May 4, 2011

Three Meals, No Kitchen

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After a year of living in Balch Hall, I swore I would never again subject myself to a 5-by-10-ft. kitchen shared with exactly 4.2 billion girls. The truth is that while 4.2 billion girls might be a little hard to come by, tiny kitchens will be ubiquitous with the low income I will inevitably have until I’m well graduated from Cornell.

Luckily, I’m not concerned about my paltry kitchen prospects. Because if you survived your freshman year in the dorms, chances are you have learned some creative cooking skills.

Assume that you’ve got a coffee maker, a toaster and a rice cooker. Also, I’m guessing you have at least one good knife — if you don’t, sell all your belongings immediately and purchase one.

Breakfast: You will not survive any type of higher education without your morning coffee. But the key to success does not come with Folger’s in your cup.

These days, grinding your beans has become de rigueur. The poor man’s trick? Double-bagged Ziplocs and your trusty hammer. Sweeten your brew with a splash of condensed milk.

Lunch: Today you’ll be feasting on grilled cheese. “But Cristina,” you say, “I have no stove, much less a toaster oven!” Don’t fret, because I am about to blow your mind with the old Jamie Oliver trick.

Turn your toaster oven on its side, prop the front up with a book, then toast a piece of buttered bread with cheese on the bottom and your top slice above it. Bring it together for a magical sandwich.

Dinner: We, my friends, are making rice-maker fried rice. Yes, connoisseurs of real fried rice will die a little inside when they read this. But they are snobs.

First things first: unleash that lean, mean, steaming machine and cook some white rice. Remove all the cooked rice into a bowl, restart your rice maker and add a pat of butter to the rice bowl. Once it’s melted, throw in a handful of minced onions and sauté.

Crack an egg and lightly scramble before re-adding your rice. Top with ketchup, soy sauce and Sriracha. Mix well and bask in the glory of your awesomeness.

Original Author: Cristina Stiller