If you’re moving away from home – either into residence or off-campus, there’s going to be a big change in your life. We’re talking about the food. You might be thinking “I cooked at home! I don’t need any help!” Well sweet summer child, you’re in for a treat... metaphorically.
Even if you’ve cooked at home, did you do all of the grocery shopping? Can you remember what goes into pancakes? It’s fine, learning to feed yourself is part of growing up.
You should cook yummy food for yourself and your roomies because you genuinely want to, and feel interested in doing so, not because you feel guilted into it by Buzzfeed tutorials or want to shitpost on insta. Ultimately, you’ll end up doing the things that bring you more joy – so what are some tips for putting down that cereal bowl and picking up a cast-iron pan?
1. Kitchenware: Less is more. Or rather, fewer dishes, more time not doing dishes. Get cast-iron pots and pans (even an old one from a thrift store will do), one new non-stick stock pot (a cheap one from Amazon is totally ok), and two wooden stirring spoons. Use the cast iron for stuff that doesn’t stick too badly, like stir-fried veggies, and for baking. Use the non-stick pan for stuff that sticks, like scrambled eggs, and for all other stove-top tasks.
2. Flavour: Salt, pepper and a bunch of pre-made/canned sauces are the easiest ways to make a meal. Stock up! Every grocery store has salsa, teriyaki sauce, curry bases and marinara.
3. Three grocery items: Keep three things stocked at all times: frozen pre-cut veggies, eggs and a carb of your choice (rice, bread, pasta, naan, tortillas, etc). Pick up some fruits and cheese if you’re feeling fancy.
4. Use what you have: If you’ve done all the above, you’re set to make an amazing meal. Stir-fry some veggies with eggs, or roast them in the cast iron. Mix in a sauce, and serve it with a carb on the side.
5. Ask for help: Cooking together is fun! Make your cupboard available to other people who know what they’re doing, and watch what they do. Make a date of it or call a loved one on the phone (so 90s but still, just do it) so they can walk you through a family recipe. And as always, a quick Google search never hurts.