Friday, March 06, 2009

College students do not live by ramen alone...

...as simple as that may be.

Tonight begins ENC's spring break, and I (along with many other student teachers and other students) remain on campus. The cafeteria is closed, so we are left to fend for ourselves for food. This is the longest vacation time that I've stayed on campus -- in past years, I've stayed for Easter break (4-day weekend) and J-term break.

I have limited cooking skills/experience....though they increased during my times on YIM. Rachel, Brandi, Angela, and I would go grocery shopping in El Paso, but primarily went out to eat (yeah Sonic!!!). One night we fixed ourselves spaghetti and salad, and even set the table in the fellowship hall--it was quite homey. I think it took us a while to decide what kind of pasta sauce to get, just like when we decided where to eat each day/week. In Ukraine, we fixed a number of our own meals...like "last-resort sandwiches" when we didn't want to take the food on the train and didn't want to do more grocery shopping!

Needless to say, this week is going to be a test of my ability to live on more than ramen, cereal, cookies, EasyMac, etc., and avoid eating out all the time. My goal was to cook for myself, with some degree of nutrition and avoiding prepared/frozen/canned meals, and prove whatever independence I have.

Shopping List ($44.41 in total)
1/2 gallon of milk
Sour cream aka сметана
Shredded cheese
Butter
Black beans
White rice
Spaghetti noodles
Mac and cheese dinner
Loaf of bread
Egg noodles (cheaper than Hamburger Helper, because I wasn't buying the meat)
Corn tortillas
Salsa
Tomato soup
Spaghetti sauce (tomato and basil flavor)
Frozen mixed veggies
Frozen corn/peas
Apples
Goober PB/Jelly combo

Other Foods:
Pi Day celebration pizza on Friday--$2 for 2 slices
plemeni (Ukrainian boiled dumplings, with or without meat), and Ukrainian cheese--$11.30

You may notice the general lack of meat on the list. I have not become a vegetarian, but rather decided that I could manage without meat for the week and a half. It's less expensive that way, and is less that I have to cook.

This food, along with my granola bars and cereal that are already in my room, is to last me for
23-25 meals (if you are wondering about the breakdown, it's 7 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 7 or 8 dinners). I might end up with some "last resort" meals composed of various leftovers. You can't beat open-faced fried onion-tomato-turkey jerky-sandwiches with a slice of Ukranian cheese on top, though. :)

Some of the meals I'm trying:
Black bean quesadillas and salsa
Tomato-vegetable stroganoff (meatless)
PBJ every day for lunch at school
only ONE meal of Mac and Cheese!

So far, I've made myself spaghetti with sauce, which was pretty easy -- boil the spaghetti, warm the sauce. I'm not terribly sure of myself when it comes to timing of all parts of the meal, and the stove in our dorm kitchen, but it worked out (even without a colander!). In my friend's words, "You're so domestic!" Maybe, maybe not.

Here goes...

1 comment:

Sondra said...

I'm in the same boat! This week we math student teachers made plans to eat together for dinner and share the burden of cooking. It's sweet! Plus we got invited over to a professor's house for dinner one night.

I'm making brownies right now as part of a dessert to bring to tomorrow's pulled-pork sandwich dinner.

Good luck!