So, as I was making dinner (whole wheat pasta: delicious and nutritious, and most importantly, cheap) in the common kitchen attached to the dorm lounge, one of my classmates came up and started cooking. She boiled some water on the other burner, and pulled several vegetables out of her plastic bags, along with a tupperware full of grilled chicken, and began a-chopping.
“Smells delicious,” I commented after a few minutes. “What are you making?”
“Chicken noodle soup, but I’m cheating.”
At which point she showed me a package of noodles shaped like roosters. (They were exceedingly cute.) Then she dumped them in her boiling water and proceeded to add all the fresh vegetables, chicken, etc.
How is this cheating? Would not-cheating have been making the noodles by hand, like Lucy and Ethel in the Pioneers episode of I Love Lucy?
More to the point, are there actually people out there who cook things from scratch? One of my friends made homemade icing for our post-exam party, and just this evening, someone else was making and baking five dozen cookies, from scratch. I get the impression that mixes and shortcuts are frowned upon, only to be used by Evil Mommies Who Love Their Jobs More Than Their Kids. It’s like living in the 1950s, except this is 2008 and we are med students and we have negative free time. (Though I did go skating at Bryant Park today. And afterwards I studied in the New York Public Library. Because I am a med student.)
I know a few basic recipes, mostly so that I can avoid living entirely on Ramen. (I did that for a semester in college. I saved tons of money, but it was terrible.) And I love to cook, but I also love to pass my exams. So when it comes to Betty Crocker cake mix or Goya’s flan thing, I’m totally there.