My First Apartment: Cooking Edition

This summer, I am living off the South Forty for the first time. The 40 is where all Freshmen and most Sophomores live. It has been my home and I have loved it, but this summer required something different. I am living in an apartment for the first time in my life.  In the fall, I will be living in a WashU owned off-campus apartment so this summer will be good practice. Living in an apartment has come with different responsibilities like paying rent and utilities, but the most challenging aspect, to me, is cooking for myself.

I will share with you my strategy in the face of this daunting task. For the most part, I have been keeping to the rule of not buying meals that I can make at home. I limit the snacking I do to the chocolate I can find around campus.  I am a person who has to eat breakfast or I turn into a mean monster by lunchtime. During the school year, I would eat overnight oatmeal from Cherry Tree every morning. It got to the point that Ms. Lillie, the cashier, would just say “I know what you want.” My own breakfast efforts have been more basic. I have been having cereal. I started with Raisin Bran to make myself feel healthy. That lasted until the box was gone and now I am happily eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch every morning. I am going to try to recreate the oatmeal experience from the semester by attempting an oatmeal berry cobbler.


For lunch, I keep it simple. I am a peanut butter and jelly aficionado at this point. I like it because I do not have to keep it cold. Every door that leads to a refrigerator in the admissions office is locked in the morning. Also, since I am waking up at 6:30 in the morning I needed something simple and fast. In addition to the sandwich, I always have a fruit in rotation. I learned on this journey that I cannot keep more than one type of fruit in the house at a time or else something will be wasted. I started with bananas, apples, nectarines, and then I splurged on cherries. I have also found a trail mix that I really like from the Trader Joe’s on Brentwood.

Dinner has been the hardest meal by far. When I get back to my apartment after 7.5 hours with the wonderful people of Undergraduate Admissions, I do not feel like cooking at all. I am slightly ashamed but for the first three weeks I just bought dinner at the various great restaurants on the loop. I was able to satisfy my taste for the loop eats I had missed out on while I was abroad. It brought me so much joy to get a Gogi Bowl from Seoul Taco and some takeout from Wong’s Wok. I have since stopped eating out every day but dinner is still a work in progress. My first homemade meal was spaghetti.  It was within my skill set and it would be edible. My goal with dinner is to make things that last for a really long time that requires max 1 hour prep in the evening. If you have any suggestions let me know. Please help me.20160616_171404