Like this Roasted Asparagus I made at midnight the other day. NOT. Cooking in a dorm is anything BUT glamorous.
Example: I made the trek to the community kitchen where I have to cross a bridge to another building and then climb down 3 flights of stairs. I had everything I needed in a bag–my marinated chicken, kale, broccoli, spices, and pots and pans. However, it seemed that everyone decided that Sunday night would be great to save some money and cook themselves. There were over a dozen people in the kitchen trying to coordinate sharing the oven and the 4 burners. I managed to steam my broccoli and boil my pasta but the demand for my burners was so overwhelming that I decided that I needed to get out of that arena and just save my chicken for later. Later…as in midnight after I had finished my homework.
At midnight, I knew that I would not have to battle anyone for the burners. As I was searing the Korean barbecue marinated chicken, a girl came by and asked why I was doing cooking dinner so late. She then recognized me as the “Baking on the Bed” girl since I had a bulletin board in the kitchen talking about my blog. There was my picture along with some tips about cooking in the dorms and lots of dorm-approved recipes. She told me that I had to post about the chicken because it smelled so good. It did smell good, but I had just used a marinade I found at the Asian grocery store and let it marinate for over 8 hours (since my cooking got delayed quite a bit).
The girl left and I was by myself with my eyes drooping and my body completely exhausted. I poked at the chicken and it seemed done so I took the hot pan back to my room. Before putting it into a plastic container for the next day, I decided to cut into it–only to find it pink and raw on the inside. I wanted to scream. But first I took this picture.
And then I made the trek again to the kitchen. I poured water into it and pretty much let it boil because at this point, I didn’t care about texture. I just wanted it cooked so I could go to bed like a normal person.
So here are some tips to not be like me with under-cooked chicken at 12:30 am if you live in a dorm.
-Plan ahead. Use the kitchen at odd times like 2 pm on a weekday when everyone else is in class.
-Make a list before you head down to the kitchen. Remember your seasonings, oil, ingredients, and pans.
-Try to make everything in one pot so you don’t take up too much valuable stove space.
-Keep a cooking box or bag with your essential seasonings and non-stick spray and favorite pot so that all you have to do is throw in your ingredients and head to the kitchen.
-Cook EVERYTHING at once. Cook enough food for 3-4 days so you only have to trek to the kitchen about once or twice a week.
-Prepare what you can in your room. If you can make your cookie dough in your room–do it. You have all the ingredients in your room so there’s not use in bringing it all to the kitchen only to have to bring it all back.
-Test your food to see if it’s done before leaving the kitchen.