Check, please

We are a very spoiled bunch at Middlebury College.

Why? We have no meal plan and, therefore, eat as much food as we want whenever we want. Which is fantastic.

When the dining halls are open.

But, when they are closed like they are now (as the school transitions from the regular year to Language Schools in a few weeks), the average Midd student is faced with the real world dilemma of having to feed him or herself, a task that I thought would be easy enough. I am, afterall, a 19 year old who got into Middlebury, I can plan meals for 2 weeks!



First, a little background: From the time I was old enough to use scissors, my dad had me cutting out grocery store coupons. Some would call my dad ‘cheap’ but I like to think of him as a man who knows how to feed thousands of people with only 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish (even if the bread happened to be 3 loaves of day-old bakery bread and the fish was 25 cans of buy-1-get-4-free tuna). So, like my father, I am wary to spend money on anything, including food (I was, however, more than happy to pay $10 one time for a complete tuxedo that I picked up at my local Goodwill, an anecdote I feel is appropriate here).

This natural pension for all things cheap and inexpensive led me to pillage as much food as I could from Ross before it closed last Saturday. With a large tote bag (full of ziploc bags ) around my shoulder and several paper cups, I ‘stole’ (I hate to use the word steal because, after all, we are paying A LOT of money to go here) half a loaf of bread, three bagels, 2 bananas, 3 apples, a cup full of strawberry preserves, a cup full of peanut butter, a cup of salad dressing and a bag of lettuce. I looked extremely suspicious, not because of my over-stuffed tote, but because I frantically ran from food station to food station with shifty eyes and even shiftier movements.

I think, in my own mind, I wanted to make what I was doing feel really dangerous (what with all the Ross dining staff in the vicinity) when, in actuality, they could not have cared less. With my stash, I hurriedly sped-walked back to Battell while Audrey calmly walked beside me. Our deviant acts did not phase her.

The rest of my food I purchased at Shaw’s, which included a large quantity of brie, tortilla chips, wheat thins, salsa, a bag of spinach, and a bag of grapes. For those not keeping track, that means my food consisted of…

  • A large triangle of Brie Cheese
  • A box of wheat thins
  • A bag of tortilla chips
  • A jar of salsa
  • A paper cup full of strawberry jam
  • A paper cup full of peanut butter
  • 8 slices of bread
  • 3 bagels
  • 2 bananas
  • 3 apples
  • A bag of lettuce AND a bag of spinach
  • A paper cup full of italian salad dressing

All together this pretty much adds to..nothing. Unless you’re incredibly innovative, I can’t think of a way to make an actual meal out of brie, bananas, or wheat thins.

So, for the past week, I have had the diet of a rat: cheese, bread, the occasional piece of fruit, and anything that anyone was willing to throw my way (thank you admissions for that lovely piece of cake).

I’m about 3/4 of the way through my food (with a small wedge of brie, maybe 10 tortilla chips, 2 pieces of bread, and a banana left) and still have 14 days until the dining halls will be open again.

Sounds doable, right?

My dad always said that anything left on someone’s curb was free game for taking (albeit an office chair, a trampoline, or any other strange object). So I’m left wondering, does this same rule apply to the fridges of my neighbors?

I certainly hope so.



4 Responses

  1. ew peanut butter.

  2. Did you get this bullshit email about not being able to speak in our beautiful mother tongue freely once language school starts? i am outraged. will cody and audrey run around with me july 4th in protest chanting “USA!,” “No justice, no peace,” and “Down with the communists?”

  3. Maybe now you won’t judge so harshly my famous meal of sprinkling Honey Nut Cheerios on spoonfuls of peanut butter, that was invented over one of the breaks when the dining halls closed down (Thanksgiving, I believe).
    You may feel free to borrow this recipe, it does the job in a pinch.
    Miss ya kid, enjoy the rest of your summer

  4. Tips from last summer (for when language school ends and you are once again faced with this prospect):

    Capitalize upon the popsicles in admissions’ fridge. Not very nutritious, but tasty nonetheless.

    Yoghurt is an excellent thing to steal from the dining hall. Filling, compact, and easily stored in tupperware if you can get your hands on some.

    Granola is another a good thing to take from the dining hall for the same reason: filling, compact, and it you manage to get an empty bagel bag you can take home a lot of granola. Goes well with the yoghurt, too.

    Dining hall fruit is also useful. If you think about it enough in advance, you can pilfer a LOT of apples and oranges and grapefruits. Kept in the fridge, these last a long time.

    Tuesday night 2-for-1 pad thai at Tully and Marie’s. Not incredibly cheap, but you get a nice meal and they give you a LOT of food. And you’re paying half price.

    Good luck!

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