Many people ask me, “Do you have time to cook?”
And I say, “Most of the time, yes”
You see, med school is about finding strategies to help maximize the time you have to study. So between going to class (first 2 years) and going to the hospital/clinic (last 2 years), studying, taking care of your child, taking care of your husband, taking care of yourself (eating, bathing, sleeping- the essentials) you can run out of time real quick. Actually, there are NEVER enough hours in the day. So what do you do?
You find out which chores take up most of your time, and try to find ways to decrease the time spent on those chores.
As for me, cooking takes up a lot of my “free” time. My husband and I don’t really like eating the same meal twice in a row (except in really tough situations, when we absolutely have no choice) and we don’t enjoy fast food (which can get pretty expensive when you are on a student budget). Plus, there are days when you are just craving a wholesome, home-cooked delicious meal.
So what’s the solution?
I found two items that are absolutely necessary if you want to cut down cooking time. By cooking time, I mean the time needed for YOU to be in the kitchen. The less time you spend in the kitchen, the more time you have to study or shower or brush your hair (which you probably took for granted before).
The two items are:
- Pressure Cooker
- Rice cooker
I have been blessed with a husband who loves red meat. I also learned that red meat takes forever to cook through. But with a pressure cooker? Time is cut in half! You may be thinking, pressure cooker? Trust me, I never liked physics and was never good at it. But this thing is genius! Basically, the water you add in the pot produces steam, which becomes trapped and increases the pressure in the pot. The internal temperature rises really high, and allows the food to cook faster. Here’s a picture of mine:
I’ll warn you, though, that it can get a bit noisy! It almost sounds like a train is in your kitchen.
I’ll also warn you to be careful when opening it. Remember, there’s a lot of pressure trapped in there. Fortunately, when the pressure is high, the pot is locked and you will not be able to open it. It’s like a safety device. But if you can’t wait for the steam to die down, here’s what I do…
I take the pot to the kitchen sink and pour cold water over it. You can hear the steam escaping, and then it unlocks!
The other gadget that I really like is a rice cooker. Rice doesn’t usually take time to make, but when you have a huge exam the next day, you NEED every second of the day. What I like about this is that you can put the rice and leave it, freeing your hands to do other things. I usually have previously cooked chicken or meat in the freezer, so all I need is rice. I turn the rice cooker on, and then sit and study till it’s ready!
There’s nothing better than well cooked fluffy rice. Yum.
Here’s a picture from homericecooker.com
Stay tuned for easy, quick recipes with lots of leftovers to store in your freezer. For a med student, that’s what happiness is.