Top Eleven Student Cooking Tips You Need To Learn
So your first year is coming to an end and you’ve decided to move into a flat with some people that you will absolutely loathe in just one year's time. Now you’ve got a place, nothing says “I’m sort of trying to be a semi-functional adult” like your first efforts at home cooking. But not everybody is a budding Jamie Oliver or Fanny Cradock. That’s why we’re here to provide some helpful advice that will save you time and money so you can spend more of both on a lifestyle of drunken wretchedness broken up only by the deadline-driven panic that you’ve now become used to.
1) Pasta is your friend: You’re going to eat a lot of this. A lot. Basically you want to get a supermarket delivery of about £100 worth of this. Same goes for tinned tomatoes. That should be you sorted for about a semester.
2) Ramen is your cheaper, better friend: Freeze-dried ramen noodles aren’t just spaghetti’s depressing, sodium-packed cousin; they’re a cheap, versatile staple beloved by American students and incarcerated felons alike! Don’t have much time? Pour on boiling water and dig in! Have absolutely no time? Just smash them up in the pack and eat dry from a hole cut in the corner. Having friends round? Whip up an authentic US prison “spread” by shoving damp noodles into a large bag of crushed potato or corn chips along with beef jerky, canned tuna, hot sauce and pickles. The best part? No dishes! Split the bag and eat it right off the table, just like they do in the notorious San Quentin State Prison!
3) Take up vegetarianism: It’s a student cliché to go vegetarian at uni, but this isn’t about animal rights or whatever. It’s simply that you don’t know what the hell you’re doing because your mother or the hall canteen cooked all your meals until now and the odds of you giving yourself food poisoning are really, really high. No, don’t even touch that chicken. Please. You are not ready. It’s really hard to destroy your stomach with vegetables. This goes double if you’re cooking for flatmates and have to share a single bathroom; triple if you’re cooking to impress someone special.
If you still want something to suffer for your meal, shove your flatmates into a small, dark, cramped cage while you cook. If you only eat free range animal products, let them out for a five minute interval during the cooking process.
4) Except for bacon: (a) It’s delicious, and (b) even you can’t screw that up. If you can, consider going back to catered halls, because that’s all you deserve.
5) Extend the Five-second Rule: It’s an arbitrary number anyway, so why not make it the 30-second rule? Or the 60-second rule? Or the 360-second-but-maybe-just-200-if-it-fell-under-the-couch rule?
6) Dervish leftovers: Some so-called “health experts” might say that half a doner kebab covered in garlic sauce can’t and shouldn’t be eaten after being left stranded on the kitchen counter for a week. We say those people should be ashamed of their wasteful behaviour during this era of austerity.
7) Pablos are not a vegetable: We’ve checked with the School of Biology, and they insist that neither VKs nor vodka shots are vegetables, and more surprisingly, do not become vegetables when combined. This even goes for the green ones. Who knew?
8) Sandwiches: Anything between two pieces of bread counts as food. And we mean anything. After all, it’s a really long walk to Tesco from here.
9) Batch meals: It’s always a good idea to prepare meals days in advance that can be simply taken out of the fridge or freezer and microwaved for those days when you simply don’t have time to cook properly because of that essay you’ve been putting off for a week and now it’s due tomorrow and you haven't even started it yet oh god oh no why did I do this again. But what if you don’t have time to cook in the first place? Luckily for you, Rustlers burgers can be bought in batches on sale and already come divided into discrete portions ready for the microwave. Serve with a Red Bull over a Macbook keyboard at midnight and savour the taste of absolute despair because you let this happen yet again.
10) Learn to lie convincingly: As long as you keep contact with your parents strictly through the phone, it will be easier to keep them convinced that you are eating healthily instead of spending most of your money on drink like the cautionary tale you have become. There is absolutely no reason for them to know that the last thing you ate that even resembled fruit was a Terry’s Chocolate Orange three weeks ago. If you are cornered into the use of Facetime or Skype, explain away your pallid yet somehow jaundiced complexion with an excuse about your camera settings not being quite right.
11) Be rich: The ultimate time-saving tip for student cooking is to have lots of money. Think of the time you can save if every meal is brought right to your door by Deliveroo. Wow!