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Students Don’t Eat Pheasant March 14, 2010

Posted by Fiona in Breaking the fourth wall, University.
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The BBC in its infinite wisdom has decided to help us out, chaps, by giving us some student friendly recipes to play with.

Fantastic! I though.  That’ll make a change, I hope they’ve come up with something I haven’t thought of, or a twist on the things I have thought of.

Nope.  The BBC Grub Club, from my point of view, is the usual Student-Friendly but oh-so-condescending black-student-blonde-student-brunette-student pile of things that really won’t work in the real world.  Your average student doesn’t want to mess about with sesame seeds on a daily basis.   They are not going to be inspired by the suggestion that they make avocado hummus.

I was in a car with some girls the other night, and they were talking about some people they knew and the sort of things they ate, and one of them said, ‘Students don’t eat pheasant!’ as if it’s posh, expensive and hard to get hold of.

We had a dinner party at our house earlier in the term, because Linguistic Housemate and I felt like cooking something exciting, and we made pheasant with red wine and shallotts, after having found out you can get pheasants in the Indoor Market for £3.25 each and thinking well, they can’t be any harder to cook than chicken, can they?  Turns out we were dead right.  I know, we’re not the BBC’s idea of typical students, but I don’t think, pheasant-related escapades aside, we’re that far from the norm.  We cook as a household – which is rarer than I expected – but we eat to fill, mostly, and we cook for four very hungry people on a budget.  We don’t want things to be too fussy.  We haven’t got that much time.  Does this sound in the least bit familiar to you?

So here is my list of eight things, courtesy of Techie Towers, that the BBC would have done better to have put recipes up for.  Healthy eating and all.

  • Lasagne: always.  Absolute staple.
  • Mushroom risotto: quick, not fussy, good for vegetarians, very filling
  • Lemon and garlic roast chicken: a bit of a twist on the classic, something you can eat with friends, and a veritable treasure trove of leftovers
  • Roast vegetable soup: can be frozen, excellent for packed lunches, good for dragging people kicking and screaming into being a bit creative
  • Moroccan cous cous: license to mess about with spices and chickpeas, also excellent lunchbox material, cous cous having the added bonus of being very quick and practically impossible to screw up
  • Potato wedges: beat oven chips in oh so many ways (cheaper, healthier, taste better) and make you everyone’s favourite housemate of an evening
  • Apple crumble: encourages you to not just ignore fruit that’s a bit battered, also bakery = domestic goddess
  • Cranberry and white chocolate cookies: Linguistic Housemate made some yesterday and they’re awesome.  AND THEY HAVE FRUIT IN.  (I really want to try the variant of blueberry and dark chocolate, to see if it’s as good as it is in my head, but several housemates don’t like blueberries.  Anyone feel like testing this for me?)

There, BBC.  That wasn’t too hard, was it?

So that’s what we eat.  What would be your eight things to get students thinking about cooking?  Do let me know.  Let’s swap.

(Essay currently about three-quarters done.  Due tomorrow.  But there’s a film on tonight so I feel an all-nighter coming on… more later, but I couldn’t resist earburning you with food!)

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Comments»

1. Flix - March 15, 2010

All sound delish. Please give us your own recipes? It’s time Galley of Culture got a bit of a revamp 😉

I love Apple crumble, I was actually considering making some the other day, but you know…effort…and ingredients and general laziness. And cookies sound yummy. All the savoury I agree with too, but I’m needing a sweet treat right about now, so more leaning towards those options…

2. Fiona - March 17, 2010

Hmm, I’m not sure if the GoC is going to get back up and going, I’m not sure I have the time/ideas, and Clare has less time than I do these days! But I would like to stick a few recipes up. Most of the problem is remembering what I put in them, I have a bit of a slapdash approach to cookery… it’s His Nibs’s territory really… (You can get hold of some of his stuff via Onions On Toast on the blogroll. But he’s a lazy bastard and hasn’t updated it in ages. I fear an opinion here might also be pushing my luck, no doubt!)

3. luciainfurs - March 17, 2010

The BBC student recipes make me a very unhappy person. The fact each of their recipes even *has* an “effort” rating means they’re doing something wrong, let alone how there are things rated 4/5 and above there.

It reminds me of how, when I go home, my mum very kindly slips those little waitrose recipe flyers into any books I happen to be taking back with me. Very sweet and everything, but I’m not going to be buying capers or saffron at the moment.
With present financial fuckery, the way your “recent comments” cuts this post down to “Students Dont Eat” is far more appropriate.

I wish I had your attitude to cooking, too. While cooking I have this perpetual fear that if I deviate too much from the recipe the kitchen will defiantly, defiantly s’plode.

