Autobiography of an Introvert

Time for Dinner Makes Cooking an Event

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I come from a family where both cooking and eating aren’t just things you do out of necessity. They are affairs to look forward to and cherish. My favorite “dates” with my husband in our early days consisted of grocery shopping for exotic foods and then coming home to prepare them. So it’s no surprise that when I discovered a venue near our home called Time for Dinner and their “meal assembly service,” I was intrigued.

What is Time for Dinner?

Nestled in a nondescript strip mall at 8506 Manchester Road in St. Louis, Missouri, you might overlook the building itself. In spite of their understated building, they don’t even pay for advertising. All of their advertising is simply word of mouth and a generous referral program. For every new customer you bring in, you can receive a premade dish valued at $16. Clearly this is a testimony to the product they produce.

My First Visit

Despite living less than two miles from Time for Dinner, I hadn’t yet visited. That is, until my friend Jeannette raved about her experience after she went with her sisters. Again proof of their excellent product and word of mouth advertising, Jeannette lives more than 40 minutes away! We selected a date that worked for both of us and then chose a menu based on the meals they had available for the month of December.

Arriving at Time for Dinner

Upon arrival, a friendly employee greeted me at the door and signed me in, giving me a printout of the menu I had previously selected online. She gave me an apron and a brief tour, as well as an explanation as to how it all worked. While I waited for my friend to arrive, Amy Stanford, the owner of Time for Dinner, circulated with a plate of samples, even leaving one for Jeannette for when she arrived. I found it touching that the owner would take the time to greet her patrons and show such genuine care.

The Stations

Stations are organized, with every ingredient neatly labeled. You just grab the necessary protein from the labeled fridge and begin meal preparations.

Each item on their monthly menu is set up as a station. All of the ingredients are neatly set out for you. Jeannette and I chose completely different menus, but that did not matter at all! We were still able to work at stations near each other so we could chat as we prepared our meals.

Cooking is easy…with a sous chef and someone to clean up!

I truly enjoy cooking, but Time for Dinner has found the secret to making it even more enjoyable. They’ve taken the work out of it! The lovely ladies working the room inform all of the patrons to just leave their mess. They come around and clean up all of the dirty dishes and restock the ingredients. Everything is chopped and waiting for you to simply follow the recipes and put together a delicious meal.

The only downside is we don’t have room in our freezer for every one of their delicious meals!

Now we have four delicious meals sitting in our freezer, waiting for the spring semester when life gets crazy again. Each meal comes with simple directions, most able to go directly from the freezer to the oven. They will be perfect for those days when I work late and dinner duty falls to the eleven year old.

And speaking of eleven year olds, Time for Dinner is kid-friendly as well. The evening that Jeannette and I were there, we saw at least two families with children in tow. It is the perfect way to introduce your kids to cooking and spark an interest in a skill that will last them a lifetime.

Time for Dinner can certainly make you feel like a culinary genius by making meal preparation easy. But if even the step by step directions feel like too much, they also offer a plethora of meals to go, as well as gift cards. Check out their full menu and schedule your own cooking session at the Time for Dinner website.You won’t be sorry!

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