Food | Campus Cooking

Being a student is difficult at the best of times, but particularly so when it involves not having Mummy to rely on for dinner, writes Paul Fennessy.Cooking is no easy task. It is no wonder chefs are generally raving egomaniacal psychopaths, a la Gordon Ramsey.The stress and strain of spending the best part of your day carefully attending to a potentially delicious delicacy, only to have it come out of the oven looking like something your dog regurgitated, is simply too much to bear for any normal human being.However, when it comes to students, the problem of cooking is exacerbated times a hundred. Given that we spend most of our day studying really hard, or creating excuses as to why we’re not studying really hard, little time can be spared on something as trivial as putting food on the table.Surprisingly though, it is just about possible to engage in this activity, while still finding time to catch those Dawson’s Creek repeats which are so integral to your daily routine.Let’s use an average 24 hours as an example of the perfect guide of how to survive the horrors of independent living.A good start to the day is essential if you are to have any hope of alleviating your throbbing alcohol-induced headache and banish all those embarrassing memories of last night’s shenanigans.If a bottle of vodka is not within sight, then making breakfast is the only solution. This may sound complicated, so bear with me.You put some bread into a device known as a ‘toaster’ and keep it in this complex machine for approximately two minutes. If you are looking to add an extra sense of refinement to this luxurious meal, a smidgen of butter goes a long way towards providing it. Just make sure you have a bucket close at hand. The smell of food is generally the most likely precursor to the last instances of vomit spewing pandemonium.Although it may be tempting to believe, a slice of toast is generally not enough to get you through the day. Moreover, devouring copious amounts of crisps, chocolate or cigarettes may seem pleasurable initially, however the implications of such a rash decision may be far reaching and stomach churning.For a healthier option than crisps, try picking one of the several instant snack foods available at all good stores. These generally contain some form of noodles or rice and often include little bits of vegetables to consolidate their loveliness.If you’re confident enough to boil the kettle without setting the apartment on fire, then you deserve a hearty pat on the back as you consequently revel in your new status as a grown-up.Of course, there is an abundance of alternative food outlets on campus, however attending these places on a regular basis is out of the question for anyone who isn’t terminally insane.Despite the overwhelming labours of lunchtime, dinner will always remain the most challenging aspect of the cooking process. That’s why you should never feel ashamed to pick up the phone and call on one of the wide variety of take-away restaurants in your neighbourhood.Sometimes, there is nothing more delightful than gorging on an undercooked burger, or marvelling at the unusual lack of potato in certain chips. Pizzas are equally satisfactory, especially when you consider that they basically comprise of giant pieces of bread, coupled with a disarming amount of cheese, along with various other scrumptious toppings. Something that tastes so good cannot be bad for you. I swear!All in all, while it poses some rigorous intellectual challenges and requires strong decision making skills, cooking on campus is an entirely feasible option. Just be sure to keep Mum’s number nearby in case things go awry.