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You Have a Friend in Cheeses

Guys. I have GREAT news.

This semester, I’m taking a class called Women, Gender, and the Politics of Food.

I know. It’s perfect.

But what’s even better is that for the final project in this awesome class I can either a) write a 10 page paper, b) create a syllabus for the class, or c) keep a semester-long blog with food-related topics.

What. WHAAAT.

Can I elaborate how amazing this is? I can blog about my food-life for class credit. (Let’s move beyond the point that it’s taking me a class assignment to finally update this blog). All I need to do is write up 13-15 blog posts throughout the semester, and about half of them have to be done before spring break.

This is going to be great. You guys will finally be able to see what it’s like in the wonderful Hamilton institution called the Co-Op.

Alright. So this is how it’s going to go down.

In the Woolcott Cooperative (a.k.a. the Co-Op), 20 students live together and make all of their own food (except for lunch, when they can swipe into dining halls between classes). We buy all our own groceries, opting for local and organic as much as possible. Everyone does 5 hours of chores per week, and these range from 2.5 hours of dinner-cooks to 1 hour dinner-cleans and half -hour day swiffs. There are also jobs especially designated for bread-making, granola-making, and snack-making.

Usually everyone gets at least one dinner-cook a week. So this is what I’ve decided to do.

Every week, I will take pictures during my dinner-cook, and upload/blog about my dinner-cook experience here, on You Eatin’ Nice, in a somewhat standardized way. I will also have some random posts on bread-making or granola-making, or general food fun.

Exciting, right? Let’s get started.

Last night (Monday evening) was my first dinner-cook of this week. Here is the menu and the attached recipes.

Monday: Grilled Cheese Night (YEEESSSS!)
with this pesto recipe, this tomato soup recipe, and kale chips.

Now you have to understand; when you’re cooking in the Co-Op, you’re making dinner for (usually) 25 people, including guests. So the amount of food we have to make can get a little overwhelming, even with 3 dinner-cooks.

For example, here is the amount of cheese we bought in our last bulk order.

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SO MUCH CHEDDAR. SO MUCH GRUYERE. Like, actually over a 100 pounds. Maybe even enough to make a cheese-Eunice.

And this is how much bread we bought for our grilled cheese night:

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Loaves upon loaves upon loaves.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before any sandwiching could happen, we had to make the ingredients. Like the pesto.

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Basil, parmesan, pine nuts, salt, pepper, and olive oil, all blended to taste. But basil isn’t too plentiful this time of year, so we supplemented with kale.

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A little weird. But it was good. Trust me.

While the pesto was going, I got to work on the onions. Lots of onions.

Caramelizing some for the sandwich.

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(30 minutes later…)

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And dicing some for the soup.

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The soup also involved minced garlic, veggie stock, these cans of tomatoes,

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this tube of basil,

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salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, thyme, red pepper flakes, and water.

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That’s what it looked like when everything was mixed together.

While the soup was simmering on the stovetop, I also got to work on the kale chips.

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Mmmm… Kale….

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A mountain of kale. Actually.

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This much kale makes for not-so-easy washing. But I managed.

And then I rubbed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and nutritional yeast.

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These beautiful, curly leaves were then baked in a 350°F oven for 20ish minutes, until they looked like this:

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Oooh, so crispy.

In the meantime, my fellow dinner-cooks were laboring away on the grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Cheese was sliced.

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The sandwiches were assembled.

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(Some of them had apples slices – I know, it’s a bold move).

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And the griddle was buttered, then used to cook the aforementioned sandwiches.

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Mmm…

And after a labor-intensive, strenuous 2-and-a-half hours, we were rewarded with this:

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Melted gruyere + cheddar + caramelized onions + pesto + apples = the most deliciousness. Seriously.

This dinner was well received, to say the least. Don’t you wish you were there?

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Kudos to McKayla and Amanda for an amazing dinner cook last night.. Go Team Apron!

And guys, I’m cooing again on Sunday.. YEAH, double the weekly posts! Funfun.

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Discussion

One thought on “You Have a Friend in Cheeses

  1. ok you need to invite me over for the next grilled cheese night
    -katrina

    Posted by offthehillnews | January 29, 2012, 9:56 pm

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