Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cooking for Myself - Why do People Like This?

It was the summer of ice cream and hummus.
For anyone living in an apartment, away from Mom or the dining hall for the first time, agree with me that feeding oneself isn't as simple as it sounds. Dining hall food isn't very good, but it's always there, pre-cooked and available in nearly unlimited quantities. Oh, and there's always someone there to do the dishes. Drop them in the tray return and be on your way. Anyway, apparently, having your own kitchen comes with responsibilities and all that jazz. Here are some kitchen-related facts and pro-tips that I've discovered while attempting to feed myself for the summer.

1. Groceries are expensive. 

Especially when you're shopping for the entire week at a time. I now shop by price-per-unit and what's on sale, rather than what brand is tastiest.

1a. It totally makes sense that obesity and poverty are correlated. 

Because seriously, produce is really, really expensive compared to Hot Pockets and Little Debbie. (Bonus pro-tip: buy citrus fruit in bulk when it's on sale. It doesn't spoil nearly as quickly as other fruits)

2. "Meals" don't happen. 

I don't really know how moms everywhere do it, but by the time you get home at 6 or 6:30, you're tired, you're hungry, and unless you plan on auditioning for Top Chef anytime soon, the last thing you want to do is cook something. As a result, dinners tend to come out of pre-packaged containers, and they're rarely, if ever, well-rounded.

3. Buying vegetables doesn't mean that you'll cook and/or eat them.

Especially when that involves turning the stove on and waiting. They look totally responsible sitting in the freezer, though.

4. Bananas and avocados will always go south before you get the chance to eat them

But you'll keep buying them, with the hopes that it'll be better next time.

5. Ice cream can be a food group!

Well, not really, but you'll try to make it one.

6. Instant pudding can also be a food group.

I really don't have a lot more to say on this one, except that cook&serve = pudding skin, while instant = no skin.

7. Doing the dishes sucks. Even when you have a dishwasher. 

Dirty dishes will still pile up in the sink, because you were too lazy to take the clean ones out of the washer. So the whole "modern convenience" of the appliance is sort of ousted if you're not proactive enough to maintain it. And someone please tell me why Cascade brand dish soap smells so bad. I know that my plates are clean, but I really hate that just-rinsed dishwasher smell.

8. Spoons are the limiting factor

Just like you have to do laundry because you've run out of clean underwear, you'll also have to do the dishes because you've run out of clean spoons.

9. Crumbs. Everywhere.

I don't even eat that much bread. No matter how often you wipe the counter and stove down though, it'll always look like someone smashed a bag of crackers and used the resultant mess to lightly dust every flat surface.

For some reason, I thought I was more domestic than all that.


  1. This describes my experience 100% accurately.

  2. You forgot to explain that you drink ensure all the time - I see it there in your fridge! Some things never change

  3. Oh man. So right about the bananas. There are two in my pantry right now turning a lovely shade of brown. I giggled at the spoon to underwear comparison.

  4. I make cereal and eat it with a fork because all my spoons are dirty. Sadface.