If you are anything like me, the on-campus dining can quickly bore you. Alternating between Chick-Fil-A, Panda Express and Village Dining isn’t exactly the healthiest or most diverse diet.
My first semester at Auburn I asked one of my friends, Belle, if she wanted to make dinner one night. She agreed, feeling the same about on-campus dining. She suggested we make tacos. Her mom always made the best tacos, and they weren't hard to make.
Off we went to Kroger, the best stop for all the freshest ingredients, both confident that the other’s cooking expertise would make up for the lack of our own.
Once we got there, we found most of the ingredients without trouble, even grabbing an onion to spice it up. I was feeling pretty good about it, having saved us a small bit of money by insisting we buy a head of lettuce instead of a bag of pre-shredded lettuce – more for less.
Don’t set high expectations when you are cooking something for the first time. Your first tacos will not be as good as Belle's mom’s.
What neither I nor Belle realized was that I did not choose a nice, green head of iceberg lettuce, but accidentally had gotten a nice green head of cabbage. Don’t buy green cabbage instead of lettuce. It’s not the same.
Back at the kitchen in her apartment, we got to work. I diced the green cabbage and onions, still unaware of the dire mistake I had made. Belle started on the ground beef. Several minutes of vigorous cooking later, we pulled the ground beef off the stove only to be greeted by a skillet of bland mush that was supposed to be meat.
Neither of us knew if this meant it was overcooked or undercooked, but I took one for the team and tasted a lump of it. As the color had been drained from the meat, so had the flavor, and what greeted my mouth was a wash of bland, chewy pulp. Something was missing.
Don’t forget to season the meat.
Not letting that disappointment get the best of us, we toasted the taco shells and put the tan mush-meat in, followed by the green cabbage and, finally, shredded cheese as well.
I absent mindedly grabbed a piece of cabbage and popped it into my mouth, and it was at this point that my mistake became clear to me. I said, “Belle, I hope you like going hungry.”
Although the tacos didn't turn out well, it was a great time, and we are both better cooks and better friends, now.
Try new things even if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll live a little, grow closer to people and mature along the way. College, for many of us, is the first time we are completely responsible for the food that we eat, so be adventurous and don't be afraid to fail.