One part of university that people often overlook is food. Obviously for catered accommodation, it’s less of an issue (I myself always opt for self-catered, as fussy as I am). But for those who have decided to venture into the world of cooking it can be quite a shock suddenly having to make your own food.
I have been an avid dweller of the kitchen for years, so I found it less of a problem than some of my flatmates. For the first few weeks of first term the microwave certainly got plenty of use, and the smell of oven pizza became a daily occurrence in the kitchen. As much as I like to say I’ve never had a microwave meal in my life, I must admit that I came dangerously close a handful of times, after having lectures and labs from 9.30 to 6.30 and coming home to cook dinner was the last thing I wanted to do.
Google was my saviour when I wanted something easy and quick to do (I’ll pop some of my favourite links below). What I also found useful was to base my weekly shop around set meals, rather than just buying things and figuring out what to do with them once I was stood at the stove. This means you always have the ingredients to make a meal and won’t end up a tomato short of putanseca. Another good side-effect is that it saves money, as you won’t find yourself buying something only to put it in the bin weeks later when it starts growing mould.
My mum was a superhero when it came to not starving in my first term. She emailed me recipes for all the meals I liked from home, which was a godsend before I found recipes online and from friends to expand my repertoire. Most recipes feed 2 or 4 (or just one if you’re hungry or it’s just been a bad day, no one is judging you). A brilliant tip from my mum was that making the full amount and freezing the rest in portions means that on those ‘I don’t want to cook I just want to nap’ days, you have something that you can pop in the microwave or oven to warm up that’s arguably a lot better for you than a chicken tikka from Tesco.
I guess what I want to say here is that even if you’ve never cooked a meal in your life, university is a great place to ease into cooking for yourself. All it takes is a little planning and next thing you know you’ll be the next Gordon Ramsey (or maybe not, but at least you won’t starve).
My favourite recipes