By Malia Mendez
This past week, one of my friends decided to test the limits of the Stern Dining toaster oven for the sake of cuisine variety. To sum up a long and extravagant journey of excitement and anticipation, she set a marshmallow on fire in the toaster, which a (completely justifiably) frustrated dining hall worker then had to unplug and confiscate, somewhat like a child’s toy. We received our fair share of disappointed looks from students and staff alike.
The point of this anecdote is to demonstrate the commitment of Stanford students to culinary experimentation, despite potential repercussions. I have seen some fascinating creations and would like to share some of them here, both to pay respect where it should be granted and maybe to provide ways to spice up our bland academic lives just a little ;-).
I suppose I should start with the creation that started it all (my muse, my inspiration): a market brand version of an affogato. Someone in my dorm truly opened my eyes to the wonder and possibility in the world when he explained the addition of a cappuccino to a cup of ice cream. I still marinate in my awe over this concoction, and would 11/10 recommend to you caffeine-dependent folks out there.
Next is a bit of a #hottake, but I see the rationale and think it has earned itself a spot here purely because of its creativity. I heard through the grapevine that if you mix yogurt with your waffle batter, they will be as fluffy and beautiful as they are in hotel continental breakfast layouts. I know I should be a better connoisseur and be able to provide a review, but I barely have time to submit these articles on time (this one is not), so you will have to discover on your own how much merit it deserves.
Another one of my spunky friends has discovered a point for international relations in the dining hall by recreating Australian fairy bread with our daily bread, rainbow sprinkles and the toaster (when it isn’t taken away due to unruly adolescent shenanigans). I was suspicious, but it wasn’t bad. What is bad is her disgrace of a dessert: Oreos in milk. You know who you are. Shade has been thrown.
Another winner for its creativity has come to me graciously by another dorm friend. She recreates Thanksgiving by combining sandwich thins, a turkey patty, and strawberry jam. Is this a burger? A sandwich? A symbol of our infirm nationalism? Choose your own adventure.
Although breakfast concoctions could be their own entire essay — huevos rancheros, nutella and banana toast, bagel sandwiches of plentiful varieties — the encouragement I leave you with is this:
There is no miserable morning that cannot be cured by brown sugar, chocolate chip waffles.
(Just kidding. There are plenty, but seriously, try it. This is the only thing that gets me to Farillaga without running out of steam, abusing my bike for making my legs work too hard and coming in late because I insisted upon walking to spite my bike).
Do with this information what you may! But keep your creativity! In all seriousness, hearing about what people love to make and are proud of themselves for was really rewarding. I much preferred these conversations over the sickening ones where we all try to come up with summer plans in the few seconds after someone else brings theirs up. If I’ve learned anything through writing this article, it is that we should have far more waffle competitions than bragging matches.
Contact Malia Mendez at mjm2000 ‘at’ stanford.edu.