How to…make a Thanksgiving meal in a residence hall room

by Clint WallaceStaff Writer

This sounds like a mission for MacGyver more than me, but he’s busy getting himself out of jail with a sock, paper clip, pencil and President John Byrd’s glasses. Until MacGyver escapes, right before the explosion, it will be me helping you create a Thanksgiving dinner in your own dorm room.

Thanksgiving should be shared with your family, because deep down inside, you know you miss them a little bit … even if you don’t, you might be financially dependent on them, so it’s nice to make them happy once in a while.

Sadly, some of you don’t get the luxury of going home because of athletics, your family lives too far away or other reasons. If you’re in your room for Thanksgiving, this is something to bring home to you.

While creating this fine feast, your microwave could be your most important utensil. With a microwave, you can cook most of the side dishes including: stuffing (just add water), mashed potatoes (Betty Crocker makes microwavable servings) and gravy (just heat and eat).

If you don’t own a microwave, I suggest you put it on your Christmas list. If you don’t have one, don’t fret, there are other things you can use instead … like Bunsen Burners. Break into Carver and get a hold of a burner. If you can grab more than one, that would be ideal. The more you have, the bigger the cooking area. A couple of pilfered school-owned Bunsen Burners could turn into stove tops, assuming you had makeshift pans (I’m sure MacGyver could help you make those). Little side note, I’m joking, you shouldn’t steal from your own campus, steal from others! (Just kidding again.)

If you can’t get hold of a microwave or burners, you could build a fire. I wouldn’t recommend doing it because of certain laws, and no one wants to spend the holidays in the Warren County Jail.

The centerpiece of any Thanksgiving meal is the turkey. The turkey takes hours to make, and with an oven, but not to worry. If you don’t have full kitchen facilities within your hall, just clean the top of your engine; let it run for a half hour, shut your hood and let it cook. After two or three tanks of gas, your turkey should be a beautiful golden brown and tender in the middle.

You could use the Bunsen Burners and create an oven. To create your makeshift oven, arrange the burners in a sphere around the turkey; make a box out of something near you, use the box to encompass the burners and the turkey, then set it and forget it. You actually want to watch it closely because it will more than likely catch on fire, and that’s never good. If you own a mini-grill, you’re at an advantage, but half the fun of cooking is making everything from scratch.

Let’s be serious for a second. No one is going to try to make a dinner from their room when Hy-Vee is open every day, 24-hours a day. Plus, there’s a helpful smile in every aisle. Buy the ingredients from the buffet, take them to your room, throw on sweats, indulge in the wondrous feast and watch football.