Saturday, March 28, 2009

A cook without a kitchen

I don't cook very much at college. And when I say very much... I mean at all.

Why? It's really pretty straightforward. I'm pretty darn busy, for one, but that's certainly not the primary obstacle. The nearest usable kitchen is 600 feet and several flights of stairs away. In the Davidson universe, this is a considerable distance... my cooking equipment is heavy, after all. My fridge is tiny and my storage space nearly non-existent, so I lack basic pantry supplies, and therefore any cooking venture requires preplanning and shopping: spontaneous chefery is out of the question. And preplanning is, well, not my forte.

In short, cooking is a rare and happy event for me here at D-son. So consider my complete disappointment and despair when I discover that the cooking contest I planned to enter is on a weekend that I have a regatta! Just consider! It is -- it is considerable. I was trying to decide between deep-fried thai-themed tofu and vegetarian pancit (I was limited to tofu or chicken for the main protein source, and "international" for the theme) but no can do. I love crew, I do, but it's a big time and money commitment that I've begun to think might not belong in my future... and now it's keeping me from cooking? Man, this is just not okay. Straw: breaking camel-a's back.

Anyway, maybe I will soon do a post of what passes for cooking in my life here at college. It includes:

- putting peanut butter on pretzels
- making trail mix from salad bar supplies
- and, um... that's about it...

Seriously. Tragic. I found a recipe for microwave chocolate cake-like substance, but it requires eggs, which, of course, I never have handy. And you can make potato chips in the microwave... but only if you have a mandoline, which, alas, I don't. I could do SO many things with a toaster oven, or a panini press, or a hot plate! -- but we aren't even allowed normal toasters. It's awful.

I tend to compensate for this by going on baking and cooking binges when I go home on breaks; over spring break I made pretzels, cake, pie, doughnuts and various vegetably dishes, all within the span of a few days. But breaks are few and far apart, and my last bout of cooking has definitely worn off. Rainy, cold days like this one, all I can think about is what I wish I was baking... damnedly distracting. And then I think about the one cooking-filled (and competitive!) day I was so looking forward to, which has now fallen out of my future, and I sigh a mournful sigh. A mournful, mournful sigh.