Friday, November 11, 2011

Feed me.

Even if a genie gave me three wishes, I might only need one: different food.

Now I understand that we're best in the country for dining hall food (thank you, Princeton Review), but even the best food eaten for months on end gets dull. It's not really that it's bad food. It's not. And I really appreciate the panini press option. But it has its problems:
  • You never get the food when it's just been cooked. Nothing's ever really hot, or when it is, it's because you got the very bottom of the soup kettle that's nearly gotten crusty.  That's just not fun.
  • Nothing's ever properly seasoned. Either they go overboard with the salt in an effort to make it flavorful, or they just use the same three or four spices they use on everything else.
  • Everything on your plate is the same color.  It's that nondescript beigey orangey brown color. A hunk of chicken or turkey, some rice or lentils, potatoes or squash, bread or pizza. The occasional floret of broccoli or stray green bean livens things up a little, but I miss having a truly colorful plate. It's fall! Where are my reds?! Oranges?! Oh yes, in the arbitrarily colored frosting on the blah cupcakes.
  • No deserving food ever gets the spotlight. Why can't anything ever taste like its main ingredient? Chicken doesn't taste like chicken; it tastes like whatever sauce they put it in. Tomato and pesto pizza doesn't taste like tomato or pesto; it tastes like all the salt they cooked it with. And anything in a cream sauce doesn't taste like that "anything"; it tastes like a clogged artery. And that doesn't even count all the mislabeled things! Blueberry pancakes should have blueberries in them! Blue pancakes are not blueberry pancakes! (And I'm worried about why they're blue in the first place.)
  • If you're not going to make good eggs, don't serve them at all. Really. Reconstituted eggs are no fun. 
Despite the eggs and pancakes, breakfast is the best meal.  Bagels and cream cheese are hard to screw up.  Same goes for Raisin Bran.  And yogurt with granola is always promising.*

As always, I don't know how much I'm allowed to complain. At least I have food. At least I haven't gotten sick from it yet. At least they have chocolate milk. That's really the kicker. But all this is why I'm so ready for real food, and by extension, for Thanksgiving, where I will run the kitchen. Then I have only myself to blame.

*though I have no idea what they were thinking with a "sunrise yogurt" the other day. Really, I don't even know what was in it, but I think of it like fruitcake in yogurt form.

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