The Richmond Register

December 26, 2012

Creative college dorm meals

Table Talk

By Arritta Morris
Register Columnist

RICHMOND — What a life one has when one goes off to the big world of college dorm life. No more parents setting curfews, no more sharing stuff with siblings, no more having to clean up ones’ room every Saturday (Who did that anyhow?).

Oh, that life is the best part if you are so fortunate to get to live on campus. I worked in the basement of a dorm, and did I ever get an education. Not from just the students who lived in the dorm, but from my son, Mike Morris, and all his fraternity and band-member friends.

I would wonder why my electric iron was always so sticky when he came home on break. Well, I now know all the secrets to cooking in a dorm without an oven or a microwave. Back in the 1980s and ’90s, electric cooking utensils were not allowed, but the electric iron was.

Here is some of the “grommet” cooking the students did in the room.

Grilled Cheese


Two slices of bread.

Two slices of

American cheese

Waxed paper

One hot iron.


Place the two slices of bread together with the cheese inside and iron with a warm iron over the waxed papper till the cheese is melted.

Clever way to get a grill cheese!

I decided one day that I needed to find out just what dorm life was really like. So I arranged with the dorm director to stay overnight one Friday to get this experience. I got one alright.

I went to take a shower and left my clothes on the shower bench. To my surprise when I got out of the shower-no clothes.

I yelled and yelled for someone to come and help me and of course my voice fell on deaf ears.

All I had on hand was my wash cloth so I decided the only thing to do was to place the wash cloth over my face and run down the hall to my room where guess what…my clean clothes were neatly stacked on my bed. So much for my experience living one night in the dorm.

Grilled cheese a toaster way

I know that the students sneaked in toasters. So here is how this one is made. Very simple, just turn your toaster on its side and place one slice of bread with a slice of cheese on top and the other one plan. Push down the toaster level and cook it till the cheese starts to bubble. This one should make the “Chew” show for sure.

One time the band members that my son ran around with had a Halloween party and wanted to borrow a large dish pan to bob for apples. I thought that was a great idea for a party. Wrong.

They bobbed for apples all right, only it was in a keg. They busted the bathtub they had the pan sitting in. It was in someone’s apartment, and they had to pay for the bathtub. You should have seen my pan when I got it back. It was not round in shape anymore.


Take a slice of pizza that you have just purchased at a local grocery store and place on a warm iron. Use one’s hair dryer to blow on low and melt the cheese. I think this was probably the best idea I learned from the students.

I know that this is Christmas week and lots of these students are in your home for the holidays. We forget that they are all growing up fast and entering the world of needing jobs real soon. Give them a hug from me and keep them from burning up you iron if you can. Old habits are hard to break.

Speaking of habits. This is to the female student who one time washed 15 pairs of blue jeans in a dorm washing machine and let the washer catch on fire. I hope you have learned the load capacity on your washer if you own one. I had to stay out of my office for two days because of all the water that came through from that fire.

New Year is coming fast. I hope to have you visit me again in the New Year. Have a safe holiday and be sure and hug a kid for me. They need all the hugs we can give them.

Arritta Morris is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling. She is certified as a School Specialist by the School Foodservice Association.