Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cooking on the CP: Housing Kitchens

Who wouldn't love a post about food?  As for myself, I love to prepare food almost as much as I love to eat it.  And while it is still early, I got to thinking about the kitchen situation in the CP apartments.  On the Checklist of Things to Bring page, they recommend bringing a toaster.  Well, I have a toaster oven already.  So if none of my roommates has one, we're covered. :-)  I also have a slow cooker, although I just got it and haven't even used it yet.  Now I don't know how others feel about this, but I'm a big fan of cooking up a large batch of food (even if it's just soup or Hamburger Helper!) and saving leftovers for a couple of days' worth of lunches or dinners.  And if this is at all possible in the CP housing, then I'm going to attempt it.  I'm not saying I do this incredibly frequently.  But if I know I've got a busy few days coming up, then it's good to have at least one less thing to worry about and have some of my meals covered.  As wonderful as the idea of fresh food for every meal is, there are always days when it's just not possible.

Anyway, all of this got me wondering exactly what is available in the CP housing kitchens.  So here is the list of amenities, according to the official site:

  • Refrigerator w/ ice maker
  • Stove, Oven, & Microwave
  • Dishwasher
Utensils and Dishes
  • Assortment of Pots & Pans w/ lids
  • Mixing Bowl Set
  • Measuring Cups
  • Cutting Board
  • Spatula
  • Can Opener
  • Cutting Knife
  • Ladle
  • Tea Kettle
  • Serving Spoons
  • Cookie Sheets
  • Dinner plates
  • Salad Plates
  • Cereal Bowls
  • Drinking Glasses
  • Coffee Cups
  • Set of knives, spoons and forks
Honestly, this is a lot more than I was expecting in the ways of kitchen amenities because I'm used to unfurnished apartments.  The cookie sheets through me for a loop, because I have a set of 3 that I was going to bring.  My current roommates and I were planning on divvying up the silverware when we move out, so odds are that I'll have some extras to bring if my CP roommies are interested.  Even between the three of us here, we are always running out of either forks or spoons long before we run out of any other silverware.  So with several roommates, it couldn't hurt to have some extras lying around.  Right?  And it seems like there is no colander provided, so that may need to be added to the list of things to purchase after checking in and evaluating the kitchen.

Now as for what to cook, I thought I'd share one of my favorite websites for getting recipes: AllRecipes.com.  It's amazingly helpful for finding dishes, reading reviews, getting some suggestions for modifications, etc.  I've found some of my favorite recipes there, and there are many in my account's Recipe Box that are still waiting to be tried.  In regards to cooking while on the CP, I'll steer you in the direction of the Everyday Cooking section.  Here you can find recipes for budget cooking, campus cooking, 15-45 minute dishes, etc.  If you do some searching, odds are you'll find some very doable recipes for any kitchen situation and budget.  And if nothing else, you can look at some pictures of yummy food.

Some people might think of the next two paragraphs as full of pretty obvious info, especially if they've lived with roommates before; but I'll post it anyway.  It's my blog and I can do what I want. ;-)  Whether you intend to cook your own meals regularly or whether you plan to rely on frozen meals and cans of Chef Boyardee (which believe me, I do that too!), you will need to consider the fact that you are sharing kitchen space with 1-7 other people.  The other day Jenn posted a link to a thread on the DIS in which a former CP'er shared her experiences including those related to fridge space.  The entire thread is worth reading, but this post offers some pretty good advice on how to share the space in the housing fridge without jumping down each other's throats if you will have several roommates.  Last year, I moved into our apartment a few days later than my other two roommates.  So when I arrived, they had already finished their grocery shopping and filled the entire fridge/freezer and every cabinet.  I had to scrounge for any space to put my groceries, and it took a few weeks for the three of us to get into a groove as far as kitchen space goes.  There will probably be an issue now and then with kitchen space, so be prepared and remain civil at all times!

As for my own personal advice, label any food that you don't intend to share in some way!  Even if you just get a cheap pack of small stickers to put on cans or boxes, it can help.  There is always the "I don't remember buying this, but I'm still pretty sure that it's mine!" phenomenon among roommates.  Just a couple of weeks ago my unopened jar of peanut butter walked away with one of my roommies on her weekend trip because she thought it belonged to her.  And if you and any of your roommates use the same food products that don't last very long (milk, bread, etc.) and you know you won't use them fast enough, then it doesn't hurt to consider going in on some of your groceries together and sharing.

Well that's all I can think of to write on cooking in the CP housing right now.  Have a great day, everyone!


Laura said...

I live with two roommates and us three alone have a crammed fridge. I can't imagine having to share a kitchen with 8 or even 6 girls all basically buying their own things lol. I think it's good for people to start thinking about this before they get moved in. I will most likely bring the mini fridge I got for my room when I lived in a dorm. That way I know I at least have my own space to store my cold/frozen food haha! :)

Kristin said...

We actually had a toaster in our apartment, that's strange that it says it isn't included!

Also, they did add that second fridge in all the 4 bedrooms. It definitely helps, although it is randomly placed in the apartment and isn't (well, it wasn't in ours) near the kitchen.

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