Now, don’t get me wrong — my mum can cook.
Her parents are Italian and our household never bought pasta sauce in a jar. Instead, I grew up with the rich smell of homemade pasta sauce wafting up to my room every few days. But since I was about 13 (and became an “awkward” vegetarian), I’ve cooked more for myself at home.
Here are a few reasons why cooking just for myself at uni is better, and I get (almost) free reign of the kitchen when I go home.
1. Sometimes, I don’t want what she has planned
Photo courtesy of @itsdougthepug on Instagram
This is the obvious one. At uni, I have the freedom to pull open the cupboard and cook whatever I feel like. At home, I don’t have this luxury. I shouldn’t complain, as someone else is doing the work, but sometimes I just want comfort food or anything except what she cooked.
2. I use different ingredients
As a vegan, I love tofu and cook with a lot of different foods (lentils, beans, etc.) that are often the opposite of traditional English food (even though Yorkshire puddings are awesome). This means when I go home, I have a completely different type of meal compared to the ones I make at uni.
3. Her roast potatoes are amazing…
…but honestly, I prefer rice or noodles. Plus, one pot or pan cooking is way easier and means less washing up.
4. She doesn’t bake
I feel guilty for using her ingredients to make brownies or biscuits when I’m sure she has unhealthy snacks in the cupboard (like the secret chocolate box we found years ago). I just normally make my own stuff. I’ve even been making my own birthday cake for years.
5. She has a weekly meal plan that doesn’t change
Having my brother at home playing a ridiculous amount of sport means certain nights are quick dinner nights, like minestrone nights or fajita nights. It’s nice to have order and a plan, but I get a bit bored of having the same food again and again.
6. She doesn’t know about mug cakes
So I made her one on her birthday. Cue surprise at how I managed a cake in 5 minutes.
7. She doesn’t have hours to spare
Mum, you cook great, but I just have more time since I’m not rushing to take my brother somewhere (especially when I am at home). Don’t feel the need to cook the easy dishes — instead, let me take control of the kitchen for the evening. It will be less stressful for you, and, who knows, I might even work out what your favourite dish is.
But thank you, mum, for cooking for me when I was younger. Without you, I wouldn’t have learnt the joys of cooking, failed spectacularly at some recipes, or had the courage to chuck everything into a saucepan with some sauce and hope it tasted okay. You taught me to enjoy food and that letting other people taste your recipes is both terrifying and really rewarding, and I have you to thank for that.