It’s the second semester of my freshman year and I decided to opt out of the dining hall meal plan. The main reason for this was my disinclination to leave my dorm when it was snowing outside. Another reason is that I have moved from my freshman dorm to Prospect of Whitby, a co-op house on campus.
On my first afternoon on campus this semester, I had to put my cooking skills to the test. Unfortunately, these cooking skills do not exist. Cooking by myself for the first time, I decided to stick to something simple: rice and ready to make rajma (kidney beans chili).
The process was simple. I had to put some rice and a proportionate amount of water in the rice cooker. The chili was even easier to make. All I had to do was empty the packet into a microwavable dish and microwave it for 1-2 minutes. What could possibly go wrong with this?
After ninety seconds in the microwave, something exploded in the bowl of chili. I stopped and opened the microwave. The gravy was all over the microwave and some kidney beans seemed to have burst. I had no idea that could happen. So cooking lesson #1 for me: Beans can explode. I wiped the microwave clean and assessed what remained in the bowl. It still seemed edible.
Then I checked the rice cooker. As I opened the lid, the smell of the basmati rice seemed perfect to me. At least this worked out, I thought, until I tasted it. It was slightly rubbery. You can only complain about food that someone else (your mother, your neighbour or the dining hall staff) has cooked. If you make bad food, you have no choice but to eat it quietly, trying to silence the embarrassment over your lack of cooking skills.
However, this is still a huge step up from the last meal I made for myself during Thanksgiving break in the Fall.
Perhaps over the next few years, I will learn to cook myself a decent meal.