Feeding freshers for under a fiver
So you’re settling in to student life now, no doubt becoming accustomed to Sainsbury’s discount shelf and piercing the film of the microwave meal. Could be worse right? But there’s nothing quite like a decent home cooked meal.
Forget all the excuses, “I can’t be bothered”, “fresh produce is too expensive”, “I’ve not got time”, there is a way to eat well on a budget – communal cooking.
Communal cooking involves getting a group together and sharing the daunting task of preparing a hearty meal. You’ve heard the saying ‘many hands make light work’? That’s exactly the idea. If you’ve only just moved in, rope in your flatmates! Cooking a meal together is a great way to bond; you’ll learn how to work with and round each other in an often small kitchen, plus you’ll get to share the delicious results. And as you’ll be living with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, you’ll get the opportunity to widen your culinary horizons.
It is possible to cook without breaking the bank. The proof? Steak night, Sunday Lunch and a Chinese banquet all came in at under £2 per head. A simple tip: don’t be fussy! For example, a value range joint of meat – provided it’s cooked well – tastes just the same as any other. Moreover, draining the juices after cooking can be used as a base to make an accompanying sauce. Ingredients might seem expensive, but dividing the cost between the group minimises this, and the end result is definitely worth it.
So you’ve had your delicious home cooked dinner, and you’re getting ready to go out. Wow everyone at pre-drinks with this original cocktail invention: The Bakewell Martini.
You’ll need a cocktail shaker, a strainer, a muddler (or alternatively a wooden spoon will suffice) and plenty of vodka, amaretto and raspberries.
Muddle the raspberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. As the raspberries essentially serve as a mixer, the quantities are at your discretion. Raspberries are predominantly a late summer and autumnal fruit, so for a seasonal variation, swap the raspberries for cranberries and finish with a touch of cinnamon.
Add 50mls of vodka and 25mls of amaretto to the shaker, along with a handful of ice, and close it. Shake well for at least 30 seconds, keeping a firm hold on the lid to avoid spillages. After this, remove the lid, tap the bottom of the shaker against a surface to even it out, and strain into Martini glasses. Pop a few more berries in the glass to garnish, and serve. A delicious cocktail to get everyone in the party mood.
Fact: There’s a lot of dispute over what can and can’t be identified as a Martini. As ‘Martini’ is the name of the traditional cocktail glass, this qualifies as a Martini, despite containing no ‘Martini’ brand Vermouth.