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How to have a kitchen at uni which won’t make your mum cry

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Imagine living with this: the aroma of fish skin from last Friday emanating from the overflowing bin, the table looking like a modern art painting with splashes of pasta sauce that are slowly turning green, and pizza crusts swimming in the sink.

Do not be the person that leaves a cucumber to rot on the top shelf of the fridge to drip green goo onto everyone else’s food. Do not be the one to cause a mass evacuation of your block at midnight, during exams week, because you reduced a pizza to a pile of black ash in the oven. Do not be the person who eats half-cooked sausages that are a week past their sell by date and has to be taken away in an ambulance.

People worry about not knowing how to cook when they arrive at university, but the problem is less about culinary skill, and more about basic kitchen hygiene and paying attention. Here are some top tips on how to cope.

Follow instructions

Best before labels and cooking instructions about oven temperatures and microwave wattage are not there to confuse or trick you.

Be patient

Cook poultry and pork thoroughly, however lazy you might be feeling is nothing compared to the fatigue that comes after 48 hours of food poisoning.

Be attentive

Do not underestimate the potential destructive power of an unattended oven, microwave or hob while you are cooking. Like a cute toddler, an unattended pan can wreck havoc in moments.

Keep it clean

Studies show that the average kitchen sink contains 100,000 times more germs than the bathroom. Use disinfectant wipes on surfaces before and after you cook and keep the sink clean.

Organise the fridge

Store things in airtight, smell-proof containers and keep perishable items to the front so that they won’t be forgotten. Watch out for glass jars and bottles with suicidal tendencies and keep them away from shelf edges.

It’s all about having some common sense. Stick to the above tips and you’ll survive!

Do you have any more cooking and kitchen tips for students? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: Jeff Kubina / Flickr

Megan BowerHow to have a kitchen at uni which won’t make your mum cry

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