Life @ U of T

Introduction

Cooking (for students!)

Cooking (for students!)

If two years ago you would’ve asked me if I could live alone, I might have just laughed at you. I knew the time would eventually come, but I felt like I wasn’t ready at all. If you’re about to start your first year of university, or maybe moving out on your own for the first time, I want you to know that we’re all in this together. I don’t think anyone ever feels truly ready to leave, which is why I’ve decided to write about something that I’ve been getting better at since I started living on my own.

Feta cheese rolled in prosciutto
Start small! make snacks 🙂

At home, I almost never got the chance to cook. Whenever I tried to get to the kitchen, someone would always stop me and say I’d make too much of a mess. I’m not going to lie, they were probably right, but also it meant that if I wanted to learn, I could only watch. Now that I live alone I’ve realized that was definitely not very useful. It is so important to practice hands on, and that is what I’m doing now. I’m definitely nowhere near being an amazing chef, but at least now I can say that I have cooked many delicious meals that I truly thought I could never do. 

A dish with three tortillas, one of them with taco fillings.
One of my latest attempts in the kitchen, beef tacos!

It all starts with the groceries, which I personally feel are the most tedious. However, it’s just the concept that I find boring, because once I’m at the supermarket, I feel great. I usually have a grocery list, but that doesn’t stop me from walking around for the longest time. Actually seeing the ingredients in front of me inspires me to try new recipes. Sometimes I’ll walk around the aisles for inspiration for a bit and leave my list for later. In my opinion, inspiration comes in the most unexpected moments. 

If you’re perhaps a little scared to experiment in the kitchen, why not get a cookbook. A quick trip to your nearest bookstore (or even a search online) and you’ll see that cooking can be for anyone. From the simplest comfort foods, to the carefully plated dishes you might find at the highest priced restaurants. And it’s okay if your first try doesn’t go exactly as you expected, things like these take practice, but just like me, you’ll get there. 

Two pancakes stacked on a plate with butter and maple syrup. There is also a mug and a cup with juice behind the plate
For me, pancakes are the greatest comfort food
Multiple traditional Peruvian dishes served on wooden plates.
I get inspiration by looking at pictures I take at restaurants

 

 

Back home in Peru cooking and eating were essential components of life. It wasn’t easy for me to leave that behind, and it led me to eating out perhaps way too much. Discovering how fun cooking actually is has helped me through it. If you feel this way too, I want to suggest a book that to me, is more than just a cookbook. Written by the Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, “Bravazo” explores how every dish means something different, and how cooking it will immediately make you feel at home. So don’t be afraid to ask your friends about their favorite recipes, you might just find something you love.

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