Food

Hall’s kitchen: how to gain cooking confidence

Put the Pot Noodle down. Here's how eat well at university.

Moving into halls is daunting. You’re on your own, so it’s important to know how to take care of yourself and eat more than Pot Noodles and Rustlers Burgers.

Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you eat well and avoid scurvy.

First, you need the right equipment. Baking trays, frying pans, spatulas, wooden spoons, and a couple pots are all essential. With these, you can make any meal you want.

Consider a non-stick frying pan for extra credit: they’re great quality and so easy to clean.

You also need spare equipment, as flatmates will use your things whether you like it or not. Any equipment left lying, and even stuff that isn’t, will be taken, so it’s good to have backup!

Always have a little more than you need so you’re not left eating pasta out the sieve.

Now to get serious. Students go through a lot, but this is perhaps the greatest challenge of shared halls: do your dishes!

Research suggests that 90% of student arguments are caused by dirt dishes, and it’s all downhill from there. Passive aggressive notes, group chat essays, and accommodation staff getting involved, something so simple can bring positive flatmate relationships to an end.

Another top tip: keep the kitchen door closed while cooking. The detectors in there are for heat; the smoke detectors are actually in the hall, and you do not want to be the guy who evacuates the building at 2AM, because everyone hates that guy.

Also avoid cookbooks. We spend enough hard earned SAAS on module textbooks already, and you’re not a Dickensian peasant, you’re a modern, mobile phone wielding student with a thousand recipes already in your pocket. Reddit’s gif recipe thread is a good start.

Spices are another cheat code to cooking. Nothing saves a dish more than the right spice or herb and they’re super cheap. Whenever you have a spare pound to spend on your shop, grab some mixed herbs, paprika, cumin, or whatever you like. Turn something basic into something brilliant.

Finally, we all have our weak moments, and if you are eating simply, just don’t buy Pot Noodles. Buy Super noodles instead; they’re half the price and just as bad.

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