Feb 23 2011
Having European friends comes with many advantages. They have better taste in style, a different view on life, and are familiar with a variety of cuisine experiences. One particularly friend of mine makes the best borscht and also a cabbage, carrot, and buckwheat dish. After much persuasion and some looking over her shoulder I finally found out the recipe for the buckwheat, cabbage and carrot dish. I even figured out the extra ingredient that she wouldn’t tell me (butter!). Much to her chagrin, after a few failed attempts I finally perfected its preparation. As a last holdout for her culinary pride, she still won’t tell what it’s called. She does begrudgingly admit that my preparation of it is comparative to hers. Begrudgingly.
This culinary contest comes to a screeching halt when it comes to her borscht. Though I know the name this time, I know little of her recipe. To be sure, I’ve grown to be a big fan of borscht and can eat the leftovers for days. Whenever she makes it I frequent their house much more often. Regardless of my efforts, the possibility of learning her recipe seems fairly bleak at this point.
Even if I did get the prized recipe it would still lead to another issue- having to make a list of the many ingredients and buying them at the store. Moreover, as much as I enjoy borscht for days on end, eventually one prefers to eat something different. Planning for all this in one shopping trip can be a nuisance. I recall a friend and I once cooked Thanksgiving dinner for a large group of people. We ended up going to the store around forty seven times. It’s easy to forget things at the store and to have to go back.
Now there’s a way to plan for all one’s meals and for the shopping trip required to make them happen, with Say Mmm. Say Mmm is an online meal planning service. It provides a dynamic way to plan meals, shop for them, and organize your recipes. It works by allowing you to select or add dishes along with their recipes. Once they’re added you can schedule your meals for the upcoming day, week, or month. And for shopping it will automatically generate grocery lists so you know what you need to pick up at the store. These lists are mobile accessible and even tell you what store you need to go to.
The basic functions are fairly straightforward. Since the system knows all the recipes the grocery lists are readily generated once you plan the meals. Meal plans are marked on a calendar. Recipes are organized by category or alphabetically so they’re easy to find. There’s also a social and sharing aspect to it as well. You have the ability to share recipes with your friends (wishful thinking for borscht enthusiasts), or post comments to a shared comment board. There’s also a dining option where you can add restaurants and indicate your plan to eat out. The system is integrated with Google Maps which brings up local restaurants for you to search and add. This allows you to create a full schedule of your dining plans both in and out.
Say Mmm also comes with a plus option that you can upgrade to. This includes price tracking, calorie counting, and more recipe options. It’s a nominal $3/month.
Eating is a huge part of our lives. Most of us are fortunate enough to partake in it every single day. The reality is quite often we hardly plan for it at all. We walk through the grocery store and pick whatever products are strategically placed to entice us to purchase. Our recipes are then derived from what we have in the cupboard. Say Mmm helps you get organized with every aspect of your dining experience so you can plan for your meals and better monitor your diet. It can’t help you coax secret recipes out of those withholding them, but it can help you with everything else about meal planning.