In the kitchen, no two students are the same.
In one University of Iowa household, four upperclassmen struggle to find a balance between heating up convenience foods and taking the time to make actual meals.
“When I’m cooking at my house, I have a strict diet of frozen pizzas and chicken wings,” said Lane French. “Some of [my roommates] are a little bit [healthier] and they actually make some decent food every once in a while.”
While the frozen pizza route may work for French, others in his house put a bigger focus on their meals.
“I think really far ahead. So if it’s [noon], I’m thinkin’ about dinner. It’s all about what sounds good,” said Ben Kresner.
Each roommate has his own mental list of meals to make each week.
Tony Pavin, who has earned the nickname “Tony Mostacholi” among his friends, has a special place in his heart for pasta with marinara. He has it at least once a day. This semester, he’s expanded his horizons and makes instant pancakes at least four times a week.
Bart Lakomy, a health-conscious honors student, keeps a stock of frozen food from home in the refrigerator whenever possible. When he does cook, more often than not, he makes Polish sausage, sandwiches or hot dogs on the stove.
In this respect, Lakomy and French actually have a lot in common when it comes to cooking. Both prefer to heat up frozen meals, but Lakomy’s are usually cooked from home and, as a result, more nutritious. On any given night, French is more likely to be eating out at one of Iowa City’s many restaurants.
Kresner sits at the other end of the spectrum. Of all four roommates, he prefers to prepare a wider variety of meals. Many of his favorites include tuna casserole, chicken, mac and cheese and many other simple foods.
But, as you might expect, with this many guys trying to eat in the same household, there are going to be a lot of dirty dishes. Many dishes seem to sit for days. Relative to the others, Lakomy is the most bothered by this trend.
“When I reach for a dish, it’s pretty dirty. When I leave the dishes behind after I use them, I try to leave them cleaner than they were when I got them,” said Lakomy.
With all of this cooking going around in one house, one has to wonder why roommates like French are less inclined to cook a full meal than his friends. What is getting in his way of eating foods that he knows are better for him?
“Mostly the time commitment to actually going out, buying stuff… and making it, and not actually knowing how to make it… just lack of overall motivation to do so,” French said.
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