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Fox Valley Cooks: Eat like a college student

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Fox Valley Cooks: Eat like a college student

In a few weeks, college students will leave home for campus life. Many will move into dormitories, but others will start life on their own in an apartment, which means cooking their own meals.

“I lived two years in apartments at Augustana College,” Emma Tucek recalls.

The 22-year-old Aurora resident recently graduated with a degree in sociology-social welfare.

She will participate in the AmeriCorps City Year program in the fall. She offers some advice to students about to begin apartment living.

“I shared the apartment with two others, and we tried to do family meals at first, but it became hard with everyone’s different schedules,” she says.

The roommates tried to share the cost of basics like eggs and milk but soon realized that wasn’t an ideal arrangement.

“One of my friends could go through a gallon of milk in three days, while I didn’t even finish a half gallon of milk in a week,” she says. “It was easier for each of us to just buy our own food. We shared some things, but mainly, each person fixed her own meals.”

Tucek notes that it is important to have a cookie sheet, a mixing bowl, a pizza cutter and parchment paper for cooking. She usually kept bagels, cheese, tortilla chips and fresh fruit available most of the time to use for quick meals. She also kept what she called “an emergency meal” of a can of soup, spaghetti or other heat-and-eat option. She limited her banana purchases because “they ripen too fast” and preferred strawberries, blueberries and pineapples since they stayed fresh longer.

“Be creative and cook what you like,” Tucek says.

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