Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Refrigerator Coaching 411

Backstory: Jake moved into his new apartment on Friday.... WOOHOOOOO!

A new apartment. Great right? HELL YES. but wait... what about dish soap? a toilet plunger? extra virgin olive oil? and FOOD? In theory, moving into your own place for the first time in your life is a crazy fun adventure, full of exciting opportunities for decorating a new space, be it with a new red clock (hehe, Jake), posters, light fixtures or perhaps a new coat of paint to better represent one's own personal style.

I transitioned at the beginning of the school year (August 2009) into my new apartment with amazing roommates, Kelly and Jessica. I went through the transition from dorming to real living. Yes, I just implied that dorm living is not real living. Having to bring your room key with you to pee to ensure you don't get locked out of your dorm room takes away any glimmer of real living if you ask me. Also, not having a kitchen at one's discretion for cooking and thus depending on the dining halls for sustenance is a sub par college experience at best. Cooking for one's self is amazing, my friend... and yes, that means you Jake ;-)

I had the opportunity to spend time in Jake's new place after he had unpacked his belongings (including his old bed from his old room, an adorable wood framed mirror handed down from his parents, his quilt composed of a beautiful patchwork design that he's had since childhood, and a new desk and chest of drawers from IKEA!) He and his apartment mate Juliet have put together lovely ensembles of furniture, rugs, tables, and chairs, topped off with a flat screen TV! But then I looked in his fridge. It was nearly empty, even after a trip to Trader Joe's earlier that day. I decided an intervention was necessary, this boy needed to get the 411 on how to cook a quick, delicious, healthy, and cheap meal when living on your own!

We walked the two blocks to my apartment and after fumbling around on the computer, playing some Ke$ha (we're for sure obsessed with Tic Tok!), and talking about upcoming social outings, we finally made our way over to my fridge. I taught him some of my tricks of the trade; carrots, sugar snap peas, and dried mangos for instance are quick go-to snack options that work with a college student's budget. Hummus, salsa, home-made pesto, and marinara sauce are all quick options either for dipping or adding flavor to a dish. Spinach, baby greens, string beans, beets, and avocados are excellent sources of vitamins and can be found at Trader Joe's for cheap! Pasta, bread, cereal, or oatmeal are fabulous ways of getting a healthy intake of carbs for the day, topped off with some freezer goods like frozen fish or even frozen burritos for finals week when the thought of cooking seems more daunting than running a marathon! (Yes, I have basically taken you on a tour of my refrigerator, but it was this coaching that helped inspire Jake to make a grocery list, and helped him to formulate solid ideas about what to in order to have what he needs throughout the week to make himself a healthy meal whenever duty calls.

So I suppose the moral of this story is to take some of your friends on tours of your refrigerators? ... actually, that's nonsense. But speaking more metaphorically, be the "refrigerator coach" to friends in need. Obviously food doesn't have to be the issue, but if you have the upper hand in some instance with a friend and are in the position to help enlighten this friend, don't hesitate. Give that friend the best darn tour of your refrigerator that they could have imagined.


Rachel <3

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