In the College Kitchen with Jenna

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Hilltop Views Blogs will soon feature blogs from four different Hilltoppers: Jenna Craig on cooking in a college kitchen, Katie Brown on fashion, Zach Busby on surviving as an SEU man, and “Lipgloss” on dating. Check every day for more advice and stories.

I’m Jenna Craig and a senior at St. Eds. I’ve been cooking for myself and my family since my mom was brave enough to leave us alone with our father while she went to book club (I dragged a chair up to the stove). My grandmom is responsible for my general philosophy that food is love. Whether you are standing at the stove, eating out together, or sharing a bowl of cereal. Eating together creates real friendship, and there is no greater compliment than inviting someone to your table.

I am not a great cook. I have undercooked, overcooked, confused salt for sugar, and even caught a kitchen on fire. But I truly love feeding people. 

I have a lot of rules surrounding cooking and eating, you’ll learn more and more about my love of all things fatty and wonderful as I posts recipes each week. For now, here are my Five Pillars of Provisions:

1. If the plate is lacking a protein source, or if the food itself isn’t prepared hot…you are not eating a meal, but a snack. Also, chicken is a vegetable. You can’t convince me otherwise.

2. The best way to show someone you love them is by making them food. Not only does it show them you care, but it literally contributes to their ability to continue living unlike any other simple favor.

…which brings me to my next point:

3. Few obstacles in your personal relationships can’t be fixed with a gift in the form of a baked good.

4. Guilt is a wasted emotion…food guilt being the most absurd of that faction

5. My table is not a place for a philosophical argument (about food–other ethical quandaries you may be facing are encouraged to be shared). You are not God, so don’t be telling me what humans are supposed to be eating. Cows eat grass, zebras eat grass. Lions eat zebras, so how could you possibly know that humans shouldn’t eat cows? It’s just science! Diet however you please, and let the rest of us do the same. Don’t be put off by my tone. I’ve known and loved many vegetarians, they just make me uncomfortable as I can’t figure out what motivates them in doing anything in life.

We all have at least one or more things that we can’t stand to eat, and that’s okay. Furthermore, many of us have health problems that prevent us from being able to eat everything we want. If you find a great gluten-free recipe, and make it for a friend with a gluten intolerance, I can’t think of a better way to show someone you love them. I myself am hypoglycemic, so when someone provides a fruit option over confection (or especially a sausage kolache when everyone else gets to have donuts for breakfast), I feel really special.

I am always interested in whatever feedback or questions readers might have. Please comment or email , share recipes and ask as many questions as you want so I can pretend to know the answer.