Letters to Freshers: Ready, Steady, Cook!
One of the best things you can do when you go to university is cook. Whether it’s learning from the beginning or honing your existing skills, you should definitely take the time to get well acquainted with your kitchen.
It might not be as cool as drinking games and clubbing, but you’ll be so glad to have that leftover pasta bake when you’re nursing your hangover the next day.
If this is your first time living away from home then make the most of having a kitchen free of ever-watchful parents; try out recipes that they’d think were crazy and don’t worry if it all goes wrong because you’ll probably eat it anyway.
And if your family ever question whether you’re really becoming the responsible adult you’re meant to be, just tell them about that time you successfully made a fennel gratin or baked doughnuts.
Being able to cook is obviously practical too. It’ll save you money and the meal you get in the end will normally be better than the pre-packaged version; at least once you’ve practiced it a few times anyway.
Plus you’ll be less tempted to resort to takeaway deliveries if you know that you can make something yourself with less expense and just a bit more effort. If you can manage to get into baking you’ll be doing yourself a favour too.
Not only will a box of cakes or biscuits make your new flat seem much more homely, but it’ll probably be well received by flatmates and will put you off making a last minute Co-op dash when you get peckish, the latter of which never ends well.
Some of my best memories from my first year at university are filled with food I had made. During the first term I found fellow Bake Off fans and we watched the series together, bringing our own bakes to share each week.
For my flatmate’s birthday we all made pizzas from scratch, rolling out the dough with empty bottles and coffee cans because none of us had a rolling pin to hand.
Then during the summer term the campus seemed to be littered with people using disposable barbeques and I ate my share of slightly uncooked veggie burgers.
So once you’ve recovered from fresher’s week, venture into your kitchen, look beyond the toaster or microwave and get cooking.