During my short time living at Pepperdine, I found the combination of food and friends is a major source of joy in my life.
I am lucky to have a kitchen now, but I did not have one for the first few weeks of school. I do secretly miss, however, the chaos of figuring out how to cook pasta in the microwave and mastering the perfect peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Food bonds us.
I stayed with my friend and Pixel Editor Abby Wilt for a week in September, and she made us scrambled eggs with sausage for breakfast every morning. Now, when I make myself scrambled eggs with sausage, it reminds me of her.
When I moved into my new apartment, the first meal I cooked was for me and my News Editor Emily, whom I barely knew. I undercooked the pasta and used canned sauce, but she still said it was good to make me feel better, and we ended up talking for hours. Now, she is one of my closest friends.
Last week, I had eight of my friends over for a big feast — a family dinner is what we called it. Earlier that day, I went to the farmer’s market and bought handmade pasta, basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic to make pesto from scratch. I saw a bin of French baguettes by the flower stand and purchased two, which I made into garlic crisps, topped with freshly picked tomatoes.
Five hours and a sink full of dishes later, there we were — all eight of us on the floor of my tiny living room — eating overfilled plates of pasta and snacking on peanut butter cups like we have known each other forever.
During this dinner, I found out our Perspectives editor, Anitiz, is younger than me even though he is a junior and I am a sophomore. I love that — and I would not have known if we did not have that dinner together.
Our Life and Arts editor, Beth, brought peanut butter cookies her mom made, and I have had one with my lunch every day since.
And to answer everyone’s question — yes, all my friends are from the Graphic, and they bring me an incredible amount of joy.
The food that brings a smile to my face is not always particularly special. The wraps I put together with everything and anything in my fridge when I am running late for class are so exciting. The Italian dinner that takes me all day to make for my friends is tiring but also thrilling.
As much as I complain about the Caf food and having to eat premade Starbucks sandwiches when I am too lazy to walk up the hill to my apartment, I find joy in that too. I have had some deep conversations waiting 30 minutes for my toasted bagel and green tea at lunch hour.
Food at college has given me an unexpected creative outlet and allowed me to bond with people in meaningful ways. I now have a running invitation for Sunday night dinners, because food brings us together, and together we bring out the best in each other. There is nothing that makes my heart happier.
Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic
Contact Liza Esquibias by email: firstname.lastname@example.org