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Insights to Action

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With many brand strategy partners, the words “Insights to Action” is a phrase that’s used, or even overused. I like to think that I take that phrase to heart in a way that many strategists don’t even think about and I think it’s worth sharing.

With the 100 Kitchens Study, I learned so many things about the way people viewed food. I can go on and on about how a lot of people don’t really care, how fatigue and lack of energy hit working households hard on Wednesday and Thursday nights especially, and how we’ve all grown used to feeling bad after eating something especially indulgent. A lot of this I can’t control, or help at all. But I can do one thing and that’s make a dinner.

For the past 12 months, ever since I published 100 Kitchens, I have made it a goal to share a homemade meal at least once a month with a fellow family. And I try to make it something people don’t always make themselves. For many, this has resulted in a fresh, homemade pasta dinner, lately, lasagna.

A few days ahead of time, I make a homemade sauce (I use the recipe for Rao’s, adjusting if the family is vegetarian). The day before I use Mark Bittman’s recipe for pasta dough and I tap into my supply of “00″ flour. (I order it in bulk from Amazon). I make sure I am well stocked with organic, cage-free eggs. Then I take a few hours and go to town with noodles and rolling and boiling and ice baths and ricotta / parmesan filling and proportions and the like.

My kitchen floor gets covered in extra flour. So do my shoes. I drink about 4 La Croix soda waters during the process. I sweat a lot. But, if I am being honest, it is so therapeutic for me. It’s so tangible and physical. And, while lasagna is typically a heavy meal, and probably not the lightest or healthiest, I have to imagine that the freshly made noodles, the sauce, and the way it’s all pulled together is better than the average takeout. It reheats well. Often there may be leftovers for the next day. I don’t hear of much waste.

I typically try to warn people ahead of time and make sure they want it and can pick it up. It’s rustic in its appearance (much like my photo skills above) but I think it’s made with heart and soul and good intentions, so it has to taste good.

Then the family picks it up. It’s heated, so they can warm it and have a homemade dinner on the table in 15 minutes or so. It’s kind of simple, really.

I’m happy with my one-year mark. I’ve hit the goal and exceeded it, averaging 2 – 3 meals each month. The recipients are happy. I’m happy. A winning solution for all.

If you want to be on the receiving end of this effort, message me. If you don’t mind stopping by, I don’t mind making dinner.

Insight: Fatigue and energy get in the way of even the most food focused consumers, often resulting in a fast food meal mid-week. The emotional result here is a bit of disappointment, physical gratification sure, but often followed by some GI distress or anxiousness over lack of nutrients. A few, not all, moms become very disappointed with themselves, as they feel they have neglected a part of caregiving. They rally and recover, but the imprint happens.

Action: Make a dinner for a fellow neighbor, parent, colleague, when time permits. Make it homemade. Don’t worry too much about appearance overall. Make it kind of delicious and nutritious. Something the family will eat. Make it on a Wednesday or Thursday ideally. Just try it.

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