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About Me:18-year-old sixth form student, studying English Literature, History and Government and Politics. My articles will broadly cover topics from the current affairs of politics to reviews of books and albums, as well as adding my own creative pieces, whether it be short fiction or general opinion.
Since being at university, I have developed a keen hobby in the shape of cooking. I had enjoyed cooking before but making it on a daily basis only consolidated this pastime. I have seen, since being thrust into living with other people from across the country, that there exists, for the vast majority of people, an apathy towards cooking. Why would we bother so long with something? Why not just pop down to Sainsbury’s and get a ready meal?
Indeed, there are so many people at university who are like this that ‘being a student’ has become synonymous with ‘ready meal’ or ‘pot noodle’. It’s almost as if the convention has been carved out for us and we merely fit in, or embrace, its mould. I was well aware of this stereotype of the student way before I came to uni. When my eldest brother went to Manchester with a pack of ready-made noodles, it was my aunt that said ‘ahhh, he’s such a student, isn’t he?’ So it was to my surprise to find, that once I had started university at Bristol that I absolutely loved cooking. At first, I couldn’t put my finger onto why it was that I enjoyed cooking for myself, learning new dishes, perfecting a certain technique for a certain dish, looking up YouTube videos on how to cook the most out of the little ingredients.
But then it clicked.
Cooking for yourself is a means for self-suffiency. I had never been taught how to cook by either of my parents, nor by both of my brother that had attended university. In fact, I came into the thing blind, and perhaps it was this very opaqueness that made it so appealing. I was venturing into new territory; what had seemed to me unfathomable, almost magical, what was produced at restaurants, I quickly learned was very accessible at the whim of my own fingertips, merely following a recipe.
So why is it necessary to develop a love of cooking? Well, firstly, as a man in the 21st century, it reminds us that we too play a role in the kitchen. But slightly away from the political, or socio-economic stigma surrounding cooking, is that it provides us with our own work. It gives us the means with which to learn something for our own benefit, especially students whose lives have, up until now, been determined by people teaching them things they don’t have any autonomy over. It provides the opportunity to look forward to the end of the day, when you can call upon your knowledge and provide something delicious only to yourself.
But perhaps most importantly of all, it teaches us that what we put in, we get out; what we reap is what we sow. Sure, it’s easy to find a ready-meal that gives us a decent amount of flavour, but are we not let with a hollow guilt after this? My flatmate recently said to me, after he had eaten a ready-made curry, ‘yeah, this is nice, but I didn’t make it’.
So make your own meals. Learn great recipes. And, at the most, enjoy, and love cooking.
Image Credits: greatist.com