May 27, 2018, by Shweta
Baby Steps: Cooking for One
In keeping with this series, today I’ll be talking about my journey towards achieving peak ‘Master-chef’ status. Before moving to university, I rarely cooked for myself, let alone anyone else. When I did, it was to make my “signature” wrap which took about 15 minutes and honestly, tasted like a soggy £3 post night-out mess. Actually, scratch that, one time I tried baking brownies, forgot about it while it was in the oven and almost set my kitchen on fire. Let’s just say my mother wasn’t too happy about my adventures in her kitchen.
Having since come to university and (sort-of) successfully passed the ‘eating-pasta-out-of-a-mug’ phase that accompanies dorm life, I have managed to learn how to cook food that doesn’t break the bank OR put your/your friend’s lives in danger.
For starters, make mistakes. To be fair, this is my attempt at excusing all my kitchen failures but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t learnt from my mistakes. Every time you mess up at a recipe, you’re just learning how not to do it for the next time around. It took me 2 weeks of eating either overcooked or undercooked rice to learn how to get it just right.
Secondly, do your weekly shop after 1pm on Saturdays. Tesco and Lidl often seem to put stuff on sale by then but it isn’t so late that nothing is left in stock. Using these sales to stock up on frozen vegetables or meat means you’ll have a wholesome fridge which equals a wholesome meal.
Finally, cook with friends. There are no better memories than the ones I have created with my housemates while we all support each other in our cooking challenges. Learning recipes from each other is the perfect way to expand your skill-set.
Cooking at university can be time-consuming and quite frankly, the amount of time it takes to cook and clean is just disproportional to the 5-seconds it takes to scarf the food down. Nonetheless, I think it’s important to learn how to cook a basic meal by the time you hit your 20s; more so because student bank accounts just aren’t stable enough to handle daily take-outs. The more you explore, the better a chef you will become. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with a back-up career option if uni doesn’t work out!
Hey, Shweta! I know firsthand how hard is the transferring process – from home to university. And for someone like me, who never had any legitimate experience in the kitchen apart from making coffee or muffins, cooking for myself was hard. The first few times were even disastrous – ingredients all over the kitchen, a mini fire in the oven and burnt beyond any recognition turkey 🙂
Hi Kim! Honestly, I relate to all of that. You haven’t been a student if you haven’t caused a mini kitchen fire haha! Hopefully we’ve both gotten a bit better with time.