I was nineteen when I moved into my first apartment. I lived with two of my best friends from high school, and our kitchen had pink cabinets. It was in this kitchen where I made fried rice for the first time, discovered that deep-frying your own food is kind of gross, and learned the food habits of my roommates -- which, looking back, really shows a person another level of a friend's personality.
I've shared a kitchen with a total of seven different roommates over the course of three years in college (the last two years in a house with five other girls and no dishwasher). And looking back, I can associate at least one food with each of them. Nicole made biscuits and gravy for dinner. Leslie made a different kind of pasta nearly every night of the week. Jenna ate zebra cakes. Krissy made pizza bagels. Katie always kept a box of corn dogs in the freezer. Marci put ketchup on everything. And Di made sushi salad.
After a summer in New York City, Di came back our senior year with a recipe for sushi salad that her sister (creator of the vegetarian food blog Vanesscipes that, unfortunately, no longer exists) made up one day when they were craving sushi. It's a simple recipe that basically involves throwing together all the flavors of a California roll: white rice, cucumber, avocado, carrots, green onions, toasted seaweed (nori), and sesame seeds, all tossed with a splash of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and wasabi.
In a word, genius. In another, delicious.
I had a craving one day for sushi salad, so I e-mailed Di for the recipe (she had asked a few weeks earlier for my fried rice recipe because *surprise* I was the roommate who made fried rice every week). As I shoveled the salad into my mouth (the chopsticks in the photos are just for show -- I used a spoon for devouring purposes), I couldn't help but think of eating dinner in a college living room, a bowl of food on my knees while watching TV and surrounded by roommates eating their own dinners of pasta, or stir fry, or pizza bagels, or ketchup...