Orders placed today will be delivered on Saturday 04/11 and Tuesday 04/14

This Week's Food

The Family Dinner Fam

The Family Dinner Fam

Good Morning!

It's been another busy week here at Family Dinner and the weekend will be even busier. We are happy to be open and thriving, but the increased volume of demand and our heightened sense of precaution has led to a few changes in our procedures and we wanted to share some updates with you:

  • On a normal week Family Dinner serves 250 families in the Greater Boston area. This week it will be over 500
  • In order to ensure the quality of service for our existing members, we have temporarily stopped welcoming new subscriptions and have put a waitlist in place. We have also paused the referral program, for the time being. 
  • Typically we have 16-20 people in the kitchen packing shares and then delivering to your homes. This week, to minimize the number of people in the kitchen and allow each other space, we will have just 6.  
  • Our driving team has increased and will operate in fleets, meaning each driver take a set of shares, deliver and return to the kitchen for another route.
  • Doubling the amount of shares delivered and decreasing the staff for safety reasons means that our delivery window will greatly expand. Many shares will arrive outside the 1pm timeframe. Please know that we are working diligently to get you your shares in a timely and safe manner. You will continue to receive text messages when your driver is on their way and when they have completed a share.
  • There will also be a delay in responses to email, as your happy email response crew (Shannon is pictured above) will be among the 6 in the kitchen.

Thank you for your support and patience as we go through this process together. 

Please know that we are proud to be here for you during these tough times, and will continue to do so for as long as we can.

Much Love,

Erin, Tim and the Family Dinner Team

New Farmer in the House!

New Farmer in the House!

NEW FARMER IN THE HOUSE!

We are really excited to be working with Drumlin Farm this week to bring greens into your shares! Ok, so maybe the title is misleading. Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, MA isn't "new", they've been part of the Mass Audubon Society for a long time as a wildlife sanctuary and a working farm all in one.  But this is the first time we have worked with them and we want to share the news. 

(And if we want to get technical; there is no "house" either so the title is doubly misleading.  But I hope you'll forgive us because the alternative "Experienced Farmers Join a Food Start Up on a Virtual E-Commerce Platform For the First Time" was a mouthful.)

Drumlin is a beautiful space; 4 miles of trails and plenty of peace and quiet. There are pigs, sheep, chickens, and cows on the working farm and big, bright greenhouse housing this field of verdant deliciousness. They reached out to us this week to see if we had room in our shares for their crops and we always love to say yes to that! We hope you enjoy and that they brighten up your plates!

Also for some inspiration this week check out this wonderful series: "What's Eating Dan" from our friend Dan Souza from America's Test Kitchen. We're gonna dive into the episode on mushrooms for ideas for this week's goodies from Fat Moon Mushrooms.

Family Dinner Updates

Family Dinner Updates

Dear Family Dinner Members:

We wanted to reach out to you to discuss the steps we are taking at Family Dinner around the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
General 
Family Dinner is not yet being affected in major ways by the virus. Some of our delivery locations will change as will delivery processes (more on this to follow) - but our core business remains the same. We are happy to continue working with and supporting our network of farmers at a critical time when farmer's markets and other public venues are closing. And they are eager to continue working with us, so that all of you have access their delicious food.
We are closely following all of the information from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We will share any updates or changes in procedure to you.
Packing and Deliveries:
We will be packing our shares in paper bags for the foreseeable future. We are committed to using as few single-use materials as possible, but this move to paper seems prudent.
We will still be delivering right to your door, but will be following the practice of "unattended delivery" for the time being. You will still receive a text when your driver is on their way. Your driver will be instructed to ring the doorbell and then leave your share on the porch or in a cooler if you have left one. 
Drivers 
We have informed our drivers about these precautionary steps and changes in procedure. They have also been briefed on our additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols at our kitchen. 
Finally we have told our team that if they are not feeling well that they should not come into work. We have also told them that they will be paid for any work that they miss due to illness. Paid sick leave is not something we are required to do but it is something we deeply believe in. 
We want to do everything possible to keep this wonderful community healthy, happy, and well fed. Please let your friends and family know that we are still delivering, and would be happy to serve them while we all weather this storm together.
Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions. We're here.  
Best,
Erin + Tim
PS: This photo of sheep taken yesterday at Lillooet Farm in Boxford, MA has zero to do with the serious content of this email. However, if you're going to get an email from us that has no puns, no references to Beyonce and no questionable language - there should at least be a photo of cute animals. You gotta celebrate moments of fun and beauty when they come your way.

