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COOKING WITH CONRAD
Bachelor Pad Food Ideas

by Conrad - October 27, 2002
This one goes out to all the single guys who do their own cooking. Everyone knows that eating is all well and good, taking delicious food and pounding it back is easy. But, I myself am not a very patient cook. I, like most guys in my situation, like to be able to eat when I'm hunger and no later. I also just moved into an apartment and don't have a job. Therefore money isn't something I can burn on good food. Therefore a budget of $10 a week for food is not unreasonable anymore. Here's how to manage:

Remember breakfast, lunch and supper are all the same meal, breakfast cereal works fine any time of the day. Throw away any notion of a three course meal, from now on, it's the same one course meal for an entire week (or longer if necessary).

Feeling Italian?
Pick up some bulk noodles (whatever shapes make you happy). Get a few jars of your favorite pasta sauce. Cook the noodles and add the sauce! Your done, that's it! This savory dish is considered a delicacy among many. Here's a tip: make about 10 times as much as you can eat, then have leftovers for the next week.

Strapped for cash?
Noodles soup packages are an integral part of most poor university students diet (myself included). This is acceptable for any occasion and it's only pennies a meal. If you eat 3 packs a day at 50 cents a package, your day's food total comes up to a mere $1.50. I personally recommend these spicy Mr. Noodles if you can take the heat. In a rush? Don't even worry about cooking the noodles, your stomach doesn't know the difference anyways.

Macaroni and Cheese
Just a quick warning: More than two steps are required to make this. So, you may only want to attempt this if you're an aspiring cook (like myself). Try adding some of your favorite brew into the final mix for an added taste. In fact this idea works great for many foods. Out of breakfast cereal? In place of the cereal, use the cold noodles and add milk. You'll be happy you did!

Pork and Beans
Basically, if it's food, comes from a can, and is cheap, it makes a great meal. A splendid example is your classic pork and beans. Take them anywhere for a quick meal! Now, I know many of you are on the run and therefore, need to eat as you move. What I like to do on those running-late type mornings is open a can of chili-beans before I leave for school. I grab a fork and eat half during the drive there. Once at school, I stick in the cup holder. For all you trying this, by the time you get back, you'll be extremely hungry and very thankful for the other half of the can. Plus if it's warm outside, you're beans will also be (slightly) warm. However since things aren't too warm here in Canada, I eat them somewhat frozen (also acceptable).

Soup and Crackers
As you might already know, soup is one of my personal favorites. I usually buy those cans that you add water to. Now, if your telling me: "Hey I don't even know how to use the stove, how do I make soup!?" No problem, instead of adding cold water, add hot water, then it's already somewhat hot and you're good to go! More hungry than expected? Just crush up an entire package of crackers and stir them in. This makes the soup into a more filling stew. Then for desert, save some uncrushed crackers and eat those.

No Food?
In a pinch? Can't find food? Spent all your cash on beer? Chances are if this situation hasn't happened to you yet, it eventually will. I have a simple solution: Just soak some cardboard in hot water and add salt and pepper. You can even cut them into crackers-like squares. Perfect for when you're finished that bulk box of corn flakes and are wondering what to do with the leftover cardboard. No part of the box should go to waste. I personally have not tried this, so let me know how it goes. Doctors warning: eating cardboard can cause loss of dignity.

Meat
Now I can hear you saying: How can you eat meat and still spend only $1.50 a day? Just remember, hot-dogs aren't expensive, nor are they meat! Having a hot-dog is a great break from eating cardboard and/or related products (i.e. construction paper or plywood). Plus, they great for serving guests. Since no one wants to eat out of my soggy, cracker-stew bowl (except me), I just pop a few hot-dogs in the microwave and crack open some drinks, everyone will love you. I recommend the above "Party Pack Hot-Dogs" simply because it has been proven that each dog is a party waiting to happen! Hot-dog buns are nice, but not necessary. Any sort of bread-related product should be sufficient (just remember: cardboard is NOT a bread). So you're telling me: "Hey, my apartment doesn't have air conditioning and gets really hot sometimes", that's OK! Eat them frozen for a refreshing treat on those hot summer days. Tastes like hot-dog flavored popsicles!

Pretend it's Good
The above is the 5 pound freezer lasagna I warmed up yesterday. Here's your tip: Learn to live with a "less dignified palette". If you learn to put up with crappy food, good food is just that much better plus your immune system is in a constant state of alert and can better fight off diseases. Don't worry if your food is too old, if your cheese is moldy or if your chips are soggy, these all can be a part of your. I
nstead of eating "crappy soup", eat the French version "potage de merde" it sounds nicer and you can easily convince yourself and others that it's good.

Your Food Sucks?
No problem, just keep plenty of your favorite brew around the apartment. This is key, no matter how poor your meal just tasted, no matter how expired that food was, washing it down with something cold makes everything great. This is the only case where I don't recommend you go cheap. Get the stuff you like, you'll be happy you did. And remember, no bachelor pad is complete without a plentiful supply of cold ones.

-This has been a guest submitted article by Conrad
-e-mail: [email protected]


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