7 Truths Of Cooking Your Own Meals

7 Truths Of Cooking Your Own Meals

One for each of the college students in my kitchen

I've been living in an apartment in Rome for almost a month now, and living in an apartment means cooking your own meals. I had never even made toast before getting here, so stepping into the kitchen was basically like stepping into a different world. In these couple of weeks, I've found that these seven moments are inevitable in the life of a new chef.

If you weren't a multi-tasker before, you are now.

Being in the kitchen means being 100 percent aware of everything around you, from the pans on the stove to the hands on the clock to the knife blade by your fingers. Letting yourself space out (even for a moment) can -- at worst -- lead to a burnt meal, and -- at best -- to a sudden wave of anxiety when you realize you haven't been paying attention. Timing is also a huge part of cooking. If each piece of a sauce needs to be put in at a certain part of the process, and you're trying to make pasta at the same time so that both will be hot and ready together, your mind needs to be in three or four places at once.

Your parents become the best source for easy recipes.

They probably know how competent you are when it comes to cooking and know exactly what you'll be able to make. Any questions you have about the recipe can go directly to them, too. Plus, they've been making your favorite meals since you were little. They can tell you better than the internet how to make whatever you're craving, and, if you're living away from them, how to make it taste like home.

Leftovers become your next four meals after you cook something you actually liked.

Partially, because it tasted good. Partially because it's guaranteed you made too much food, because you can never figure out exactly how much you'll need. Partially because you're lazy. Mostly, because you're lazy.

It may be essential, but cooking anywhere near a sink can become a real problem.

The sink fills in the 20 minutes you've been cooking -- not because you're doing anything that requires a lot of pots or pans, but because you keep putting your spoons and knives in the sink without thinking after using them only once. The quick and simple meals are the worst. Once you've thrown everything in the sink and finished your food, you realize how easy it would be to make yourself some more, if you had only left the kitchen a mess.

You get very good at making very creative mistakes.

When you've been in the kitchen for a while, it's easy to space out and slip up. And not just with the food. You've hurt yourself in imaginative, new ways, too. Cutting your finger while slicing tomatoes isn't unexpected. Burning your finger on the side of a hot pan happens often enough. You're beyond that. I guess cooking would be boring without a little extra danger.

Pasta becomes a staple in your kitchen.

This may just be the status quo in my kitchen, because my kitchen happens to be in Italy, but pasta is so simple, I'd be surprised not to find it on the week's menu in any other lazy college student's apartment. (Hint: being a lazy college student also means eating pasta with a jar of boring, watery sauce. At least add some onions and garlic. Please.)

You realize cooking with friends is far more fun than cooking on your own.

Cooking for one can be fun if you're watching something on TV or have a good playlist to listen to, but having other people cook with you makes spending an hour in the hot kitchen a lot more bearable. You don't really have to worry anymore about making too much food, and you can take the multitasking out of the equation, because there are more hands to help out. It can be a struggle, though, especially in a big group. Trying to appease the ones who don't like their food spicy while catering to the picky eaters (me) and the dieters and vegetarians means getting creative.

Cover Image Credit: kckratt.com

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.

What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Dear Kaitlin Bennet, If The U.S. Had Common Sense Gun Control, You Would Not Be Allowed To Carry

You can't threaten to shoot someone just because they disagree with you.


As most people know by now, Kaitlin Bennet is a recent graduate from Kent State University who tweeted a photo of herself with an AR-10 strapped to her back, and a graduation cap that said: "Come And Take It." Since then, she's obnoxiously been making herself more known through stunts like dangerously firing buckshot straight into the air at a gun range after shooting pumpkins in order to show her love of Brett Kavanaugh and her dislike of feminism, going to an anti-Trump rally and threatening the protestors, and "disguising herself" while asking Kent State University students what they thought of her.


One of the most infuriating things about Bennet is that she doesn't seem to understand what feminism is. She often rants about how feminism needs to be destroyed. She doesn't seem to understand that the literal definition of feminism is, "The theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes." I'm not sure why Bennet wouldn't want equal rights, but that's on her. When a Twitter user pointed out that feminism gave Bennet the right to have a voice and to vote, Bennet tweeted back "Feminism didn't give me the right to vote. Men did. But ok." This is truly frightening, Bennet must think that her oppressors are actually her liberators when they give her just a little of what should be rightfully hers (i.e. equal rights). Bennet goes as far as to say that feminists don't actually want equal rights, but that we would rather be victims so that we can turn sympathy into democratic votes.

I'd like to remind Bennet that feminism is the reason that she is able to speak about her beliefs so publicly. Feminism is the reason that she is allowed to vote, allowed to own property, allowed to apply for a credit card. The list goes on. I can only hope that one day, Kaitlin Bennet will be willing to open her eyes and learn that she should be thanking feminist leaders for her freedom.


The fact that Bennet believes that feminism opposes the right for a woman to protect herself shows how delusional she really is. Common sense gun regulation is not about taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, it's about making sure that only those responsible enough to use a gun safely can own one. Personally, I think Bennet knows that she probably wouldn't be allowed to carry a gun if these regulations were put into place, as she regularly threatens people who disagree with her by letting them know that she carries, going as far as to threaten protestors at a recent anti-Trump rally and saying, "That will deter them." She proceeded to insult the protestors by making fun of their clothes and their weight, even looking into the camera and saying: "She's gonna eat it" after a protestor spoke into Bennet's microphone.

On October 13th, Bennet posted a video on Twitter, stating, "Just wanted to remind all the violent feminists that have sent me death threats this week that it's not a good idea to threaten an armed woman." People like Bennet that use firearms as a threat only strengthen the argument for gun control.


Kaitlin, I want you to know that I pity you. The fact that you carry doesn't scare me. It is very clear that you don't want your gun for protection. You want your gun to make a statement. You want your gun to say, "I have permission to be rude and offensive and to instill fear in others." It is clear that you only feel powerful and important when you're able to hide behind a weapon and threaten to shoot anyone who has an opinion that differs from yours. You are advocating for your cause in all the wrong ways. You are giving us every reason to oppose you. Good luck, and wake up.

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