Humans of Family Dinner

Humans of Family Dinner

Good Morning!

The most amazing part about Family Dinner isn't the logo, it isn't the weekly treats or the terrible jokes from the staff. It's the folks in this amazing community, all of you, that make this so special. Over 350 members in 50 towns all loving on local food and the folks who grow it. 

We wanted to make more of an effort to connect you to each other (no we're not gathering in the parking lot for trust falls) and highlight some of the incredible things you're doing. Maybe we learn something from each other, maybe we find a little inspiration. Or maybe the world can seem like a dumpster fire and it's nice to be more and not less connected to interesting people doing good things.  

We hope you enjoy :)

Erin + Tim

Putting the "FUN" in Fungi.

Putting the "FUN" in Fungi.

PUTTING THE "FUN" IN FUNGI

(If you're wondering if I spent a significant amount of time yesterday googling mushroom puns, wonder no more. Guilty as charged.)

One of our favorite things is when a farmer calls us mid-week to tell us about a huge harvest. Elizabeth from Fat Moon Farm called to say they had a bounty of beautiful oysters and other varieties and asked if we were interested. Holy Shiitake are we ever! (Ok, I'll stop.)

We absolutely love saying yes to these questions. It helps us get a diversity of beautiful products in your shares, helps support our local farmers and eliminates waste. All of which are really core to our mission at Family Dinner. 

On-demand eating and groceries arriving at your house in 30 seconds by rabid drones may be convenient, but it's not great for farmers or the environment and certainly doesn't address the issue of waste. 

When you place your weekly order with us on Mondays, it takes us a full week to fill your shares.  During that time we are scurrying around to different farms and bakeries; picking up produce, tasting new cheeses, having conversations with growers; and yes, cleaning hundreds and hundreds of bags. It takes us time because we want to get it right.  We want to curate a share where the ingredients marry well together, where there is diversity in the products and where we can support this distributed network of local growers like Elizabeth. 

We take the time because we love the process and because we have so mushroom in our hearts for all of you!

Thanks for being part of this process!

A Weird Little Dream...

A Weird Little Dream...

Good Morning !

Family Dinner started just a couple of years ago, as a weird little dream conceived over beers and burgers at Parlor Sports, our favorite Somerville haunt.
We sent a goofy but well-meaning email to a few friends basically asking; "Would it be cool if we brought you your groceries every week?" and people said yes. We started out of our apartment, doing 7 deliveries a week to our closest and most forgiving friends. In the beginning Erin's Mom helped pack the shares and we delivered them all in one car ride. (Throwback photo to when we first joined our shared kitchen. We didn't have bags or logos yet!)
We've since grown a little bit - to about 350 active subscribers, 25 drivers. Thousands of pounds of amazing local food each week. Hundreds of thousands of dollars put back into the local economy. We've all built a community around great local food and the people who make it.
All that from one crazy idea agreed upon over a double cheeseburger during a Patriots game.
We're still very much a small business and our single greatest area of growth is all of you. Your word of mouth recommendations have allowed us to do all of this and we are so grateful.
As we hope to take growth to the next phase, we would love for you to share Family Dinner with the many wonderful groups you are a part of; the gym, Mom's group, bongo drum choir, kick ball team or snarky Slack Channel at work. If you had a moment to tell your squad about us, and share your referral code - we would be most grateful. And heck! You'll get 50 % your shares too!
Thank you for everything,
High Fives, 
Erin and Tim

Don't Fear the Reaper

Don't Fear the Reaper

DON'T FEAR THE REAPER

In Beyonce's transformative work, Formation, she tells the world: "I got Hot Sauce in my bag".

