By Amy Mangan • Photos By John Jernigan
If you’re like me, there are six words in the human language that send me into a tailspin: “What are we eating for dinner?” The cereal box is empty. The macaroni and cheese has been depleted from the pantry shelf. I’m now in panic mode.
The children have to eat — they’ve come to expect this as part of an ongoing service of living in our home. Just as I begin to dial the 911 of frantic women — Chinese take-out — I remember I have a little magic in my freezer: a complete meal! Relief. Doing Dinner has saved me once again.
No more will we rush to the Golden Arches for a drive-thru for fries and kids meals with prizes that will be left in the crevice of the car seat. No more tense verbal exchanges with my husband while deciding on a restaurant. (“I don’t care. We could go there.” “I don’t care either. Let’s just run into here.”) Back and forth. Stomachs are growling. Emotions are rising. (“Oh fine! You never cook anyway!”) Whoa! Where did that come from?
I’ll tell you where it came from. This is the emotional build up of families having too much to do in too little time. But we still face that ever-present need to eat.
Enter Doing Dinner, a new concept for dinner preparation in Ocala. For the past six months, Doing Dinner has rescued many a hungry client through their innovative and convenient food preparation and delivery service. Owner Rick Miller says the response has been overwhelming.
“I think there’s been an unfulfilled need in North Central Florida for this concept,” says Rick.
Doing Dinner’s kitchens are set up so one can easily prepare a month’s supply of homestyle cooked meals in a short amount of time. They do all the shopping, chopping, slicing, and dicing. All you do is put the ingredients together just the way you and your family prefer. Don’t like garlic? Leave it out! Want some extra cheese? Pile it on!
When you are finished, you’ll have delicious, ready-to-cook entrees that you know your family will enjoy — wholesome, healthy, and ready to put into your freezer. No more mealtime stress or kitchen mess. Just place your prepared entrée into the oven, add a side dish or salad, and presto… you’re Doing Dinner!
There was one unexpected bonus when I first tried the Doing Dinner concept. My two children assisted me in the food preparation and thoroughly enjoyed it. I realized this was a marvelous lesson of teaching them about following directions. The children worked quietly and diligently in preparing their individual meal. We only had one meatloaf mishap when my daughter skipped an important step. Overall, the experience was fun for both mom and kids. Even better was sitting down to a nicely dressed table at our home enjoying one of the children’s creations. They beamed with the pride of Chef Emeril as we complimented them on the delicious meal. Matter of fact, they enjoyed the experience so much they keep asking to return! It also helped that Rick made us taco salad appetizers while we cooked. Oh, and the blueberry cobbler didn’t hurt either.
So mothers, put down the take-out menu. Dads, drop the phone and get in the car. Life just got a little easier — and better tasting, too. You’re Doing Dinner.
“If we can help families spend less time in the kitchen and more time where it matters most,” adds Rick, “then we’re successful.”
2135 SW 19th Avenue Road
What’s On The Menu?
Here are a few recent offerings, but the fare changes every month.
• Baked Apple Dumplings
• Chipotle Spiced Chicken Breast
• Cheese Ravioli in a Creamy Tomato Sauce
• Creamy Chicken Broccoli & Rice
• Italian Herb Crusted Pork Chops
• Lemon Picatta Chicken
• Louisiana Shrimp Creole
• Luck of the Irish Beef Stew
• Pasta E Fagioli
• Raspberry Chipotle Pork Loin
• Santa Fe Chicken
• Tunisian Grilled Beef Tenders