I started cooking because I couldn’t find a job.
The summer between high school and college, my parents decided to stop giving me an allowance. Fair enough, I was 18. I needed to find a job—but in this economy, no one would hire just for the summer. I was stuck jobless and penniless.
So, my parents agreed to let me work for them. I would be cleaning the house, doing some yardwork, and cooking, for $8/hour. (at least this was tax-free, so actually better than a real job!) Cooking dinners and desserts for my family, I learned something great. I love this. And then I realized something not so great.
Crap, I’m going to college in a month.
I knew that the dorms would have kitchens, but I’d gotten used to a nice kitchen with tons of counter space, a large oven and stove, a stand mixer. I would have none of that at school, but at the same time, I would not be giving up cooking.
I’ve had three semesters in the dorms now. The ovens are tiny and turn off automatically before the food’s done, the stoves are small, the microwaves need to be shared with other students who want to make popcorn and Ramen. But despite these, I’ve been cooking.
Food at college is important. People will pretty much do anything for free food, because seriously, food’s really expensive, especially if it’s good. So, if you can make good food, you’re going to get a lot of friends.
I’ve learned tricks to cooking in the dorm, and I’ve learned how to use cheap ingredients to make food good. I could simply tell you these tricks, but I don’t think that’s enough.
Any chef knows the book Joy of Cooking. It’s a classic. It’s got hundreds of recipes and techniques. But it’s not a great book for the college cook. After all, you can’t really make ‘Roast stuffed goose with giblet gravy’ in a dorm kitchen, right?
That’s what I’m going to do with this blog. I bought a copy of Joy of Cooking, and I will be altering every single recipe to something that you can do with that microwave and tiny stove. If you can boil water, you can cook.
If you can’t boil water, then I really can’t help you. Sorry.
I'd ideally like to be updating this blog weekly. But when I got to my dorm this semester, I realized that I don't even have a microwave this time, wow. So, I'll have to rely on my boyfriend for help with a lot of these recipes, and I'll be trying to update as close to a weekly schedule as possible.
I guess this is where I’d put some goodbye catchphrase, like Bon appétit! but I don’t have one yet. So, just have fun cooking, okay?