This past weekend was Step One in finding ways to enjoy food and cooking at college, and I must say, it was a resounding success! My friends and I decided to break away from the monotony of the dining halls and get together for a little outdoor picnic. Super-simple, but a really great break nonetheless. The original plan was to do not just a picnic, but a cookout, as my school has this great program where, if you get your meal-card numbers into the dining hall staff early enough, you can pick up all the fixings for burgers and such at no cost and cook them yourself on outdoor grills. Pretty awesome. However, we kind of failed on the "get your numbers in early enough" part, so we went for option two: take out food from the dining halls and eat it outside, in this gorgeous courtyard in my dorm, at a classy little picnic.
See? Beautiful. Also, note the amazing new gas-fired grills in the back corner there.
Don't worry, we'll actually use them next time...
For this, we made use of another cool program the school has, new this year: reusable take-out containers. In the past, we were always able to get paper-esque take-out boxes from the dining halls if we wanted to get our meal to go. The school as a whole used tons of them, and we threw them out each time, wasting paper and money. This year, however, we were each given a reusable plastic to-go box that we are supposed to use, take out, and then bring back to the dining halls the next time we want take-out in exchange for a new (that is, already used but washed) box. Pretty nice.
So, in the end, we all settled down outside, in a beautiful courtyard, at a tablecloth-ed and candle-lit dinner, for a meal that was still quite college-y, yet a wonderful break from the daily routine.