After a long summer struggling to keep their facility open, The Dinner Company in Salisbury, MD is closing its doors. I received an email earlier this week letting me know and I was saddened to hear but understood – people are cutting back everywhere they can save a few dollars. They are staying in business though just modifying their business strategy in these trying economic times. They have reinvented themselves to exclusively a dinner delivery system. I considered the meal delivery option, however, I like preparing our meals and making adjustments when needed (that was one of my two favorite things about The Dinner Company – the other getting to socialize with the owners), so unless we are super busy, I feel as if we will be preparing our meals again. I have learned so much though that I have so many new tools at my disposal for preparing meals ahead of time now.
Over the last couple months as I was hearing that they were having troubles but hanging in there, my husband and I started planning a back-up strategy (always have a back-up plan with as many things as you can). We wanted a way we could still have our prepared meals that we put in the freezer and then into the oven, but where we could modify things, should the opportunity arise. During out recent visits to The Dinner Company, we started to change over to glass dishes to store our dinners in the freezer to reduce waste and tried to put as many things into zipper plastic bags to reduce the space needed in the freezer. We also wanted to go more organic and natural with our food choices which The Dinner Company was moving to with using natural chicken, but they started thinking about moving to organic right before the economy started to suffer, so some of that got put on hold – understandable. We now have the opportunity to eat more natural and organic foods, decrease our packaging waste, and use the glass bakeware that we bought by preparing our own meals at home.
For tools to get us started, don’t have to go out and buy much to prepare. We already have the bakeware and lots of kitchen tools that we have collected over the years from places like Pampered Chef. The largest learning curve will be the oven temperature and length of time to cook the meals along with figuring out nutritional information and thinking of what to prepare for the next week or two. At the start, I believe we will prepare a week of meals ahead of time, however, I would like to move to preparing meals 2 weeks ahead of time to give more variety to choose from and less preparation time over all.
Planning and preparing meals for a time will be more complicated, but we adjust well. Once we get into our new routine, all will be fine. At least I have a whole month to plan for the change since next week I get to pick up the meals for next month that we ordered and paid for at the beginning of this month. When I heard they were closing their doors, I was afraid that we would loose the money that we paid for these upcoming meals, but they are two wonderful people that are treating their customers well even when they are struggling. I am so proud of them and hope they succeed in their next venture.
As a result of this new food cooking adventure of ours, I will now be posting meal creations with pictures, ingredients, and notes. How exciting!