Food for Thought: Best Before Graduation
There are foods you’ll discover or invent during university that will never seem so inspirational after you’ve left. Perhaps it’s that heady combination of sleep deprivation, alcohol, constant guilt that you’re not reading, drowsiness (when you are reading) and freedom. University is a time for experimenting. This might involve doing things that are bad for you. Including consuming 5000 calories in the middle of the night, eating two day old unrefrigerated chicken and dosing up on vinegary wine to dull the pain, or taking stale bread out of the bin when you realise it’s the last slice.
Below is a list of foods best tried as a student. If you don’t love at least 30% of this list, are you really cut out for student life? Or maybe you’re a superior being from the future. (Don’t read this if you’re Gwyneth Paltrow.)
- Chocolate Mug Cake
Like a dense pudding rather than a sponge. The chocolate mug cake is a culinary marvel. Heston Blumenthal is probably working on a version involving 200 different processes and a microwave the size of a room, but he won’t get it right. Half the enjoyment of chocolate mug cake is the knowledge that you created this in two minutes and barely had to rinse out your mug.
2 tbsp SR flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp milk
Optional extras: 1 tbsp Nutella / 1 tsp vanilla essence / 1 tsp of the spice or essence of your choice.
Serve with 2 tbsp of ice cream.
I like to leave it uncooked at the bottom, to use as a chocolate sauce for the rest of the cake. Otherwise, the top can get overcooked.
The classic toastie is cheese, but once you’ve shelled out five quid for a toastie maker it seems a shame not to experiment. Choose any stuff that becomes sticky when melted. Not jam, because jam is already sticky. Mars bar (becomes sticky) is much better than Nutella (already sticky). Cheese and Mars bar will make you reconsider your view of the universe. Marshmallow is surprisingly disappointing. Fruit is just kidding yourself.
It’s like a meal, but it’s basically chips and dip. Unless you add lots to it and then it’s like a buffet that fell down into a single pile. As long as you’re not too passionate about them, they’re perfect for sharing with good friends. (Good friend = friends you can share germs with.) They’re also a good way to display your masculinity as “nacho” rhymes with “macho.” Eat them frequently to increase your aura of manliness.
- Microwaveable Burger
The worst idea. But then again, so clever: how do they make a burger and a bun that should be cooked for the same amount of time? I have seen people eat these and not vomit or die, so it’s possible.
- Deep Fried Mars Bar
Always an option if you’re studying in Scotland. If deep fried Mars bar sounds too rich, there’s always deep fried pizza. If you, or your neighbours, own a deep fat fryer then you’re laughing. (Laughing is a good workout for the stomach muscles, so try to laugh regularly if you are a deep frying fan. Also, keep an actual fan to get rid of grease smells.) As for ingredients – anything goes! It will all end up tasting the same.
N.b. All of the ingredients listed in these recipes can be substituted for others if it will make your life easier.