College Cooking


Weston is heading back to WVU to pick up a couple of classes in the first summer session (then home for the rest of the summer). With his first two semesters behind him, he’s no longer required to live in the dorm. He will be sharing an apartment with his roommate from the dorm (and high school best friend), though he’ll be up there alone this summer. He didn’t really take to dorm cafeteria food, and now he’ll be on his own for cooking. I’m giving him a crash cooking course this week, helping him practice a few easy recipes that will serve him for several days at a time. Tonight, he made Spicy Lentil Sauce. Tomorrow, we’re going to work on making a big pot of pinto beans (from dry), and then for the next couple days after that, all the things to do with a big pot of beans.

Pictured: He’s studying an onion. He asked whether he was supposed to peel it before or after cutting it. We’ve got a long way to go!


  1. yvonnem says:

    Priceless! :heart:

  2. Jen says:

    I love this! At least he’s willing to learn from you – so sweet.

  3. princessvanessa says:

    Better send a bottle of Beano along. With all the lentils and legumes he is going to need it. :hungry: It’s good that he is wanting to learn some basic cooking.

  4. Anita says:

    So he’s sticking with the vegetarian diet? That’s admirable, especially with the food choices in Morgantown. (I LOVE to eat in Morgantown!!)

  5. whaledancer says:

    So, um, what did you answer? Several years ago I got a tip from Sara Moultin that if you’re going to chop the onion, it’s easier to cut the onion in half lengthwise and then peel it. I tried it, and I’m a convert. So I cut it, then peel it, then chop it. How about you?

  6. Sheila Z says:

    Cut and then peel onions, it’s easier.

    Vegan recipes…. I really like Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Especialy her book, Appetite for Reduction. For the most part few ingredients and so far I haven’t had a failure yet. That is rare for me, with most cookbooks I’m lucky if I like any of the recipes. Also, Veganomicon is another cookbook that she collaborated on that I’ve found to be quite good. Appetite for Reduction is the book she wrote after writting 3 dessert cookbooks, a pie, a cookie and a cake book. I’m just going to skip her baking books as I’m already overweight, but Weston and his girlfriend might enjoy them.

  7. Sheila Z says:

    oh and she has a blog called, Post Punk Kitchen.

  8. lifeisgood/ Melinda says:

    This time last year I had a 25 year old daughter who could not cook a lick! She and her little sister shared a rent house and my youngest is a bit of a chef so the middle daughter never went hungry. Fast forward a year…youngest daughter moved, middle daughter added a man, a plus-child of four, and a brand new baby!! Needless to say she has learned to cook at the ripe old age of 26! Having of a family to take care of will push you into cooking when nothing else will and so will starving at college! Congrats to Weston on his new life lesson! I am sure he will master it like a champ!

  9. Rainn says:

    :hungry: Oh my-I think you should have started a couple years ago!! That onion does look serious! Make sure he has a can opener for backup!! :snoopy: :snoopy: Rain

  10. Granma2girls says:

    Suzanne,you are indeed very fortunate that Wes is teachable . I tried to teach my son to cook just simple foods, before moving into an apt. for his second yr. He was absolutely terrible and couldn’t do it. He lost weight , his nerves got bad. It was a worrisome year for me. He is now married and his wife says he cannot be trusted in the kitchen. My hubby and his brother can cook but their dad was terrible in the kitchen. Must be genetic!

  11. Glenda says:

    Good for him! Beans is a good starting point. There are so many ways to use them…the vegetarian thing would make it harder for me though.

  12. wormlady says:

    May I recommend the cookbook (sorry I have no clue how to underline) One Bowl: Simple Healthy Recipes for One? by Stephanie Bostic. Available at the Spencer library and on Amazon. Recipes are really tasty, cover a wide spectrum of cuisines and are arranged within chapters by how long they take to prepare. There’s also a chapter on nutrition and working to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. And she has a blog:

  13. whtelephant says:

    I suggest he bookmark There are a ton of easy to follow recipes for delicious homemade vegan food. I highly recommend the vegan sausages… yummy and surprisingly easy!

  14. SanAntonioSue says:

    My college kids best friends: 1. Crockpot (and they make disposable liners now! just toss and go!) Just tump in a pound of beans, put in your seasonings, fill up with water and turn on high for 8 hours. Easy peasy! 2. Reynold’s non-stick aluminum foil. They line everything with it 3. The original “Four-ingredient Cookbook” 4. Spaghetti noodles. Ya can’t hardly mess ’em up and can put anything with them. 🙂 And if he doesn’t already know how, lawsy mercy, please teach him how to do laundry. My washer and dryer were MIA(for me) the whole weekend when the young’uns came home “to visit” 😉

  15. STH says:

    When I was a freshman and living in a dorm, I had to teach several guys how to do laundry and I wondered what their parents were thinking, sending them out in the world so unprepared! I’m SURE Suzanne didn’t do that!

    Good job, Weston–everybody should know how to cook at least a few things!

  16. Leck Kill Farm says:

    When I was a freshman and living in a dorm, I had to teach several guys how to do laundry and I wondered what their parents were thinking, sending them out in the world so unprepared!

    If those parents were anything like mine, they were thinking that their daughter might only do a 99.99% full load and, well, that remaining 0.01% of empty washer space might mark the end of the world. Once I was in college, my mom wanted to pick up my laundry and take it home because coin washers cost money. Yes, there were issues……

    Suzanne – I found RelishRelish to be a really good website for meal planning and menus. A 30-day trial was free and there are all sorts of neat features like the ability to print shopping lists, budget and veg meal alternations, etc. Most of the recipes are use minimal packaged ingredients (for example – you might find something that calls for BBQ sauce, which few college students would make from scratch.) I subscribed for a year and I think it was $7 a month. The recipes are simple enough for a beginner yet tasty enough to make one WANT to cook.

  17. Whirlwinded says:

    Please do post about what you do with a huge pot of beans! My husband has always hated them, so I am clueless!

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