The Mealime App + Parisian jaunts + hamsters
May I recommend
The meal planning app, Mealime
I don’t know how to pronounce it: Meal-lime? Me-alime? Mealimé? But however you say it, we’ve been using it for a few months and it’s good.
We’re not big food planners but over the course of this pandemic we’ve experimented with many ways to make the endless preparation and consumption of meals more interesting… We’ve done takeout, we’ve done prepared meals from a local caterer delivered to our door; we’v done those meal kits… GoodFood and Chef’s Plate… Chef’s Plate gave us horrific food poisoning and had even more horrific customer service DO NOT RECOMMEND.
All of the above had their plusses and weaknesses (except Chef’s Plate - only weaknesses, for reals - they are monsters). Takeout is expensive and not very healthy; local caterer is scrumptious but pricey; the meal kits come with a ton of plastic waste and are often fiddly and stressful to prepare…
I don’t know where I stumbled across Mealime (Seriously - How do you pronounce it?) but it’s great. You download it to your phone. It’s free (but there’s a paid “pro” version I’m thinking of getting, mostly because I want to support them) and it has a very satisfying and intuitive interface.
You tell it some basic stuff about yourself - vegetarian/gluten free/paleo whatever. You tell it how many people you’re cooking for and how often in a week you want to have a meal.
Then it gives you an array of recipes, you choose the ones that look good to you for that week. Then Beep Boop Bop it spits out a grocery list (with very satisfying tickboxes for if you already have some of the stuff and don’t need to pick it up). Once you’re ready to cook the meals, it gives you super low-key chilled out instructions that aren’t stressful. Also, there’s some kind of magic handwaving technology that means that you can pass your hand in front of your phone’s camera and it goes to the next page, thereby eliminating the need to touch your phone with your gross fingers. The best part? The recipes are legitimately easy to cook.
I just checked and we’ve been using the app, off and on, since September and literally all of the meals have been amazing. Some of our faves include Indian Spiced Potato Pockets with Mint Raita, Grilled Pork Tacos with fresh salsa; Korean Style Beef Rice Bowl with Cucumbers and Spicy African Peanut Curry with Sweet Potato. My daughter is not an adventurous eater — sometimes her breakfast is a bowl of Goldfish — but she’s loved every single meal we’ve made with Mealime (am I misreading it? Is it Mealtime? That would make so much more sense — Why isn’t it called Mealtime???)
How do you think Mealime is pronounced? Tell me in the comments below!
Programming Note: Apparently I alarmed a few of you with my reference to Covid in the last newsletter. Sorry! All is well here. Husband and daughter had confirmed cases. It was like they had a bad cold for about five days. I somehow escaped symptoms. Do I secretly believe it’s because I have a superior immune system to them? Maybe, but I can’t confirm because it’s a secret…
Five good places to visit in Paris (when we can)
I wrote about five hidden Parisian spots that are worth a visit.
Feeling more adventurous? The Mosque also has a hammam, or series of steam rooms, that you can visit for a sweat and even a massage.
On our first trip my sister and I were a bit bewildered, as the hammam doesn’t cater to tourists and the process took some figuring out. Most ticket prices include a “gommage”, which is an extremely vigorous exfoliating rubdown by one of the hammam staff. These people are not messing around, and it will feel like a new layer of skin has been exposed.
They had me at “soft-bellied”
I am all about just being kind and soft to yourself. We make our lives too hard and we should all just calm down a little and be okay with being chubby, or disorganized or not very mindful. It’s all okay! We’re just muddling along and then we’re going to die. Better to just chill out a bit.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. What if, instead of being motivated by guilt and shame, we leverage our worst habits to serve us better? By being intelligently, purposely lazier; less mindful, disorganised, slower (and with a bit of self-compassion), we might actually be more successful, productive and happier – but on our own terms. Here’s how.
Snowball fights in art
Despite my entire childhood being shaped by annual school screenings of La Guerre Des Tuques, I do not like or approve of snowball fights.
Undoubtedly this is as a result of being the fourth of five children, where I was smaller and less able to ward off the snowjobs and ice-filled snowballs drilled at my head.
Still, I can appreciate their cultural and historical significance.
The teenage Napoleon Bonaparte famously organized a ten day snowball fight at this military school, complete with trenches, regimens, and rules of engagement (although, according to his classmate Bourrienne’s memoirs, the combatants eventually worked their way down to gravel and stones beneath the snow, until “besiegers as well as besieged, were seriously wounded”
No drynuary for these messy rodents!
They scored the hamsters from zero, for “no visible wobbling,” to four, for “falls onto side and does not right self.” (They had previously, unsuccessfully, tried to track the hamsters’ walking by dipping their paws in watercolor—they couldn’t tell the drunk and sober hamsters’ paw prints apart.) The hamsters never averaged above 0.5 on the wobbling scale—even at the highest oral doses.
New leash for Sam
More hamster content
As a smirker, I feel this
Lacey is such a good girl
His little smile is basically love
Adrienne is adorable
Call from the school
I tell, you there is something about this man’s ability to stay upright that is surprisingly attractive
Just gonna scootch
hand soap for sale
his reaction was 100% correct
I’m not Ron, get out
It’s like you don’t even care
I have had this exact haircut
This woman’s whole feed is addictive