Beyonce is obviously a genius and I would do anything she tells me but I'm not one to carry a purse. If I did, it would certainly have a bottle of Sweet Reaper sauce in it.  Sweet Reaper is the spicy sweet creation of Chef Nathan Gould, Chef at O Ya, Boston's mind-blowingly delicious sushi restaurant. Almost a year ago Chef Nathan told us about this sauce and gave us a bottle to try. We have been pestering him for more ever since. 

"Sweet Reaper began in a hot kitchen on the small island of St. John, USVI. A firey hot pepper sauce blended with sweet white onions, garlic, and vinegar can be found on most Carribean tables. After falling in love with this style of hot sauce, the Sweet Reaper recipe was born.

For almost a decade now Sweet Reaper has been made for kitchen staff only, making its way into family meals, late night pizza or raw bar, the cooler for day-off boat trips, and occasionally the hands of staff sneaking bottles home."

We are excited to have bottles in our whole and double shares this week. If the taste leaves you clamoring for more, check out his site and stock up for your purse, fanny pack or truck center console. You will never want to be without this.

 

 

Lovely Leafies.

Lovely Leafies.

LOVELY LEAFIES

Lettuce shouldn't be scary. It's just greens after all.  But this year the Center for Disease Control put its solemn kibosh on greens coming from the Salinas Valley in California due to reports of E.Coli being linked to greens from this region. This wouldn't sound so frightening if Salinas weren't a major producer of the lettuce we consume throughout the country. 

This part of the state is so fertile that it earned the nickname "The Nation's Salad Bowl" which, when we're talking about an E.Coli outbreak, is just super gross. And hey, I've had E.Coli and I can tell you from experience it's not all that fun. (If you ever have an hour to kill ask me about the time I ate an ill-advised pork sandwich at a train station in Poland. It's a riveting tale.)

To make matters less appetizing, these greens travel over 3,000 miles to get to you plate. Which brings up more than a few questions about freshness, food miles and CO2 emissions. What the heck would Greta Thunberg have to say about that? ( I just LOVE her. Did you know her middle name is Tintin?)

There is, of course, a better solution. Beautiful Local lettuces are being grown year round in New England  by our friends at Clark Farm (Carlisle, MA), LEF Farms (Loudon, NH) and Generation Farm (Concord, NH) and Queen's Greens (Amherst, MA).  We try to get you a variety week to week; spinach, salad mix; baby kale and micro greens to safely and deliciously brighten up your winter plates. 

Harvested within a day of delivery, sent from the farm to Family Dinner and delivered right to your door. We hope you love 'em.

Ballers of Family Dinner.

Ballers of Family Dinner.

BALLERS OF FAMILY DINNER

Let's talk Sports! 

Wait, wait! - don't go away just yet. I'm not talking about the corporate juggernaut that is about to land in Miami with its pithy beer commercials, questionable ethics and scantily clad cheerleaders. 

No. This weekend, while every television station and news outlet is laser focused on the Superbowl we want to dedicate our humble soapbox to Women's Sports and some of the local Super Stars who also just happen to be Family Dinner members. (And yes, we do take credit for all of their successes. You can't win Championships without a balanced diet of local food.)

Boston is a city that is no stranger to Championships and that tradition of excellence is extended by two teams who are dear to us:

Kitchen Yoda.

Kitchen Yoda.

KITCHEN YODA

We'll admit to having way too many cookbooks. From Indian to Classic French Pastry our shelves are full of them, crammed with beautiful glossy photos and slightly complicated recipes. 

