How to Boil an Egg: Collegiette Cooking

This was a mistake. You thought it would be fun to try cooking again; you thought your attempt would, at the least, be edible. After all, those kids across the hallway are always making something that smells delicious so why can’t you? But no, you finally understand: the people across the hall must be magical cooking wizards. While they engage in their sorcery, you and your friends are circled in your kitchen, staring at a questionable substance in a pot that looks like it came out of a James Cameron film. Angry and defeated, you opt for pizza, blaming the event on your kitchen.
 
You are not alone. This is the sentiment of many college students, especially those who have opted not to have a meal plan. The home cooked meals of their childhoods are just out of reach, whether it be due to lack of time, lack of money, or just general lack of knowledge on how to actually cook their own meals.
 
Washington University in St. Louis did a study followed over 700 college freshmen between 1999 and 2004. During the preliminary surveys, they found over 50 percent of the participants had eaten high-fat or fried food over three times just the week before.
 
But don’t lose hope – you don’t have to be the world’s next Iron Chef. So without further ado, here are a couple of tips to show you how to befriend your kitchen again.
 

  1. Turn down the heat.
    You’re right. Turning the stove on high will cook those pancakes faster, but they’ll also burn them. A common cooking mistake is simply not knowing what temperature to cook certain foods. Unless you’re boiling water, medium heat will usually do the trick every time.
     
  2. Measure things.
    It’s trivial and time consuming and you rarely, if ever, see the chefs on the Food Network doing it, but for beginners, it’s the difference between apple pie and cinnamon pie with essence of apple.
     
  3. Taste your food.
    It’s easy to add more seasoning, but it’s nearly impossible to extract salt from scrambled eggs. While cooking, always make sure to taste as you go along. This will save you from both under-seasoning and over-seasoning. Make sure to think about what you will be including in your dish that may already have salt or other seasonings in it, like barbeque sauce or mayonnaise.

 

  1. Stay in the kitchen.
    With the internet, television, friends, family, phone calls, and everything else, it’s easy to lose track of time while you’re doing anything, especially cooking. Always monitor your food – you never know what could happen. Which brings us to our next point…
     
  2. Never, EVER, get hot oil on the eye of the stove.
    Your home is not a hibachi restaurant. Spill some oil, add a little too much heat and friction, and it will catch on fire. I repeat, oil can catch on fire.

 
Once you’ve got those skills down, you’re ready to move onto recipes. Here you’ll find a few to get you started so you can end your life of scavenging around your city for your next meal once and for all.

How to brown meat
Turn your stove on medium, wait for it to heat up, and then empty the contents of your package into the pan. Break the meat up into chunks and then leave it alone for a few minutes. Once the meat starts to brown, stir until it shows no more signs of pink. Now you can go on to make spaghetti, tacos, or you know, just eat the ground beef as is.
 
How to make French Toast
Crack eggs and mix in sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and whatever else your heart desires in a bowl. Dunk bread in the mix and cook until golden brown in buttered skillet over medium heat.

And finally…

How to boil eggs
Fill a pot halfway with water and a teaspoon of salt. Turn stove on high and let the water come to a boil. Using a spoon, gently lower eggs into water. Do something productive for 20 minutes. When you come back, you will finally have eggs worth eating.

You: 1, Kitchen: a million. At least it’s a start.