Katie’s Kitchen Nightmares

There’s something they don’t tell you when you’re about to leave for college. You’ll be warned about the dangers of binge drinking, walking alone at night, and talking to boys who wear axe body spray. (If you haven’t been warned, you’ll want to maintain a solid five foot scent radius to avoid contamination.)

But you are not warned that no one, literally no one, knows how to cook. This includes the dining hall, and whatever your roommate thinks they can make in a microwave.

In all fairness, I grew up fairly spoiled in the cooking department. My mom is a successful ex-caterer with steady access to organic food and a snazzy kitchen. You do the math. My Dad, for his part, has a nice way with a grill. So when I wound up in the dining hall of my first college, there was a bit of culture shock.

Me: Sorry, what is this?

Diane, part of the sodexo team for five years: Nacho surprise.

Me: Um…what’s surprising about it?

She just looked at me, greasy cheese sliding off her spoon.

Me: Er, ah, sorry, um, never mind. (My english major at work!)

I didn’t adjust well. The past three years I’ve lived on campus, the quality of my eating has decreased drastically. I’ve learned to enjoy taco bell, microwaved burritos, and frozen chicken pot pie. On a recent visit home, I opened our massive fridge to find a snack.

I rummaged through berries, fresh lettuce, wrapped meat, and neatly stacked cartons of eggs. There was thinly sliced deli meat, wheels of cheese, and three different types of juice. I couldn’t find a single thing to eat. All of this was overshadowed by my quest for something convenient and brightly wrapped.

That’s when I realized that I’ve completely lost my ability to enjoy real food. Today, I’m taking the first step to get it back.

Along for the ride are my two roommates, Caitlyn and Lisa. They have (with some coaxing) agreed to be my guinea pigs during this endeavor. I will strive to update at least once a week, barring finals and hormones. I will talk a lot about food, but this blog will also be a place to talk about college, relationships, and whatever else my A.D.D. brain can come up with. Stay tuned for breakup cake, over-impressive popovers, and man-hating pie.


February 1, 2012. Tags: . Cooking.


  1. youruncle replied:

    Looking forward! I remember how disappointed I was when learned that Tater-Tots weren’t a vegetable.

  2. Jack replied:

    When you graduated from college you face this awful fact, and then end up talking to your mom half the night about how long the oven should stay on. Katie, teach us the way!

  3. Annette replied:

    Katie, that’s clearly a little brush for all the “little crumbs” that will fall on the tiny counter space in your apartment! Actually, I have no idea what it is either! I’m looking forward to your next entry.

  4. The Williams' Family replied:

    Katie, you are hilarious, a wonderful writer and I love that you are going to use that gorgeous, fabulously talented, and loving young lady modeling in your blog as a guinea pig…thank you thank you thank you. You are the best thing to happen to that lucky girl since she left home!

    I believe that the kitchen tool is a basting brush that is washable. They are fabulous! Look forward to your recipes…I could use some help in this house!
    Love you and your blog!!
    The Williams’ Family

  5. Mamma Mia! « CookingCrownunder replied:

    […] If not, here you go: https://cookingcrownunder.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/katies-kitchen-nightmares/ […]

  6. Mama C replied:

    Sooo looking forward to my visit this weekend. If I get a vote on the Mama Mia dinner I vote for none of the above! I’ve been drooling over your pulled pork recipe, and if not that, those tacos sound awfully good. Mostly just looking forward to seeing you and the lovely Miss Caitlyn. Disneyland, beach, and some serious shopping are in order. Love you!

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