There is a misconception that the majority of college students these days tend to follow a “microwave only” diet. Wrong. I’m one of those people who believes that the art of cooking is not dead, especially in the younger generation. Recently, I have found myself cooking and baking more than ever. If you follow me on any social networking platform, you have probably seen an increase in Instagram pictures featuring meals I’ve cooked lately. Cooking to me is an art form, something that makes me happy, and a way for me to express my appreciation of the people in my life. Cooking and love are synonymous in my book, hence why I cook for my friends so often – especially my close ones.
The Culture Shock. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m Asian. More specifically, I am a Vietnamese American who immigrated to America. Growing up, my packed lunches were never your typical PB&J sandwiches, rice was always a staple, and the number of spices and sauces in the cabinet were countless. Now that I’m on my own and have the freedom to cook for myself, I actually have a huge fear of integrating my culture into my cooking. I always say cooking is one of the main factors that keeps me rooted to my culture, but I am unable to cook “authentic” Vietnamese meals. You see, regardless of who I live with, there’s always that bit of fear of being judged. Sure, people think fried rice and stir-fry smells great, but how will my peers judge me if I were to boil pig’s tongue and start dipping it in fish sauce? What if I decided to whip up some rice poridge with congealed pig’s blood? Liver pate? Delicious. Although I have assimilated into the America culture quite well, one thing remains true: if you list a part of an animal, I have probably eaten it. The “strangest” thing I’ve eaten? Stir-fried silk worms with jasmine rice. It’s a delicacy, or whatever you want to call it.
The College Budget.I’m a college student, which is basically implied that I am poor. Sure, I occasionally splurge on the smoked gouda to have with a glass of red, but that’s not a common practice. I believe one can have a great meal if there is some time and thought put into it. Grocery trips consist of staples ranging from fresh produce to proteins I will actually eat. As much as I love pizza rolls, frozen foods are not my preferred sources of nourishment.
Baking.Y’all, I actually really enjoy baking from scratch. Sure, I’ve had my moments when I see the brownie mix that’s on sale for $1 and I immediately make the purchase, but for he most part, I prefer to bake from scratch. Why? Because there’s more thought put into it – the measurements have to be more precise, the mixing has to be consistent, and other factors that could influence whether your cupcake comes out fluffy or a deflated hot mess. Cupcakes are my forte – don’t you dare try to insult my cupcake baking skills.
If I have offered to cook/bake for you, I probably appreciate you to some degree.