SOS! The Six 0’Clock Scramble to the Rescue

| May 7, 2010 | 4 Comments

Come dinnertime anywhere in the world, how many family cooks are looking in their refrigerators or pantries and scratching their heads, wondering what to do about the evening meal? Sadly, many buckle under and surrender to buckets of chicken, huge burgers and fries, or blimp-sized burritos to feed the family.

Organization is the key to saving your sanity and relieving all the stress of completing this daily chore. Hi Ho, Silver! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue!

Aviva Goldfarb in her Chevy Chase, Maryland kitchen

Aviva Goldfarb, author of SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue and a true green entrepreneur, has created a career for herself by offering dinnertime solutions for busy families – helping them get a week’s worth of interesting, varied, delicious, nutritious, kid-friendly, earth-friendly and low-cost meals on their tables without stress.

She is also the author and founder of The Six O’Clock Scramble®, a weekly online menu-planning service that she has been publishing since 2003. In 1998 Aviva coauthored and self-published, with Lisa Flaxman, Peanut Butter and Couscous, Too. She dedicated her latest book, SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue, to Lisa, who died in 2009. Aviva’s first cookbook written solo is The Six O’Clock Scramble, published in 2006.

When I received a review copy of Aviva’s latest cookbook, SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue, from her publisher, I thought I would simply select recipes that interested me, prepare them and then report the results, along with some information about the book and author. Well, it started out that way and then I visited and began peeling away the layers of her amazing creation. Not only has she written two successful cookbooks with recipes from her subscription web site, but she has brilliantly marketed herself and amassed a collection of superlative endorsements from the likes of O, The Oprah Magazine and more than a dozen others. The online service has more than 3500 subscribers, indicating that her readers love what she’s doing.

Straight from the mouth of The Scramble, here’s how it works:


  • SUBSCRIBE to The Six O’Clock Scramble.
  • Each Wednesday, you will receive a link to the week’s Scramble newsletter, 5 FAMILY-TESTED HEALTHY MEALS including side dishes and a corresponding grocery list (see sample).
  • Use all the meals for the week or CHOOSE THE QUICK, EASY MEALS YOU WANT by swapping for any recipe in your recipe database to fit your family’s tastes and schedule. Your grocery list is automatically updated with your choices.
  • PRINT OUT your selected recipes and grocery list.
  • Make ONE TRIP TO THE GROCERY STORE, confident that you will have everything you need for a week of easy, healthy and delicious 30-minute meals.
  • BASK in the compliments.

Subscriptions to her website range from $19.50 for three months to $64.50 for two years. Obviously, the longer you commit to the subscription, the better the value.

Aviva has made many earth-friendly choices. They are sound, right-on and are shared throughout her book. The recipes are arranged seasonally, which is logical since all local foods are seasonal. Interspersed among the recipes are helpful tips ranging from the safest seafood for kids and getting kids involved in the dinner act to feeding kids a quick healthy breakfast before the school bus arrives and how to compost.

One of the first things I noticed about the book was that it is printed in green ink, a subtle tribute to her earth-friendly lifestyle as well as a hint to us all to be mindful about our relationship with Mother Earth. I had the pleasure of chatting with Aviva by telephone before I wrote this, and ended our conversation by asking if there was anything I didn’t ask her that she wished I had. “Yes!” she said and then stressed the importance of changing our learned habits toward more earth-friendly ones. The calm sincerity in her voice was reassuring.

While I was casually perusing SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue, I came across a little poem that Aviva’s 11-year-old son, Solomon, had written for his mother’s birthday. With permission from Solomon, here it is.


Soft hands tuck me in tonight,
A shadowy figure turns off the light,
And as I drift to sleep, I think,
People say this world is on the brink,
Of chaos, corruption, maybe despair,
That too many pollutants are in the air,
And sisters fight sisters, and brothers fight brothers,
But not everything is wrong, because there are still mothers.

