April 14, 2005

Taste Matters

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One of the most important things I learned when I lived in a frat house was that in the morning, even if you don’t remember anything, at least 20 different people saw you take her up to your room. Another thing I learned is that frat guys know how to make some of the world’s most delicious food. Whether it’s a cheese steak, fried cheese steak or a plastic cup that fell in the fryer, frat guys (or the more PC “guys in frats”) can make anything at any time of day, given the amenities of course.

The fraternity kitchen is not simply a place in which drunken meatheads can eat cereal out of a frying pan. It serves as a central meeting place that inspires important communication among the brothers, and as a nutritional haven for fat people with morbidly high cholesterol. But yes, some would say that the fraternity kitchen, not the empty bedroom with a dirty mattress that doubles as a boom boom room, is the heart of the house.

Living in Collegetown has made me realize just how dearly I miss my frat kitchen — the ability to simply walk downstairs and eat almost whatever crap you want is no longer an option. I guess I could drive over there when I want to do that, but given the recent wave of violent crimes committed by squirrels and other miscreants, I simply don’t feel safe walking to my car. Even when I was able to incorporate some of the fraternity’s elements into my house, like vomit and drunk freshmen girls, I just didn’t feel that same fratasticness when I made food.

I tried starting fights with people and breaking as much stuff as I could, but again, no luck. To say the least, I was a little disheartened. But I am resilient and have extensive knowledge of the culinary arts, which led me to a solution: renovate my house and install an authentic fraternity kitchen. Now keep in mind that simply throwing in a big stove and a bunch of dishes is not enough, you must try to bring in as much of the fraternity lifestyle as possible. This will not be easy, but if you follow my instructions, perhaps soon enough you will be able to eat something with old mayonnaise and hot sauce, while sporting four popped collars and a sweet beer gut.

First thing’s first — you must adjust your attitude. You will now think and act like a frat guy, even if you are a girl, which will actually be a little weird, but just bear with me. To begin this adjustment, you should begin to see Cornell in a totally different light. Now, it’s not so big anymore. All of your new friends are now located in one place. Don’t worry about your other friends — you’ll see them in two years if you remember what they look like. In fact, you really shouldn’t even bother talking with people outside of the Greek system because they simply aren’t cool. Your vocabulary should retain none of its old words, and should instead become a beautiful combination of “dude,” “bro,” “yo” and “yo bro.” Your attire should be: flipflops at all times, even when you’re in bed with a chick; cargo shorts or frayed jeans; a cloth, not leather belt; as many polo shirts or your house’s party shirts as you can wear at one time and a hat or severely unkempt hair. Finally, never, under any circumstances, take one or both of your hands out of your pants. We know you’re not really playing with yourself — you just need somewhere to put your hands.

Good. Now we can get to the actual stuff you need to put in your tiny little apartment. You need to go out, drug and abduct some random frat guys, and bring them over in a van. Then, just tell them that your apartment is the house, and they’ll believe you. But you can’t just kidnap any frat guys, you just need the ones that matter.

Now, all frat guys should be loud — that’s a given. But there is always one guy, who tends to be fat, that is the loudest, drunkest, most annoying and often semi-retarded brother in the house. You need him and he needs your deep fryer. The next guy is the handsome dude who does actually pull a good amount of decent ass, but consequently, also the STDs that come with them. That’s okay because he doesn’t really know he has them anyway. Then you’ll need the “good brother” of the house — the guy who pledged his little heart out and really cares about the house. He might even be the president or something. He will try to make you feel fratty when you don’t. You need the guy who always smokes, even when no one else will. He’s quiet and watches a lot of weird ’70s children’s shows, but he also loves to eat. Finally, there’s the guy who you don’t really know and who might or might not actually be in your fraternity, even though he’s always there, looking shady in the kitchen late night, cooking venison.

Next, you need to smuggle in the following pieces of kitchen equipment: an enormous deep fryer. For this, you must devote an entire room of your house to the operations of the fryer and its equally large basket. If you’ve ever been to a fraternity for any meal of the day, or any party, you’d know that nothing is to be served or eaten unless it’s at least touched the fryer. But sometimes, when you want to fit a whole animal in that thing, it doesn’t quite work out. So you need a big fryer.

You will also need to reserve another big room, preferably yours, to house a huge freezer with flat, frozen meat and bags of freeze dried potatoes to throw into the fryer whenever you wish. Next, get as much cheese, tortillas and white rolls as possible because you will be able to make just about anything from a quesadilla to a cheese steak or, well, that’s actually about it, but when you’re drunk, all you need is meat, cheese and something to hold them together. Yum.

And next to the freezers, you will absolutely need gallon-sized redhot, mayo, blue cheese dressing, barbeque sauce and ketchup on tap (Heinz not Hunt’s, please for the love of Jahova). Mustard is not necessary, but if you want to smell like it for a day, go right ahead. And lest we forget the alcohol — put Barton’s vodka into an Absolut or Grey Goose bottle you find in the trash. No one will know. And if you have room, or if you want to evict one of your friends, put a damn kegerator in his room and never buy cans of beer again, so also get like a million 16 oz, not 12 oz cups for all intents and purposes.

What you won’t need: napkins, unless you want your brother to think you’re gay. Utensils — see previous sentence. Okay, maybe a huge spoon for spooning stuff or something, but that’s it. Do get dishes but never wash them. If you have pledges, they will do that, but otherwise, washing them is soooo annoying and someone else will do them some day. You know what? Fuck it. Just eat with your hands like a damn man — one hand on double bacon cheeseburger with chicken, one hand on beer and one hand on girl … hold on. Okay, that’s not gonna work. Go to the Mechanical Engineering building and have them build you a bionic arm. When they ask you why, just yell, “So I can drink my beer, eat my cheesesteak and drink my beer!” It’ll work. Hmm. Oh yeah, you will need to hire a chef — that’s very important. But he needs to chain smoke, yell a lot, drink a lot too and know how to fix anything, or know someone who can. He’ll also help you out with your new fryer and teach that in reality, you can deep fry anything if you put your mind to it.

So take my advice, and get going on this endeavor. When you complete the aforementioned steps and turn your little, over-priced, Cook Street “house” into a genuine fraternity kitchen, you’ll learn a little bit about what Greek life has to offer.

Archived article by Jon Rich
Sun Staff Writer