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The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Editorial — Learning to cook for yourself

COOKING — Having an oven is an easy way to make and prepare meals of almost any kind. If you live in the dorms, using the shared kitchen may be awkward, but it can lead to friendly interactions with your neighbors.
Harry Stine/NW
COOKING — Having an oven is an easy way to make and prepare meals of almost any kind. If you live in the dorms, using the shared kitchen may be awkward, but it can lead to friendly interactions with your neighbors.

One of the most crucial parts of living on your own is being able to properly feed yourself. For some, learning to cook may come easy, and for others, giving up and making a frozen pizza has become second nature. It’s something you’ll have to learn either way. Sure, you may be living in the dorms and experiencing the so-called “joys” of having a meal plan, but learning to cook for yourself is a skill that everyone will need to know in some capacity.

A great way to get started is making a quick Google search for recipes on your favorite foods. From here, thoroughly read the recipe to make sure you have all the ingredients and cooking materials needed, and that the dish is within your skill level. If the recipe makes enough for leftovers, this allows you to save time by not cooking anything the next day. If you try the recipe and decide that you want more of a particular seasoning, go for it. Your tastes are your tastes, and figuring out how to use ingredients to your liking is an important part of the process.

That being said, always pay special attention to the finer details when cooking. Don’t reuse cutting boards that you placed raw meat on, use fresh ingredients and ensure proper handwashing. When checking on your food, it may be wise to invest in a meat thermometer to see that everything is cooked to a minimum of 165 degrees. I can guarantee that the last thing you want is food poisoning by your own hand.

Now, some of us might not like the time it takes to cook, or just don’t like the action of cooking. There are a few ways to remedy this. Meal prep is an easy way to save time when making dinner and it helps kill time if you have an extra hour or so on your hands. Having quick things around for lunch such as organic ramen, canned soup or your favorite cold cuts can reduce the amount of time it takes to make a quick meal. Also, making an evening out of cooking a new dish can help it feel less like a chore, and gives you proper time to focus on following the recipe.

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Finally, make it fun! Put on some music that fits the mood when you’re in the kitchen. Find a dessert you can easily make, like banana bread, and share a few slices with your roommates. It can actually help put your mind at ease. Cooking may be tedious at times, but when you make it a fun activity you can do during your free time, it becomes quite enjoyable.

The beauty of cooking is that it is a constant learning experience for everyone, no matter their skill level. Experienced chefs still take time to learn new recipes and expand their knowledge, just like how some of us are proud of discovering how to make pancakes. The more you work at it, the better you will get, and your taste buds will thank you.

You can also check out some staff favorite North Wind recipes for additional cooking inspiration.

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