head. I remember as newlyweds not being phased by getting home at 5, 6ish then starting cooking dinner from scratch. Something like a lasagna. How. on. earth… We’re back in the swing of cooking from scratch but on weekdays gone are the long-winded recipes, in come the recipes that give us quick, balanced meals that can be served by 6pm. Thank the world for Jamie O.
We do still eat out but now it’s more likely to be lunchtime or early evening with LB in tow. It isn’t quite the same as having some precious time with just the two of you. That’s something that becomes even more important when you have a little one. It’s easy to forget that as well as mum and dad you’re also husband and wife.
I first heard about Pool Green Kitchen on BBC Radio Derby, then met them in person at Derbyshire Food & Drink Festival a few months back. Pool Green Kitchen deliver pre-prepped meals based on themed menu to your door with as many ingredients as possible being sourced from Derbyshire/Staffordshire. Think Dine In, but more upmarket. They also do a black tie package bringing the crockery, cutlery, candles, wine glasses, napkins, tablecloth and even pick it all up again the next day so you won’t even have to do the washing up. Genius.
While their initial concept was aimed at the dinner party market they soon started offering meal boxes for just two people. Right up our street. There are various menu options available including tapas and Thai-Indonesian. We picked Middle Eastern as those style dishes are not the easiest to find when dining out in the deepest darkest Staffordshire.
Early Friday evening Pool Green Kitchen’s owner, Joanna, delivered our box of goodies. Everything came labelled, with heating instructions and often in containers they could be heated up in. LB clearly knew something was amiss when we didn’t join her for dinner that night and she took far longer than usual to settle that night. Eventually, 2 hours later than planned, we managed to sit down to our Middle Eastern feast.
Falafels made with chickpeas and spices, a dish originating in Egypt
Gozleme a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made with a thin hand-rolled dough, filled with spinach and feta cheese and cooked on a griddle
Lamb Kofta seasoned and spiced minced lamb rolled and griddled
Mixed Olives Kalamata and green olives marinated with lemon, oregano and chillies
Whole flattened spiced- herbed chicken a traditional recipe from Azerbaijan – marinated with thyme, paprika, cumin and garlic served and cooked with the skin on to enhance the delicate flavours of the dish
Lachmajou spiced minced lamb with tomatoes and chillies
Bulgur Wheat Salad with fresh herbs, red onion and cherry tomatoes
Served with accompaniments:
Flatbreads Middle Eastern Style Flatbreads
Harissa dip a yoghurt dip with harissa spices for a bit of a ‘kick’
Tzatziki a mild yoghurt dish made with cucumber and mint
Red Pepper Hummus homemade hummus with roasted red peppers
We realised that during the meal it was the first time in over a year we had sat down, just the two of us, without it being interrupted by a hungry baby or eating the meal as fast as we can as LB has finished her meal. Times like these are precious. The food was absolutely delicious. I loved all the different flavours and textures with my favourite dish being the spicy koftas.
Will we treat ourselves Pool Green Kitchen meal again? A big fat yes. It was nice to have a delicious home-cooked meal without the prep and minimal washing up. We often have friends and family to stay, most of which are big foodies. In the past we would have spent the evening in a restaurant but now with little ones in tow and potential babysitters to consider this is the perfect solution. Another bonus, no squabbling over who’s going to be the designated driver or booking taxis.
We had a discount, but even at the full price of £30pp (2-3 people) or £25 (4+ people) it’s a price we’d be prepared to pay as compared to what we’re happy to splash out on a meal it’s good value. Another bonus being we had loads of delicious food left over that fed us the following evening. Here’s to the next meal we don’t have to share.