Residential Life starts TLA cookbook

Collin Schopp

The transition from sophomore in a dorm room to junior in one of Augustana’s Transitional Living Areas can be a difficult one. There are new challenges, like keeping a larger space than before clean and getting along with a higher number of roommates.
One of the most prominent challenges that comes with more independence in the TLAs is the responsibility for students to purchase and cook their own food. With most juniors on limited, or nonexistent, meal plans, the kitchens in Augustana’s upperclassmen living spaces are going to get a lot of use.
But if you take a look in the pantry of many of these students, you’ll probably find meals that take as little cooking as possible, things that are quick and microwavable. The Office of Residential Life has identified this as a problem, and will be rolling out a cookbook this year in order to help students make regular, healthier choices.
“One of the reasons we wanted to do the cookbook is, number one, a lot of fire alarms were being set off,” said Ariel Rogers, the Area Coordinator for TLA’s. “Things were happening like burning eggs or popcorn, boiling water, or leaving cookies in the oven for too long.”
Not all Juniors are struggling in the kitchen though. Junior Joey Padula, a resident of Naeseth TLAs, says that he’s comfortable cooking for himself. “I typically have scrambled eggs with avocado toast for breakfast.” said Padula. “For lunch and dinner I usually have chicken, grilled in a pan, or outside on one of Augustana’s grills.”
For those not as comfortable in the kitchen as Padula, the recipes in the book are provided by Augustana’s own faculty and staff, though a few were pulled off of Buzzfeed and other internet sources to give a more diverse range of options. The book includes everything from full meals to snacks and deserts with recipes like chocolate peanut butter banana bites, quick and easy hummus, and baked mac n’ cheese, just to name a few.
When the books are ready, the TLA Community Advisers for the TLAs will be bringing one to each student residence during their bi-weekly rounds.
“We hope there’s a need for it, we’re not sure what the response will be yet,” said Rogers. “But, our hope is, number one, to make it so students know what they’re doing in the kitchen…Also, we just want you all to be healthy. Our job is to help you live better in your homes, and this is one way that we can.”
The book was funded through a donor, with money given to Residential Life to use on whatever they could come up with, and from that quickly grew the idea for the cookbook.