Food: A Beginner's Guide

Fight the temptation to exist solely on frozen pizza and suspiciously clear cider and actually make some food and drinks with our handy guide

Feature by Peter Simpson | 03 Sep 2013
  • Food

Cooking is a bit of a hassle sometimes, we get it. Everyone loves a takeaway (it’s like having a badly-dressed food-obsessed butler), and we all know chips are better than potatoes. That said, your student loan won’t last forever, and neither will you if you end up with scurvy because you haven’t eaten any fruit in weeks and no that bag of Haribo does not count towards your five a day even if you just eat the fizzy cherries.

What you need is some fresh food, but without the inconvenience of hunting it yourself. If only there was a service that could bring fresh fruit and veg direct to your door...

Good news! There are numerous services that will bring fresh fruit and veg direct to your door! In Edinburgh, East Coast Organics can hook you up with their own vegetables, fruit, eggs, milk, and anything else you might find on a farm. Glaswegians are served by Glasgow Veg Box (self-explanatory) and the Little Veg Company (little company, not little vegetables), while the good people of Dundee can get their produce from the likes of Bellfield Organic or the Blairgowrie Farm Shop without ever having to brave the outside world.

Each of these offer a host of box options – all fruit for those afraid of vegetables, small all-in-one boxes for the people with unhelpful flatmates, and the ‘create-your-own’ box for people who really, really like courgettes. All the farm fresh goodness with none of the outside interaction, perfect.

If you fancy something a bit more dramatic and scientific, with tasty end results and a small chance of explosions, then making your own beer is the way to go. Homebrewing isn’t just for old boys who look like Captain Birdseye anymore; homebrewing is cool. It’s really perfect for students – you like the occasional beverage, have a bit of spare time, and desperately want to be cool (come off it, you do).

Thankfully, homebrewing is also fairly straightforward if you’re patient and know the difference between a teaspoon and tablespoon. Brewstore in Edinburgh and Inn House Brewery in Glasgow can hook you up with all the kit you'll need, and once you've dug into the student loan to buy your mixing bucket and other essentials for about £50 the savings come thick and fast. Cider and beer kits can cost as little as £15, and it makes 40 pints. £15, for 40 pints.

And if you really want to test your new cooking skills and your flatmates’ patience, then why not follow our lead and make your own bacon. It’s not as tricky as you might imagine – it essentially involves getting large pieces of meat, leaving them in salt for a couple of weeks, then slicing them up and enjoying the spoils. Okay, it’s a bit more complicated than that, and your flat might smell quite badly of pork. But think of it this way – if you fancy this cooking lark, just threaten to home-cure some meat and your flatmates will be helping you bring in the veg box in no time.  

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