The starving college student subsisting on a diet of ramen noodles and powdered macaroni and cheese is a cliché strongly based in reality, but it doesn’t have to be. When I started college nearly 25 years ago, microwaves were rare in a dorm setting and few students had access to real kitchens. I refused to subject myself to dining hall food, so I came up with a plan where I could cook for myself and save all that meal plan money.
Since space in a dorm room is at a premium, simplicity is the key. I ate well my freshman year in college while cooking on just a hot plate. Here is my spaghetti and meat sauce recipe for dorm cooking.
Dorm Room Spaghetti
Medium skillet (10”).
4 quart sauce pan
Electric hot plate
½ box dry spaghetti
4 oz ground beef
¼ jar spaghetti sauce
Note: If you have a weekly shopping list of 1 pound of hamburger, two boxes of spaghetti and one jar of sauce, this recipe will last for four days.
Fill sauce pan half full of water out of gang bathroom sink. Set aside. Turn on hot plate, place skillet on hot plate and fry hamburger in skillet. Use spatula to chop ground beef to desired fineness. Once beef is done, remove skillet from hot plate. Place pan of water on hot plate. Take skillet of ground beef and spatula to bathroom and drain grease in the shower. Do not spill ground beef. Return to dorm room.
Once water is boiling, place spaghetti in pot and cook for 8-10 minutes. Once spaghetti is al dente (sticks to wall), remove pot from hot plate and place skillet back on. Add spaghetti sauce and reduce heat.
Take pot of spaghetti and colander to bathroom. Drain noodles into colander over sink. Pick a sink not clogged with hair. Return to dorm room. Transfer noodles to plate, pour meat and sauce over noodles. Enjoy jealous stares from roommate returning from dining hall.
Repeat four days a week for the entire ten week quarter. Refuse to eat spaghetti again for ten years.
The downside of this meal plan is that in only takes you through four days. For the weekends, you need a little variety. If you pocket the savings from the full meal plan, you can afford to buy the ingredients for my other college recipe:
1 fifth grain alcohol
2 quarts fruit punch (Hi-C or equal)
Combine ingredients in an empty rinsed milk jug. Start drinking Friday afternoon and continue until milk jug is empty, you pass out, or Monday arrives.
Blatant Comment Whoring™: What is your economy meal?