Like so many of us, forty-year-old Aviva Goldfarb grew up with a mom who made a hot meal for the family every night. When she had her first child, she suddenly found herself yearning to give her own children the same experience. Although she had recipes for her mother’s staples, she wanted to make more modern meals—healthier, faster, and less focused on meat.
“I realized that recipes don’t turn out as well as magazines or cookbooks promise,” she says of her early experiences trying to learn her way around the kitchen.
What began as an informal quest for good food to feed her family ended up turning into a passion for making it simple and enjoyable for other people. Nearly five years after starting to cook and test recipes with a friend and self-publishing a cookbook, she launched The Six O’Clock Scramble in 2003, a one-stop weekly menu planner for time-crunched chefs. The site provides subscribers with a week of quick dinner recipes, a printable grocery list and access to The Scramble’s huge recipe database. Not long after the launch, The Six O’Clock Scramble cookbook was published by St. Martin’s Press. It’s now in its fifth printing and she’s plotting out the next edition.
Goldfarb explains the whole idea is to provide people with a plan so they’re not “scrambling” at dinnertime. Click here to check out a sample menu.
“Times have changed and we don’t want to make what our mothers made … I have a strong environmental interest. I try not to base every meal around meat and by planning and shopping, you really can save time and money,” says the mom of two who now lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Goldfarb’s transition to motherhood was a driving force behind the business. After a fast-paced career in media relations for non-profits in Washington, D.C., she decided to stay at home with her son. It wasn’t long before she began looking for something more to do.
“I am a very active person and I can’t just sit around and I knew I wasn’t going to just do housework all day. But cooking was creative and healthy and it allows me to spend time with my kids,” she told me in a recent interview.
And launching the business came with an added benefit. Through her interest in food, she found common ground with her single and working mom friends.
“It gives me an identity and a way to connect with other people. And living in the DC area, so much can be so partisan. Food is nonpartisan. It is something that everyone can agree on and food can really bring us together,” she says.
Photo courtesy of The Well Mom