A College Kitchn: Introduction

Growing up, my family would always tease me for how I ate: how I plowed through a steak, loaded my soup with handfuls of cheese. They'd laugh when I always went back for seconds, and then thirds. But I couldn’t help it: ever since I could remember, I've loved food.

I loved going out to restaurants, looking over a wide, colorful menu and choosing something new, something exciting, something that's sure to be delicious. What’s more, I loved when the clock hit 8:00 at our household, when my whole family would walk into the kitchen and discover what my parents had prepared. There were the old favorites (my mom’s broccoli cheddar soup and stuffed shells) we knew and loved, and the new recipes ( tomato pie, stuffed peppers, porcupine meatballs) just waiting to be discovered. That's not to say my parents were very exotic chefs--I wouldn’t taste any sort of Indian dish until my second year in college--but everything they made was as amazing as the time spent around the table. In the family kitchen, my love of food was truly at home.

And then I came to college. Yes, my love of food stayed put, but all of a sudden, it had moved away from home. First, a year of dining halls where the only food I could really make myself was a grilled cheese. Then, to a house where suddenly I had to prepare everything myself. I felt food-stranded: too little time, too little money and too few cooking skills. But, after one too many boxes of Kraft Mac-n-cheese and many too many packages of ramen, I decided to take the plunge. I summoned my food love from its spot at my old kitchen table, and for the first time in years, I cooked real food.

From that day forward, I've rediscovered my love for cooking. That isn’t to say I’ve decided suddenly to drop out of college, leave everything behind, and enroll in culinary school, but cooking has become a weekly retreat. It’s relaxing, calming, and at the end of it, I get to eat food that doesn't come in a box and isn’t microwavable. And most surprisingly of all, even for a broke and time-crunched college student, it is doable!

I love to cook, but I also love to share my creations with the world. So, every two weeks, I’ll be writing about my cooking adventures in a new column I like to call "A College Kitchn". Not only will I use this new column to share my kitchen successes, but I'll also hopefully help tons of foodies just like me try out their own cooking skills and maybe, just maybe, be persuaded to put down the ramen and grab a spatula.