Missing The Comforts Of Home-Cooked Meals In College
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Missing The Comforts Of Home-Cooked Meals In College

When you eat, there is more to being nourished than just the calories you take in, there are the conversations and experiences the coincide with it.

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Missing The Comforts Of Home-Cooked Meals In College

On a daily basis, many college students, both on a budget for time and money, eat food that is dissimilar to anything they would find in the comfort of their own home. Whether it is a hamburger from the dining hall, some sort of fast food purchased with the last few cents of a students' dining dollars, or the usual chicken meal at a Greek house, students are often displeased with their selection. The meals are doable, and we are told we should not complain, but it is definitely an adjustment. With little diversity in our choices, and the knowledge that everything we are eating is being mass-produced, us students often find ourselves reminiscing on the days where we had home-cooked meals.

There is a thin line to be crossed were complaining about these situations becomes too much, but quite honestly, I don't think it is ever a bad thing to miss the comforts of home.

For me, personally, food is one of the biggest things I miss about home. With a mom who is a retired caterer and a father who can whip up a five-star meal out of anything in the kitchen sink, I can easily say I was spoiled when it came to food throughout my childhood. My parents, both what one would call "foodies," have trained me to expand my palate and appreciate even the most exotic of foods. These traits and my deep appreciation for a really good meal come to my disadvantage in college, where I am without a kitchen, and forced to eat mass-produced chicken five days a week.

Of course, I do not mean to sound greedy in any of this, food is food and I am thankful for the fact that I have the opportunity to stay healthy and fulfill all nutritional requirements, but there are times where I feel it is reasonable for me to express how much I miss my mom's blackened salmon or my dad's marinated skirt steak with truffle oil fries.

Aside from complaints about the food specifically, what I miss most about meals at home, is the process itself. The time spent during preparation, or around the dinner table is what meant the most to me. Now, we arrive at a destination, the food is prepared, we eat and may have a few good conversations over the meals, but there is so much missing. It just isn't the same as when my high school study group was up in the playroom patiently awaiting mom's homemade chicken noodle soup, congregating in the kitchen 30 minutes before the meal was even finished to discuss intellectual curiosity or the drama of the school day.

These times, awaiting the final preparations of a meal, are ones where some great memories have been formed. I miss the assembly lines of dipping coconut shrimp before it enters the frier, being forced to go outside with my sisters and shuck the corn, and receiving critiques on my vegetable chopping methods. Even though I thought it was annoying that a meal would take an hour longer to prepare than it should've, I now miss sitting around the kitchen island discussing the events of the day while my mom is at the stove.

Overall, what I miss, is not the food specifically, or the experiences specifically, but rather a combination of the two. Soul food, as one may call it, food that is made with the soul, is what I seem to be missing. When you eat, there is more to being nourished than just the calories you take in, there are the conversations and experiences the coincide with it. There is as much care in the preparation as the conversation that surrounded the meals at my house. Food prepared was food shared, and next year, when I am out of the dorms and have a kitchen of my own, I plan to invite people over, take a little longer, cook a little better, and never lose sight of what my parents taught me about the importance of a good meal.

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