But, to be honest, most don't see every day use. Frankly, I don't always have time to sous-vide a tomato before passing it through a centrifuge and applying it, using a microscope, with tweezers to my plate at 7pm on a weeknight. I'm just not that motivated.

One book that I turn to over and over is Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden. (Obligatory note: we get nothing out of this commercially or otherwise- we just love the heck out of this and want to share it with you!)

This book is a wall-to-wall love letter to seasonal vegetables penned by the Master. Vegetables are venerated on center stage and highlighted using normal ingredients and approachable preparations. 

It's the perfect company for your weekly Family Dinner share. Think Winter Squash and Leek Risotto, Smashed Rutabaga with Apples and Ham or Grated Carrot Salad with Walnuts and Burrata (hello!).

Of the book Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill says it best: "This is not a cookbook for coffee tables or artfully curated bookshelves. Its recipes demand to be tasted until the pages are dog-eared and sauce-splattered and stick together.

So if you're looking to up your veggie game, without having to use CRISPR on your cabbage, this is might be the book for you.

(And yes, I just made a CRISPR joke in a food blog. We're that nerdy.)

 

A Trip Across the Pond.

A Trip Across the Pond.

Good Morning! 

Just a reminder about the "In Season Dinner" series, a collaboration between Forge and Family Dinner.  This year we are kicking off with the famed Pizza and Beer night.  There will be tasty brews from Idle Hands and pizza from the magicians at Forge.

It all takes place on January 30th, 6:30 pm at Forge Baking Co in Somerville.  Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite - we would love to see you there!

Also: CALLING ALL BAGS!  if you have a treasure trove of Family Dinner bags or ice packs - maybe you're taking them on vacation or letting your kids built a fort of out them that looks like Hogwarts (if so, send pics!) - we would love them back!  You can leave them out for your driver or exchange them in person for a high five!

Thanks!!

Erin + Tim

 

A TRIP ACROSS THE POND

Today we are headed to see these wonderful people at Heron Pond to pick up Sweet Potatoes (400#- that's a lot of spuds!) for the shares and Cranberries to bring to Forge for their new pastry special. Heron Pond is in South Hampton, NH, right over the border.

From their site: Heron Pond Farm is owned and operated by Greg Balog and Andre Cantelmo. Friends from college where they studied soil science, they have been a team for twenty years. Heron Pond is a four season farm that grows over 250 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Farming year-round has allowed us to grow and maintain an incredibly skilled and experienced staff whose passion brings higher yields, quality, and flavor to our food all year long.

It's a beautiful drive through Amesbury and down the long winding road that leads to the farm; no matter the weather I have the windows down and the music up.  It's a classic rock kind of a drive, if you know what I mean.  There's a real joy in meeting the people who grow the food we love to bring you; knowing their passion and trusting their process. Whether it's talking with Tad about meat or visiting Sarah at Vinal to pick up hundreds of her perfect English Muffins, its like being part of a big happy food Family. 

And so we'll spend this frigid New England day driving around in a truck full of hundreds of pounds of potatoes, hundreds of heads of lettuce drinking perfectly roasted Tandem coffee and cranking Queen's greatest hits with the windows down - all to bring you another week of delicious food from this wonderful Family. That's the dream right there.

PIZZA AND BEER! Hoorah!

PIZZA AND BEER! Hoorah!

Howdy! 

It is that time of year again, time to humble brag about our awesome collaboration with Forge Baking Co to bring you the "In Season Dinner" series.  This year we are kicking off with the famed Pizza and Beer night.  Idle Hands Brewing will provide the suds and Forge will provide the alchemy that turns flour and water into the most perfectly doughy, chewy crust imaginable. And it will all be topped with locally sourced goodies from your friends (us!) at Family Dinner.

It all takes place on January 30th, 6:30 pm at Forge Baking Co in Somerville.  Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite - we would love to see you there!

With Pizza and Love,

Erin + Tim