I would never do that to you, artichokes.

There’s a common bumper sticker phrase among nutrition students: Food is Fuel. Frankly, I find that insulting. How dare they compare the masterpieces on my “Food” Pinterest Board to gasoline?

For me, eating isn’t an obligation. It’s a privilege. It’s a hobby. It’s an art.

This morning, I got the following email from Pinterest:

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You’re right Pinterest, “Artichokes” does sound like a board that I would be interested in. I love me some artichokes. So on deadline day, am I going to insult the artichoke by treating it like a dental appointment? Like, “oh, sorry artichoke, society says I’m required to consume you.” As if. I would never do that to you, artichokes.

Food is so much more than just fuel.

This week, I had approximately three real meals. It’s a little ironic that my 4804 blog is about food, and yet 4804 sucks out all of my will to eat. In the chaos of keeping a million balls up in the air, it doesn’t seem like there’s time to pick up a fork, that is, until hypoglycemia sets in. Then I definitely need food for fuel.

In Remembrance…

…of all the fallen produce in my vegetable drawer over the years.

This week, I opened my refrigerator to a sadly familiar smell, that of neglected vegetables. I held a short funeral for a few stalks of asparagus and a container of spinach. It was emotional.

One of the worst parts about being a college student is the constant struggle to keep up with the vegetables I buy. When every week only has a couple nights that I even have time to cook, and each meal is only for one (forever provolone, as they say), it’s pretty hard to justify buying perishables. It would definitely be more cost effective to go to the cliche ramen route.

Right now, my fridge is full of condiments, half a bag of Brussels sprouts, and a few containers of yogurt. My kitchen trash can has more Jimmy John’s wrappings than I’d like to admit.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a veggie-loving collegiate is to pace myself when I step into the produce aisle. I’ve come to terms with the fact that a “Buy 9, get 6 free!” deal on zucchini doesn’t exactly fit my lifestyle.

But that doesn’t mean I like it.

Eggs: The cooking gateway drug

I first stepped up to the stove when I was 5 years old, and I was a published cookbook author by the time I turned 8.

That’s right, somewhere in my grandparent’s house is Meg’s Eggs, a detailed account of young love between yours truly and the humble scrambled egg.

My eggs were infamous among my family members, probably because everyone had noticed how terrible I am at sports and knew I would need something else to fall back on.

Scrambled eggs are the gateway drug of cooking.

Cooking eggs teaches a variety of skills including pan heat control, spatula management, and possibly most importantly, when to cut your losses. There’s no use in trying to resuscitate a clump of dry brown, $0.30 eggs.

What’s more, scrambled eggs are the perfect canvas for discovering different flavors.* When I was younger, my favorite thing to put in eggs was tarragon, for some reason.

Thinking about extending your meal repertoire beyond turkey sandwiches and frozen dinners? Eggs are the perfect place to start.

*Warning: Some people are just terrible when it comes to flavor profiles. My dad, for example, thinks it’s acceptable to combine chipotle peppers and asparagus in his eggs—and that’s why we no longer

Shouting from the stovetops…

The first time I splurged on a black pepper grinder, I told myself: “Because you’re worth it.” Audibly. In the Walmart spice aisle.

When it comes to what’s on my plate, I’m not your average millennial.

Being a foodie hasn’t always been easy. On top of the financial burden of buying fresh instead of canned produce or quinoa instead of ramen, I’ve always felt that there’s a stigma about people my age who enjoy things like roasting a whole chicken once a week.

During my sophomore year of high school, I brought a bagged lunch because I was getting tired of the soggy cafeteria corn dogs. As I ate my chicken salad sandwich and minded my own business, a friend sat down beside me.

“That sandwich looks like barf.”

Word to the wise: Never insult my food. I will spork you.

I cook like a middle-aged housewife. You can find me dirtying all kinds of dishes at least five nights a week. I’m proud of my talent, but every time my roommate comes in the front door and says something like “Ooh so fancy!” it makes me want to crawl into my pasta pot and become one with the penne.

I’m 20 years old and I would rather buy a big ole pack of prosciutto than a ticket to a football game. I tear up a little when I have to throw out a container of ricotta because cooking for one means that I don’t have time to give it the attention that it needs.

I’ve hidden my culinary talent from my peers because I thought it was weird. Not anymore.

I’m shouting it from the stovetop. I’m a kookie millennial.

Step one: Acceptance
Step one: Acceptance