Dorm Cooking: Mother of Ingenuity

When I get the time, I like to try my hand at some recipes. I don’t have much of a knack for sautéing or stewing, so I usually just bake—I mean, there’s nothing cooler than throwing all the right things into a bowl, dropping it into some cookware, and letting it work its magic in an oven.

Questionable Content knows where it's at.

Yes, there’s a kitchenette in the basement of my dorm, but it really isn’t the same as being in your own kitchen with all the things you need. Also, there’s no grocery store within walking distance of campus; I’m forced to rely on whatever’s in stock at our local convenience stores and pharmacy. I came to miss working with my hands and making goodies, so when I came across this recipe on StumbleUpon, I nearly cried tears of joy.

They’re my aforementioned No-Bake Energy Bites! Part of their beauty is that they’re no-bake, solving my lack-of-oven conundrum. The other part of their beauty is the simplicity of  the ingredients list: I had almost everything in my dorm already, and what I didn’t have I scored from friends or found at the drugstore…except for the chocolate chips. Those were nowhere to be found, and I didn’t want to make this recipe without them.

College living has taught me that thinking out of the box is key. As a student, I’ve got limited cash, limited mobility, and a tiny percentage of the resources at home. So when I’m standing in the middle of a drugstore with my hands filled with quick-oats and dried cranberries but no chocolate chips, it’s time to improvise. I brought home a package of Hershey’s Drops, and with my small knife, I chopped and shaved them down until I found myself with a handful of chocolate bits.

The second time I made them, it was cold and dark out, and I didn’t want to head across campus for some chocolate. I went down to our basement and stood before our vending machine, eyeing the snacks before finding just the thing: Peanut M&Ms. I bought a pack, took them up to my room, gave them a quick zap in the microwave, and crushed them almost to dust.

Problem solved. Twice.

My parents are incredibly ingenious people; my dad can whip up a recipe almost out of thin air, and my mom can organize and mend things like magic. I’d like to believe a bit of their talent rubbed off on me, at least enough to get me through my time away from home. Being here, solving little problems like these, just seems like handy litmus test to see how ready I am for the real world. Of course, nothing will prove my readiness for it until I’m actually in the midst of it, but at least I’m not completely helpless.

And if making treats defines my ability to take on adulthood… well, looks like I’m set.

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