After moving into the residence halls last fall along with thousands of other freshmen, I had gotten a little sick of monotonous dining commons food and am running out of money to spend on eating out. So what’s the best way to combat this culinary crisis? The solution, I recently discovered, lies right in your very own residence hall.
Gather up a few of your friends and floormates, and head down to the communal kitchen, which can be found in all of the units, but be prepared to improvise and get a little messy. For my first foray into dorm cooking, I decided to keep it simple — pizza. My friends and I decided to make a classic staple, the margherita pizza, for our first pie and experiment on the second with a pear and Gorgonzola cheese pizza.
We trekked down to the Trader Joe’s on University Avenue and picked up the necessary ingredients, which totaled to a little bit under $30, which is not bad for a meal that will feed roughly six people. Be prepared to invest in a few staples, such as olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. They’ll hike up the bill the first time around but will last. Plus, if you end up splitting whatever you make, as we did, the total turns out to be roughly $5 per person.
As it turns out, the communal kitchen in my dorm was ill-equipped for any type of cooking — there were no knives, pans, nothing. So we hauled down our personal cutlery — not exactly prime for slicing tomatoes and chopping basil — a laptop for music and an aluminum baking pan to double as our pizza pan. Not everything went exactly as planned, and we ended up making a bit of mess, but it was a ton of fun and a great way to bond with the people on my floor. And all the socializing aside, you’ll have a delicious dinner in the end.
1 bag Trader Joe’s Plain Pizza Dough
1 small wedge of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
6 slices of provolone cheese
Open the dough and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. Preheat oven to about 350ºF. Slice pears into thin slices, then knead and spread dough onto baking sheet. Place provolone cheese slices evenly over the dough, and spread the crumbled the Gorgonzola cheese and pear slices on top. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the pizza to taste. Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.