Stories from Freshman year: Cooking nightmares

Illustration by Chris Sharron

Credit: DKS Editors

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The first months of college are almost bound to be full of humorous, embarrassing or just plain unusual memories. Whether it’s preparing meals for the first time or getting used to being awoken by ear-splitting fire alarms at 2 a.m., almost every freshman who’s survived his or her first year has not done it without some bumps along the road. These upperclassmen share their adventures and mishaps from their first year of college. Freshmen, take note.

Cooking can be difficult in a new kitchen, even for the experienced chef.

Kelly Smalley, junior American Sign Language major, had cooked on her own many times before she started college.

While living in Beall Hall, Kelly was preparing food on the stove. Despite not having an oven mitten, she tried removing the pot from the stove with a paper towel instead.

“I caught the paper towel on fire and threw it on the floor,” she said. “I kind of forgot there was a rug there so it caught the rug on fire.”

Kelly said she stomped on the dark gray carpet with her foot to put the fire out. While the smell of burnt carpet was in the air, the damage to the rug was minimum.

“You couldn’t really tell because it was dark gray, so it just blended,” she said.

Kelly said she won’t be picking up pots with paper towels anymore.

“It was just stupid,” she said.

Ashley Moore, junior justice studies major, said she remembers being excited to prepare her first meal by herself when she was freshman.

She decided to cook a side dish packet of pasta and noodles.

Ashley said her angel hair pasta and sauce was delicious, and knowing she made it by herself was even more rewarding. With a full stomach and satisfied attitude, Ashley turned to the daunting task of cleaning up the mess she made while preparing her food.

“I had the pan soaking, and I went to scrub at it, and a noodle just went under my nail and got stuck,” she said.

Ashley said the noodle finally fell out about four months later. The nail did not get infected, and she didn’t have to see a doctor; however, she said it “looked real nasty.”

Those college students who are reluctant to use a stove probably have found that microwaves can be used to cook many of their meals, including soup, popcorn, veggies and a variety of easy-bake cookies.

Sophomore nursing major Brittany Browning is a transfer student from Walsh University.

During her freshman year, Brittany’s roommate decided she wanted to bake some cookies.

“She put (regular) cookie dough in the microwave and thought she could cook it like that,” Brittany said. “It exploded everywhere.”

The cookie dough roll exploded in the microwave, spreading its gooey chocolate chip batter all over the dorm room and her roommate.

“It got all over her, and it was hot,” Brittany said. “But it was just mainly on her clothes.”

She said it took two weeks to clean the room and get rid of the smell of burnt cookie dough. When the roommates left at the end of the year, there was still some evidence of the experience.

“There was cookie dough on the ceiling, and it was still there when we left.”

Contact features reporter Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected].