It’s time to talk about food.
Before you go to University one of the questions you will be undoubtedly asked on numerous occasions is, “Can you cook?” My answer was always, “Yes, I love cooking!” which my parents now find mildly amusing considering my past attitude to culinary adventures.
I was one of those children who was thrilled at the idea of making fairy cakes, but upon realising cooking did not just involve putting hundreds and thousands in a bowl and eating icing, I would quickly lose interest and sit in the corner playing with the cookie cutters or pushing dough into the floorboards.
Now however, I love the cooking part almost as much as the eating part.
I started baking during my A Level’s with the view that if I bashed enough air out of bread dough I would feel less inclined to bash my own head on the desk when learning the stages of mitosis.
My sister loved the fact there were at least two cakes a week in the house; lemon drizzle, chocolate or Victoria sponge depending on what ingredients were in the cupboard and whether making chocolate cake meant having to walk to Tesco in the pouring rain for cocoa powder. Part of the child chef in me refuses to be squashed.
Now, I love Sundays, not just because it’s the day I can legitimately stay in bed until late, watching Love Actually with Alison and eating yogurt covered raisins, but it’s the day I get to buy a whole lot of food for the rest of the week. I spend most of Friday and Saturday standing in my kitchen, peering hopefully into my empty cupboards and scraping the last of my peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon.
But what to cook?
I’m not one for buying Tesco value meat and Pot Noodles, and a cupboard full of 15 pence passata, leeks and rice can get a bit bland after two weeks.
Jamie Oliver is a pretty good guy when it comes to jazzing up reduced vegetables, but we are wary of Nigella and her favourite phrase, “And everyone should have…” insert obscure food stuff here. Fish cooking liquid, white truffle oil, Kirsch, Gruyère cheese, you name it, you won’t have it.
My flatmates and I have gone crazy for sweet potato and coriander – Jamie adds feta too but we can’t all afford that when there’s books to buy and rosé to drink.
Eggs are great if you fear you are not ingesting enough protein and need to liven up a meal. But if you’re like my sister, who requires at least one steak a week to live and who spent most of her stay with me looking through my Delia cookbook, salivating and making plaintive, hungry noises, you might want to consider beef over beer. Your call dude.
Jamie Oliver – 30 Minute Meals We Love you Jamie
Ollie, Will, Lauren, Patrick and I have found the best place to go when we’re fed up of cooking. There’s a sandwich shop just down from our journalism building which could happily be compared to some sort of food haven.
So not only are the sandwiches a size that Joey Tribbiani would be proud of, but there’s panini’s and cake and a student discount. It’s unreal.
There’s choice from mozzarella, stuffing, turkey, brie, pesto, peppers, three different types of chicken, tuna, bacon, egg, sausage, cheddar, prawn, smoked salmon, Philadelphia, beef and ham. And probably 45 other ingredients I can’t remember.
Ollie is in raptures every time we go in. Sometimes if he chooses a particularly good sandwich, we have to go back an hour later so he can order the same thing.
Due to the fact we rarely eat out, I usually choose a sandwich I have already had and liked so as not to waste any money. I am mocked for not making the most of the delicious array of fillings. And they have a point. If I can switch from white potato to sweet then surely I can branch out in the vast choice of chicken.
Because University has done nothing if not make me more adventurous in the sandwich department. I owe it so much.
Images courtesy of Google Grab a wooden spoon if you feel like bashing something