A University Guide to the Kitchen

For those who have never cooked before, it can seem like a daunting process. It can take a while to wrap your head around what the use of most utensils and kitchen equipment are. A lot of people ask me where I inherited my cooking skills from but in all honesty, it came from years of experimenting and watching Tastemade videos on Facebook when I can’t sleep. Cooking isn’t as hard as most people think it is and it’s important to make sure you don’t stress yourself out or you’ll most likely end up with salmonella or a burnt apron.

The most basic tip for making a successful meal is buying the right ingredients. Regardless of how often you cook or not, make sure you always have items such as eggs, cheese, pasta sauce and shells because there will be nights you wake up at 3AM with a growling stomach and as lovely as a takeaway may sound, it’s not the best for your bank account.

Pasta is the staple of university life and by the time you graduate you’ll probably have made it through your 100th bag of Tesco’s 90p Penne. The best thing about pasta is the fact that it’s so simple to make. Depending on whether you’re more of a tomato or creamy sauce based person, all it really takes is a bit of boiled water and if you’re feeling a little classy, some parmesan to top it off. There are literally a thousand different ways you can make pasta and if you’re in the mood for adventure and want to steer away from your typical go-to recipe, I would definitely recommend searching through the internet for some more outgoing ideas.

Over your time as a student, you’ll probably get a better understanding of what your taste buds do and do not like. I personally realised I had a strong hate for anything too salty but acquired a love for paprika and use it in almost everything I cook. Figuring out what you like can call for some fun experimental meals and shopping trips.

Lidl is the best place to go when you’re looking for cheap ingredients whereas if you’re in the mood to try something completely new, Wally’s in the Royal Arcade has food from all over the world. While you’re at it you might as well stock up your spice cabinets and hit up Flying Tiger in St David’s. They have pretty much every spice you can imagine and one bag is only a £1.

Cooking couldn’t be any easier for the youths of today thanks to the internet. The Mob Kitchen puts ‘Feed 4 for under £10’ recipes on their social media accounts almost every other day and cooking with your housemates can make the process a lot more enjoyable.

Cooking is a lot easier than you’d expect and I’d definitely recommend not letting the thought of it all not overwhelm you.

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