Ah, yes. The freedom of selecting exactly what you want to eat. No more mass-produced, pre-selected dorm food to be eaten at specified times.
The reality of which quickly becomes, "Oh (appropriate college-level profanity here)!? I have to cook! And wash dishes!? And buy food?! Hello, Mom!?"
A friend of mine has a child is in just such a predicament, with two vegetarian roomies thrown in, just for some added fun.
Do not despair, or worse yet, whine. Armed with a salad spinner, rice cooker, a non stick pan, a non-stick spatula and a baking sheet, you will neither starve nor burn through your parents' money eating out.
Spices & Seasoners
Garlic. This makes everything better
Coarse sea salt. Say no to refined salt
Black pepper. The kind you can grind on your own
Olive oil. For general-purpose cooking
Canola oil. For when you decide to fry something, and you will
Shoyu (soy sauce). Low-sodium, green label Kikkoman is my favorite
Roasted sesame seed oil. Dynasty or Kadoya brand
Sriracha sauce. Look for the rooster on the label. He is your friend.
White vinegar. Buy a gallon and you can also use it to clean your floors. When you clean them.
Balsamic vinegar. Impress your friends
Brown sugar. For homemade teriyaki sauce
White sugar. If you bake. A mom can dream!
Cooking sherry and ginger
Generally non-perishable items
Onions. Technically perishable, but they last a long time and you will use them a lot
Rice. White or brown short grain, Koda Farms if you can
Quinoa.That you can cook in your rice cooker
"Noodley" type pasta like linguine
"Shaped" pasta like penne, farfalle, or elbows
Nuts. Pine nuts, walnuts and cashews
Dried cranberries. Good to toss into salads
Bread. Add cheese and it's a sandwich
Perishable Items--stored in the fridge
Cheese. Parmesan and your favorite for sandwiches
Firm tofu. If you and your roomies can make peace with it
A bottle each of lime and lemon juice. Fresh are always preferable, but these are good to have on standby
Cardinal, Crimson or Big Red--enjoy college.
Remember that if you have aluminum foil and an iron, you can make grilled cheese, and that snow banks are excellent temporary coolers.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Study Hard. Play hard, but not too hard. After all, I'm still a mom!