The Fresser

Food delivery to celebrate

When cooking fatigue kicked in, these brightened my day

February 15, 2021 15:49
WFH and home schooling is exhausting. With three meals a day to plan and cook – it’s truly Groundhog day in most of our kitchens. 
So when the offer to road test a meal pops up I NEVER say no!
I’ve a few real treats to share:
Odelia’s Kitchen 
The very lovely Odelia cooks marvellous Middle Eastern inspired food from her Hendon kitchen. She surprised me with the most delicious brunch box. I’d just laid out a huge deli spread — a one a month treat during lockdown We buy in bagels, salt beef and gefilte fish from Yummies and fress. 
Odelia’s food was a more sophisticated affair. A rich, tomatoey portion of shakshuka with pillowy pita and chewy olive roll. Little pots of Israeli salad; perfectly pink beetroot hummus topped with pomegranate seeds; another pot of cheese – za’atar-topped labneh plus squares of salty yellow cheese; olives coated in soft goat’s cheese; a portion of natural yoghurt with blueberries plus crunchy, sweet granola to tip over it.
There was also a selection of prepared fruits and a gooey brownie topped with a sort of halva-floss. I’m not sure I shared a morsel with anyone else. And I’m neither ashamed nor sorry! 
A total treat. 
The second gift of food was a second chance to sample a whole day off from cooking – yep – you read that right. An ENTIRE day of food from Love Yourself. What a joy that was. 
The night before, a lovely man dropped off a bag of goodies. Breakfast, lunch and dinner plus mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. The food was all delicious. An frittata-type of affair for breakfast and tomato/olive flavoured, cheese-based dip with carrot stick to keep me going before lunch. 
I ate the smoked salmon salad labelled ‘dinner’ at lunchtime as I prefer a hot evening meal, and saved spiced cod with lots of curried veggies for my dinner. There were also raw ‘cookies’ of chocolate and dates to snack on in the afternoon. 
Several highlights here:
1. it was all super tasty;
2. contrary to my initial concerns, I wasn't left needing to gnaw my own hand off - it really did keep me full;
3. it was calorie-counted
AND 4. (possibly the best bit while many of us are suffering lockdown-related, food choice fatigue)  I didn’t have to make a decision about what to eat! With too many waking hours spent thinking about what on earth to cook/eat next, that may have been the biggest bonus. Also highly recommended.
Aviv's Kitchen delivered Friday night meal to remember. 
Fabulously talented Israeli chef, Aviv Lavi cooked at Cafe Hampstead before decamping to a smart Mayfair gallery, the Halcyon for a year before the first lockdown.   The pandemic put paid to that, and Lavi is now serving up suppers for delivery from the kitchen of  locked down pub in Kentish Town - and delivering all over London. 
He told me "The menu is more or less a mixture between Middle Eastern, classic European and Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine — not too complicated but refined and fresh with attention to detail."
He describes himself and his team of two as a "small family business, keeping it fresh and pretty." And like a Jewish mama, he was super generous with what he sent me.
I kicked off with the MOST delicious fish soup, literally swimming with chunks of tender white fish that transported me straight to the Med. It was oozing with rich, deep Provencal-style flavour. 

There were soft pitta breads to mop the soup bowl dry, but also to scoop up tahina sauce so full-of-flavour in a way only Israelis know how to season. Plus thick hummus and a smoky, garlicky babar ghanoush that we scooped up greedily with chunks of Friday night challah. Maybe we're out of practice, but we were forced to delay the next part until Saturday lunchtime. (And to  dispatch some of the leftovers to my lucky parents.)

The rest of (what became) a weekend of eating included a perfect-for-winter beef goulash —  all melting meat, crumbling potatoes and tender chunks of carrot. A hug in a bowl.  Sephardi spiced meatballs were less cuddle and more back slap. I loved them but the heat was slightly more than my (fussy) children would tolerate. There was plenty of perfect, fluffy basmati rice that also paired perfectly with a spicy, tomato okra stew 
We managed to stretch the joy out to Sunday, when we crisped up the last dish – a crunchy, spinach and cheese boreka that totally won the table at our Valentine's Day tea. Perfect with my glass of celebration of another delicious day without cooking!  
Weekends like this make lockdown do-able. He takes orders all week for Shabbat (cut-off) Wednesday, with specials each week. Check out his Facebook page for more information.
Check the factbox at the top of the page for ordering info. 
February 15, 2021 15:49

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive