Spicing it up: students living on campus maximize their resources to create delicious culinary masterpieces
The Diner, colloquially referred to as the S.U.B., has a commitment to bringing students high-quality food, a great customer experience and the use of only the best local products.
Most students would agree with these goals; however, students every once in a while desire more personalized food options catered to their specific tastes.
In this mission for total personal satisfaction, students have branched out and tried their hand at an ancient, yet undeniably important tradition: home cooking, or in this case, dorm cooking.
Whether it is Google, their grandmother or Martha Stewart, students have found a variety of resources from which they can obtain recipes and ideas.
Sophomore JP Halverson recently cooked a homemade meal of pastina, a classic Italian soup consisting of chicken broth, acini de pepe pasta, a little thyme, a little garlic and more than a little tender loving care.
“Cooking at home tends to be inexpensive,” Halverson said. “This meal only cost me four bucks.”
However, not all meals are so simple. Though residence hall kitchens are great—they are generally stocked with pots, pans and general utensils—they sometimes lack the variety of available tools needed. While this lack of more specialized equipment may impede some residents, others have embraced their creative side:
“I didn’t have an orange zester the other day… so I used a cheese grater, and the bread still came out quite zesty,” a freshman in Smith Residence Hall said.
Additionally, students have begun using the S.U.B. as a sort of personal supermarket, buying individual materials and borrowing tools to aid their cooking. From using plastic cups to roll dough to using the oatmeal bar ingredients for baked goods, students are utilizing the S.U.B. not only for great food, but also for materials to make great food of their own.
Some students even put together their own dishes in the diner itself. One of the more well-known S.U.B. creations is the fried chicken salad.
“Okay, so here’s what you do. Make yourself a salad, right? Then grab some ranch or blue cheese dressing, and head to the grill for a full order of chicken strips. Cut that up, throw all the ingredients in with the salad, and there you have it,” a veteran S.U.B.-goer, Sam Ransohoff, explains.
Another common favorite involves breakfast bacon from the Chef’s Table. Known to be crunchy, salty and downright delicious, it complements both salads and sandwiches with each of the aforementioned characteristics.
This utilization of individual ingredients can also be paired with pre-packaged foods, such as the stereotypical college meal of ramen, or instant noodles.
Rather than eating the noodles alone, a budget-friendly alternative is to add in fresh ingredients. Common ingredients include sriracha, sesame oil, green onions, mushrooms, eggs and when available, meats such as chicken, pork or beef.
Almost all of these complementary ingredients can be found at the diner and the Cellar, and can spruce up even the blandest of meals.
“Ramen is very bland, so it’s very versatile in how you can modify the taste to your liking,” sophomore Nate Wilson said. “It’s really quick and easy to make.”
Alternatively, some students choose to simply make up recipes as they go, experimenting with the ingredients and knowledge they have.
“I sometimes make up dishes as I go along. The other day I put sriracha on saltines with some banana, and wow… it was not as good as I expected it to be,” said one student, who wished to remain anonymous.
All in all, students have shown great creativity and ingenuity in the dishes they have created. From favorites from back home to new recipes discovered or concocted right on campus, students continue to find new ways to feed and nourish themselves.