This summer I decided to stay in Baltimore and take Organic Chemistry I and II with Professor Klein. It’s only been two weeks, but I already feel more accomplished and productive than I’ve ever felt in my life. Why? Although I am learning massive amounts of class material every single day, my greatest accomplishments have been in the kitchen.

One of my greatest accomplishments

One of my greatest accomplishments

For most people, making toast, frying an egg, and cooking pasta are all very easy, unimpressive activities, but for me any sort of cooking was a struggle. I’ve burned food in the microwave, and even once accidently poured all the pasta I had just made down the garbage disposal.  So for me, having no meal plan was as devastating as it was intimidating. I really thought I was going to starve.

It’s been two weeks and my roommate, Julia, and I have not starved. In fact, we are eating the healthiest we have ever eaten!

All fresh ingredients from the farmer's market!

All fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market!

Instead of bags of chips, our snacks are bags of baby carrots. Instead of plain buttered pasta, we have whole-wheat pasta with kale and sundried tomatoes.

IMG_1407

After a long day in the library, coming back to the beautiful apartment we are subletting in the Blackstone and cooking a delicious meal is exactly what I want to do.  There have been mistakes (we once set off the fire alarm trying to cook steak in a non-stick pan. Julia’s lungs haven’t been the same since) but  we have steadily been improving.

The meat master herself

The meat master herself

At first, sautéing broccoli was a daunting task, and I did burn the garlic.  Last night, though, we easily and quickly cooked up some rosemary pork chops, oven roasted potatoes, and sautéed spinach.

IMG_1568

Coming into this summer, I had no idea that I would be chopping up cloves and cloves of garlic, and I’m sure Julia could never guess that she would be de-membraning skirt steaks, but I’m happier and healthier than I have been in a while. I can’t wait to see what other culinary adventures we will have this summer.