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Do you ever see the time and think, "My goodness it is 4:45, and I've hardly even thought of what to make for dinner!"?  Even with weekly meal planning, and careful shopping ahead, the impending dinner hour can often send me into a panic attack.  During these moments, my brain fogs over and my head swims with unanswerable questions:  What can I make that I don't have to defrost or let simmer for an hour?  Where will I summon the energy to get cooking after chasing my three year old all day?  Who will help me get four pots going, set the table, and entertain Bryles so I can feed my family in the next 30 minutes?  If my husband sees the dismay on my face, he expresses his own exhaustion after a hard day on the factory floor and flops back in his arm chair.  He quickly declares it's time to get take out.

However, running for take out can not be our answer every afternoon!  Who can afford to pay for that?  And who wants to add up the extra calories that often come in the take-out box?  When my husband suggests skipping cooking, I immediately go on the defensive about how committed I feel about nourishing my family through healthy food and minding our meager, one-income budget.  An energy consuming fight occurs, and then I have to try even harder to scrape myself together to prepare a meal.

Yes, having a Thyroid problem is part of the reason I get dog-tired by the afternoon.  Still, many of my friends say this is a hard point in the day for them as well.  I began to dream about finding a mother's helper who might come and play with Bryles and help out in the kitchen each afternoon.  My husband could rest on the sofa, I could master a meal, and Bryles would be thrilled with the special attention.  Only, I couldn't imagine anyone would take the $3 an hour I gratefully accepted as a teen.

Then my old work colleague Ruth called and answered my prayers.  She asked me if I could help her with a customer survey project in exchange for free weekly organic meal deliveries.  Her two-year old business, Ruthy's Real Meals, is currently at a growing stage and she needed some computer help.  Ah hah!  A project I could fit in while Bryles naps or sleeps, and food magically appearing on my family's dinner table.  And oh the food that came...

One week our menu included: Braised Duck Breast with Sweet Potatoes and Veggie Medley; Sweet and Sour Stuffed Cabbage with Grass-fed Beef, Roasted Carrots and Beets; White Bean Soup with Kale; Composed Salad with Roasted Marinated Peppers; Turtle Bar Cookies; and a Village Bakery Rustic Garlic Loaf!

My fridge is stocked, and I can rest easy knowing I'll have a healthy, delicious dinner ready in minutes.  Evenings are now a nourishing pleasure.  We look forward to each dish as an indulgent surprise, as each generously portioned item is expertly prepared to heighten its unique flavor.  Ruthy has my husband eating root vegetables he normally disdains (e.g. sweet potatoes and beets) and my toddler eating duck! 


In our new relaxed approach to dinner, we now focus on our family table experience.  We are excited by the food, but also have a special energy for sharing time with each other.  Bryles reminds us to say a blessing: 

"Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing
Thank you earth for everything!"
(verse adapted from published poem on World Praryers.org and used by Waldorf teachers.)

Then, Scott leads us in a round of the grateful game. We each say "I'm grateful for..." ("Grateful Game" instructions here) some part of our day.  For example, Bryles shared that he is grateful for "our farm" after returning from picking up the last of this season's baskets from Singing Frogs farm yesterday.  Then we dive into our meals and eat with new gusto. 

Sometimes we gather in the kitchen before 5:00 and rush our warmed dinner out of the oven early, so tempted are we by the savory smells wafting from our oven.  The other night, Bryles chanted, "I want some of this yummy bread... I want some of this yummy bread..." over and over while Scott and I took turns dancing in front of the oven, willing the braised duck to warm faster.  Finally, no one could wait any longer and we began eating (or truly scarfing) by 4:45.   What a difference to leave the table full of food and love for each other AND enough energy to wind down our day!







The "Magic of the Family Meal" has long been a documented healthy, family practice.  A 2006 article by Time Magazine says,

"The statistics are clear:  kids who dine with their folks are healthier, happier, and better students which is why a dying tradition is coming back."  Michael Elins for Time
Ruthy's Real Meals

Do you need support near meal time?  Ruthy’s Real Meals offers weekly home delivered, meal packages including:


  • Meal planning with healthy, organic selections your family is sure to love


  • Grocery shopping for local and seasonal items


  • Food preparation by an expert chef, ready for you to heat and proudly serve in minutes


  • Satisfaction guarantee


The four dinner pack includes ten hearty menu items, plus dinner rolls and dessert. The three dinner pack includes seven hearty menu items, plus dinner rolls and dessert. Order by Friday for a delivery next Tuesday!

  
Order a meal package for the week of November 24, and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner as one of the included menu offerings.  Or let Ruthy's Real Meals create your holiday dinner!

The holiday menu features a brined and roasted turkey or Vegetarian/ Vegan Sheppard’s Pie, paired with spiced tea cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a seasonal green vegetable such as Brussels sprouts. The meal is topped off with a delectable pumpkin bread pudding or pumpkin cheese cake.


Delight guests with this offering for just $120 for a table of four or $200 for a group of eight. Order soon, no later than November 20, to ensure Ruthy’s Real Meals serves your dinner. Meals are delivered on Wednesday, November 25.

For more information please contact Ruth Lefkowitz at ruthy@sonic.net or (707) 888-0128.

3 comments

  1. Minnow // November 14, 2009 at 7:02 PM  

    I'm soooo jealous!! ;) (Yet very happy for you!!)
    Note to self... play lotto more or learn to be the master of barter and networking like Holly. :)

  2. Cynthia // November 21, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

    Ruthy's Real Meals are fantastic. The last few weeks of my pregnancy her meal delivery came to my rescue. The food is fresh, wholesome and tasty.

  3. Sono-Ma: Holly White-Wolfe // December 9, 2009 at 2:46 PM  

    Gosh! Ruthy helped so many people enjoy Thanksgiving! Read about how her meals brought seniors and care takers together, and start drooling over her Winter Holiday menu by clicking here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/23897360/Press-Release-Winter-Holiday-09

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