4. Callan - March 19, 2010

1. Thai Green Curry. Easy, and delicious, and fatty =) My favourite things.
2. Mars bar and dark chcoclate crispy cakes. For when things without chocolate is unbearable. Likewise flapjacks.
3. Roast. Seems strange, but most people will make one at some point and simple cooking instructions will help the inexpert.
4. Stir fry, for those who’ve never picked up a pan before.
5. I ate too mcuh pasta in first year and am still off it. I guess some sort of pasta dish would go here. Chicken provencale perhaps, which I understand barely counts.
6. Shepherd’s Pie.
7. Bangers and Mash
8. 5 minute mug cake.

5. Dickie - March 20, 2010

1. Macaroni Cheese. Piss easy, and imo the leftovers taste even better than the original stuff.
2. Butter Chicken. Very tasty. Have with rice or nan bread.
3. Burger and chips. Most butchers do bloody good burgers for like 40p each. Chips should be deep-fried, and made from maris piper potatoes.
4. Pastitsio, as an alternative to lasagne. Looks and tastes great, and is not too expensive for the amount it makes.
5. Chicken noodle soup. Only needs one pan (so less washing up), takes a ridiculously small amount of time, and is really tasty.
6. Chocolate brownies. Although they never last more than about a day…
7. Enchiladas. Although wrapping them can be somewhat tricky :-S
8. Spaghetti carbonara (but made properly!)
9. (you said 8, but meh) Toad in the hole, with caramelized red onion gravy. Probably not a typical student meal, but damn it’s tasty.

In our house, we don’t do any shared cooking. Frankly I wouldn’t want my housemates to cook for me. I cook all my food from scratch, whereas they all use those horrible ready-made jars of sauce and whatever which just smell awful.

Damn it I’m hungry now…

6. Lucy - March 20, 2010

Oooh. This would have been easier to answer last year, when I’d done my own cooking for two years. In my current house we tend to eat as a house which is so lovely!

Thing is, J cooks two thirds of our main meals – he’s an honourary housemate, and an incredibly talented and lovely one at that! Admittedly he’s no longer a student, but believe me, you could pay to have those meals in a restaurant. I also never fail to be impressed with the diversity of meals he comes up with, given that RM is vegetarian and RF is both gluten and lactose intolerant.

I’d have to think for a long time to give just eight favourites…

7. Lucy - March 20, 2010

Also, Dickie, I’m 100% with you on the ready-made jars of sauce. Why, just WHY?!

8. Fiona - March 20, 2010

I’ll say a bit in defence of jars of sauce, on grounds of curry. The rest of it – who buys ready-made tomato sauce? – I’ll agree with, but curry sauces and stir fry sauces are time-saving miracles on occasion. I am, however, slowly but surely weaning my housemates onto the concept of condiments.

Both Callan and Dickie, I think it’s very interesting what you’ve gone for (toad in the hole = win), I’m guessing neither of you routinely cooks for vegetarians 😛 not that I do, you would probably get laughed at in our house if you said you were vegetarian, but I do think it’s interesting. Lucy, do you think living with vegetarian/gluten/lactose intolerant people has changed what you eat all that much? I mean, if you all cook and eat together, do you tend to all eat exactly the same thing or pick and choose a bit more?

9. Dickie - March 20, 2010

Lol I even make curry from scratch. It’s much tastier (and well worth it just for the smell when you make the paste).

10. Lucy - March 21, 2010

Fi – I’d forgotten about curry sauce when I wrote that. That said, J’s curries from scratch are miles better, but then he knows what he’s doing and also has the time to do so.

I’d say I eat more vegetarian that I used to, in that I probably only now eat meat about once a week at the very most, and that’s if I’ve bought food out of the house. Cooking for myeslf, I probably had meat two or three times a week.

But no, the meals we make are generally suitable for everybody, using soya substitutes or rice flour when necessary, and then maybe those of us who can do so might grate some cheese onto the top of whatever. Occasionally RF will have rice when we have pasta or whatever, but that is the exception rather than the rule. And because we generally do breakfast and lunches more independently, the cheese sandwich production line is still in force, never fear!

11. annadegenhardt - March 25, 2010

“Clare has less time than I do these days!” may well be true at the moment. BUT Clare gets an oven next year. A proper oven. Which more than makes up for the uneasy distinction of having (and I quote) “The worst room in Cambridge” (as voted by Varsity. Apparently it’s roughly pyramidal in shape…) But there is an OVEN.

So my degree is going DOWN. I’ve just gone veggie and, if I keep it up until next October, that means there will be a lot of cookery experimentation to do to make life interesting. Also, hell, it’s an oven – do you honestly expect me NOT to bake?!

In other news, yes, we SHOULD resurrect GoC. Not sure with what, but we really should. In fact, I’m going to be doing a lot of baking in the next few days – neighbours + tea party = YUM. (Not eating the neighbours, just baking for them) so I could stick some recipes up. And a review of Madame Butterfly in NYC, if anyone would be interested. SO I do have stuff to say… And I’m sure Fi does. Fi? Shall we?

Cxxx

12. Flix - March 25, 2010

I vote yes. Please. Especially with the veggie skew on things. And baking. I like baked goods.

13. annadegenhardt - March 29, 2010

Flix – take a look. I’ve gone for pancakes.


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