— Solomon Goldfarb

Aviva’s approach to motherhood with loving intention shines through her children. She is leaving a gentle but firm footprint on the world as well as wise, loving young ones to fill her shoes. At a time when excesses dominate our lives, not only in eating but in how we relate to one another as a collective nation and on the world stage, this book is a refreshing dose of family unity and living responsibly with mutual respect and love.

As Aviva was beginning to fill her own mother’s shoes, she experienced the “six o’clock scramble” firsthand, going through all the stress of “just getting dinner done.” She credits her mother’s organizational skills as laying a foundation for her in creating The Six O’Clock Scramble.

Out of all the enticing recipes, I chose to sample Balsamic Rosemary Baked Chicken and the suggested side dishes, Festive Wild Rice and Lemony-Garlic Spinach. Preparing them in a timely manner and without stress was a snap. With each recipe, including for the side dishes, is a nutritional breakdown for each serving. Let’s get cooking.

Balsamic Rosemary Baked Chicken served with Lemony-Garlic Spinach and Festive Wild Rice

Balsamic Rosemary Baked Chicken
Adapted from SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue, published by St. Martin’s Griffin

“The house smells wonderful while this sweet chicken is baking. Scramble recipe tester Debbie Firestone said even the toughest critics in my family gave it 10 out of 10.” ~ Aviva Goldfarb

My family also gave it 10 out of 10.

  1. ¼ cup (60 ml.) balsamic vinegar
  2. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) honey
  4. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) Dijon mustard
  5. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) Worcestershire sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) dried or fresh rosemary
  7. ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml.) dried tarragon or 2 teaspoons (10 ml.) fresh tarragon, chopped
  8. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  9. 1 whole chicken cut up
  10. 2 cups (480 ml.) diced onion
  • Preheat the oven to 400° F (204° C).
  • In a large measuring cup, whisk together the first 8 ingredients.
  • Spread the chicken pieces in a roasting pan just large enough to hold them in a single layer.
  • Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken, and sprinkle the onions over and around everything.
  • Marinate the chicken for up to 12 hours or bake it immediately in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, basting it after 25 minutes. (Meanwhile, prepare the rice and spinach, if you are serving them.)

Serve it hot with the sauce spooned over the chicken and rice, or refrigerate it for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the garlic and add ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml.) black pepper to the sauce.

Festive Wild Rice

Simply toss 3-4 cups (720-960 ml.) cooked wild rice with ¼ cup (60 ml.) pecans, toasted and chopped, ¼ cup (60 ml.) dried cranberries or cherries and 1-2 ounces (30-60 ml.) vinaigrette dressing.

Lemony-Garlic Spinach

  1. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) garlic, minced
  3. 1 package 9-12 ounce (255-340 gr.) fresh baby spinach
  4. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds.
  • Quickly add the spinach, toss and cook until the spinach wilts slightly, then add the lemon juice, toss and remove from the pan to a serving dish.

Additional recipes from this book that I will be preparing in the future are: Indian Spiced Salmon, Mumbai Meatballs, Mango and Black Bean Salad, and Ravioli with Walnut Pesto.

Aviva is a mother of two and resides with her family in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a Washington, DC suburb.

Bon appétit and thank you, Aviva!

– Charles

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Category: Cookbook Review

About the Author (Author Profile)

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

Comments (4)

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  1. Kathy says:

    I am fixing this for dinner tonight!

  2. VPanichkul says:

    Charles, you forgot to mention it makes fabulous leftovers for lunch the next day so make a big batch!!! YUMMY!

  3. Charles, I am so touched by your wonderful review of my book and website! I loved reading every word of it (especially Solomon’s poem, which I never get tired of reading) and think it’s so clever of you to match the green print in the book. Hope we get to dine together in Baltimore or elsewhere someday. Thank you!

  4. Charles says:

    Aviva - you deserve all the praise you receive and I’m touched by your comment. Thank you. Looking forward to meeting you and your family when good fortune has us on the same coast.

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