For anyone who doesn’t really know me, I’ll tell you right now that I am not a fan of the kitchen. Unless it’s for going in the fridge to get food, that is. I don’t like cooking and I couldn’t even tell you the name of half the utensils in the kitchen at my house. Before coming to university in late September, I’d cooked a total of three, perhaps four proper meals for myself (proper meals being anything more complicated than baked beans, tinned spaghetti and soup). So you could say my parents didn’t exactly have high hopes for me being able to fend myself food-wise upon leaving home.
For the first week I was at university, they were right. I was reluctant to actually cook a meal in the kitchen, so my food for the first week consisted of Uncle Ben’s rice, ready meals, toast, fruit and cereal bars. Not the healthiest diet, I’m sure you’ll agree. By week two however, even I was beginning to see the flaws in this kind of diet, so I wondered what options I had available to me and came up with these three:
- I continue on this diet of ready meals and snack foods and see how long it takes me to either run out of money or die
- Don’t cook for myself at all and starve to death
- Actually pull myself together and learn how to cook
So naturally, because I like to think that I do have some degree of intelligence, I chose option 3. So, the Monday of week two, I decided to go out and do a food shop for the week. Now this was a very daunting task for me because I’d never had to go on a full shop for myself and buy enough food to last me a week. However, after calling in a little of help from the mother and boyfriend (who’s been through university and therefore knows the do’s and don’ts of student shopping) I managed to complete this task.
For my first attempt at cooking for myself, I decided to set the bar rather low and start off with something elementary, i.e. pasta. With the advice from one of my flatmates, I managed to cook myself a decent meal. Nothing was burned, nothing set on fire and nothing was inedible, so in my mind I did a rather good job. Since then (it’s been nearly about two and a half months since I’ve started university) I’ve managed to perfect nearly all kinds of pasta dish and cook some other meals to a fair degree of deliciousness. For example, I cooked myself a miniature roast yesterday and since I’ve done that a few times now I managed to get the timings for all the various foods almost bang on.
When I went home for the weekend a few weeks ago and told the ‘rents that I’d actually been cooking for myself (and had cooked such things as a roast) my Mum firstly asked if I was joking and when I told her that I wasn’t, she still didn’t believe me. To be honest, I don’t blame her. I’d find it quite difficult to believe that someone like me, who couldn’t even cook pasta until two months ago, was making roast dinners. But eventually I persuaded her that I wasn’t lying and that I was in fact maintaining a fairly balanced diet.
So the lesson here, ladies and gentlemen, is that even the most hopeless case can actually pull of some surprising things when the alternative is bankruptcy and/or starvation. I think all I needed is a kick up the arse, really. I needed to be thrown into the deep end of the pool.
On another note, we received our January exam timetables today and I have to tell you, I’m not looking forward to exams. I’m going to have to revise my arse off over Christmas if I have any hope of passing.
Five exams. Some people I know on different courses don’t even have January exams. It’s pretty rubbish, really.
Anyway, have a great Christmas, everyone! Auf wiedersehen!