A couple of months ago,  a company called scratchDC contacted us about trying out their innovative food delivery service. It’s a simple premise: they provide fresh, locally sourced ingredients for a meal (that serves two) complete with a step-by-step gourmet recipe, then they deliver it to your home or office, and you prepare it in your own kitchen. It really couldn’t be any easier, they said, but I wasn’t sure. Always eager for a good meal, I said yes, and scratchDC delivered a complimentary bundle to my husband’s office in downtown DC. For our meal, we chose that week’s Date Dish (reserved for Thursdays): duck breast, goat cheese polenta, asparagus and chocolate chip cookies.

1. My husband came home from work that day with a scratchDC bag containing this lovely kraft paper box (the twine is both practical and pretty):

scratchDC box

2. When we opened the box, this was inside: All of the ingredients, carefully separated, so even a kitchen newbie or non-cook (ahem, me) could figure everything out.

raw duck from scratchDC photo(15)

3. Of course the raw ingredients don’t mean much if you don’t know what to do with them, so of course there are step-by-step instructions to follow and detailed information about where all the food is from (local! organic! delicious!):


If you look closely, you can even see that that they offer to troubleshoot by phone or email IF YOU GET STUCK while cooking the meal, even though their instructions are ridiculously thorough (and yes, I realize on the opposite side of the card that I photographed, but you have to take my word for it). My husband didn’t really need the instructions, but he followed them easily and said, “Hey! Even you could do this” (or maybe he said “Why aren’t you cooking this? It’s basically already made for you” — I wasn’t paying too much attention to him, because I was obsessing over the adorable little containers).

4. And now that you’ve seen the duck raw, this is what the duck looked like cooking in our Lodge cast-iron skillet (yes, they provided the organic butter in which to cook the duck breast) :

scratchDC meal cooking


5. Finally, here’s the finished meal (minus the cookies, which we didn’t put on the dinner plate obvs):

finished scratchDC meal

Needless to say, only my husband and I ate the scratchDC meal, and it was indeed a “Date Night In” meal; we felt decadent eating such a beautiful gourmet dinner on a Thursday night. Even though scratchDC doesn’t currently deliver outside of this area, anyone who works (or has a partner who works) inside the delivery zone, could simply have the bundle delivered to a downtown office, like we did!

If you’re willing to follow the extremely easy directions, you can have a restaurant-caliber meal at home for less than half of what it would cost two people to eat at a gourmet bistro. The weekly menus offer vegetarian options and list all allergy and nutritional information. If we were still DINKs (ah those heady times of disposable income before kids), we’d order from scratchDC on a regular basis, but for now, it’s a wonderful option for a fabulous romantic meal at home.

Now for the special discount! scratchDC is offering DC/Arlington/Alexandria readers a 15% discount for any meal bundle you order in the next two weeks! That’s up to 8 meals you could order with the discount. Tip: I highly recommend ordering for a Thursday, because that’s the DATE DISH, and it’s extra fancy. To get the 15% off, just enter “dcmoms” (without the quotes) in the promo code box when ordering. Offer expires July 5.