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MIT student blogger Karen F. '11

Delicious Things by Karen F. '11


Despite how many mailing lists I’m on, I’m not an active member of many organizations. I show up for events randomly, but don’t attend meetings for most of these groups. Not because I don’t want to, but because here you really have to pick and choose what is important to you. I do commit a…healthy…amount of time to extra-curriculars, but outside of that, I try to show for whatever sounds cool.

And you know what sounds cool? Food.

So like 90% of MIT events have freeeeeeeee foooooooood. Ooooh. But the magic wears off after a couple weeks, to be honest, and soon “free food” isn’t a good enough reason to walk across campus for a 2-hour lecture.

But I couldn’t ignore the email from the Association of Taiwanese Students in my inbox a couple weeks ago: Cooking workshop.

Oh, yeah, it was free food, but much, much better. It’s like an engineering international service project instead of flat-out donations: sustainable. You know the whole give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, etc….Well, that phrase came to life when I heard about this thing. Especially since I cook for myself most of the time – I rarely go to the student center or LaVerde’s. (In fact, the only time I even ever use TechCash is to do laundry. I mostly live off my credit card.) It’s always good how to learn to cook new things.

So I went with My Suitemate Linda, and we learned how to make wontons (which Linda already knew how to make, so hers looked a lot cooler than mine). It was great – like watching the Food Network – live! We also learned how to make mochi, which I didn’t like much because I don’t like red bean stuff:

Cucumber meatballs (I had never heard of these before, and I couldn’t even find a wikipedia page for them):

And my personal favorite, onigiri:

Talking to a mathematics grad student recently, he mentioned how he has learned more from his peers at MIT than the actual lectures or professors, and I think this is 100% true. There are so many opportunities available, both in high school and college, to learn about things outside the classroom that will come in handy one day (perhaps when you’re very very hungry and only have rice, rou song and rice vinegar sitting around). Be sure to enjoy them! I know I do…

*Thanks to the Glorious Gloria Yang for the pictures!

30 responses to “Delicious Things”

  1. Siya says:

    For the first time I got a first grin grin grin

  2. Manders says:


    Yay food!!! Sounds yummy.

  3. Nan says:

    O wow! It all looks really delicious! What clubs are you on the mailing list for? Have you tried Boston Dim Sum? It’s delicious!

  4. Sammy says:

    I know this is a bit out of place but I jux wanted to know whether MIT accepts SAT Scores certified by educational advisors at U.S. Embassy in Ghana. please go a bit out of your terrain for my sake. Thanx.

  5. Isshak says:

    That is the best workshop that could exist ever ! I love taiwainese food ! (now, you have no excuse to make some for the prefrosh at CPW ! ^^’)

  6. Morgan says:

    This post made me reeeeeally hungry! Great entry.

  7. Yuzhi says:

    YUM! The next thing you can do would be learning to make dumplings! they are only a tiny bit harder than wontons, but you can make pot stickers with them! (since they got a bigger base, but a pot stickers are a lot more fattening and less healthy with all that oil)
    If you use the wonton sheets diagonally, the wontons you make will be a star shaped!! ^_^
    That’s what I learn cooking from with family and by myself since 4th grade.

  8. Libin Daniel says:

    I would love to be a art of some creative cooking. One of the best pastimes..
    People, ever tried cashew nuts in tomato ketchup??
    Try it….its amazing..

  9. Hyun Jin says:

    Cooking classes at MIT? Sounds too good to be true.

    @ Libin… cashews with ketchup? Doesn’t strike me as very appetizing, but maybe I’ll give it a try smile

  10. Ankit says:

    10 th!!!! this is so dumb!!!

  11. Ankit says:

    The number thing I mean!

  12. Anonymous says:

    ^ well duhh it’s only cool when you put FIRST. hahaha. =P

    i like food alot btw. especially asian food of all varieties.

  13. Noelle says:

    Is this in response to my comment/request on Laura’s recent blog post “How to use these blogs”? If so, cool! If not, still cool.

    So with so many students cooking on campus, does the food really suck, or is cooking just that cool of a social activity and diversion from your studies?

  14. Aditi says:

    free food you get to cook (?) even if you cant (cook =P)

    mystery hunts

    geeks with guns

    snowboarding for credit

    giant abominable snowmen

    i loooooooooooooooooove MIT


  15. Reg says:

    Ohhh I’ve seen stuff similar to meatballs on cucumber, they are gooooood.

  16. Sam R. '12 says:

    “like watching the Food Network – live!” lol.
    -sam r.

  17. Piper says:

    What are you talking about? Free food is ALWAYS a good reason =P

  18. Vicky says:

    Is that a Meow Meow shirt? If the answer is yes, total props to you!

  19. Oasis says:

    Yeah lol those cucumber thingys are pretty common in restaurants (granted, Asia, not US). Although if I were to write a wikipedia page about them, I don’t think there’s much to write about =p

  20. Joy says:

    MIT!!! My definite favourite!!!

    Hey Karen,
    The traditional Chinese/Taiwanese food is great. I am an absolute gourmate. Believe it, just the food could still worth your efforts on Chinese! Haha.. Invent food! Ah.. yes. I should have include this into my application to MIT. Kitchen is also a lab. LOL…

    Plus, I think the breakfast in China/Taiwan is the best. 饺子。。馄饨。。馒头。。大饼。。油条。。面条。。汤圆。。烧卖。。包子~~ @o@
    You could find all there things in the Chinese supermaket beside a stop of the gree line T to BC. I visited there someday this summer. Food there is cheep but great and has a great amout. You could store them.

  21. Collin says:

    I… love… free… food. You guys are so lucky.

  22. karen says:

    Nan- Yep, I’ve tried Boston Dim Sum! It was yummy.

    Sammy, if the SAT is certified by the college board, which it has to be if it’s the SAT, MIT will accept them. smile

    Isshak, basically all of ATS’s events are good (free!) food. I’m sure they’ll have something tasty during CPW…

    Yuzhi, I’ve made dumplings from scratch before, but I usually just buy the frozen ones because I’m kind of lazy and you can find good frozen ones.

    Libin….Sounds interesting, but I don’t like ketchup…

    Noelle, I’d been planning this entry for awhile, but your comment kind of pushed me to actually write it smile

    Vicky – YES it’s a Meow Meow shirt! I saw her at the Dresden Dolls concert in Boston back in December. It was GREAT

    Kasa – I think Taiwanese and Chinese cultures have adopted a lot of Japanese foods and are now generally accepted as cultural foods from more than one country. Anyway, as long as it’s delicious, I don’t care where it comes from, hah.

    Joy – you’re right, Chinese breakfast rocks. Actually, I love ALL breakfast food. Breakfast is really just an amazing thing.

  23. Libin Daniel says:

    Anyone tried it?? It tastes awesome, I think..Cream mixed in it tastes better..LOL..

  24. Kasa says:

    Hey! But half the stuff you mentioned is Japanese! smile

  25. Muz says:

    That entry made my mouth water. It looks like something I’m hesitant to eat, but hey, it sounds like something I could learn to enjoy wink

  26. The only one I’ve ever like that heard is:
    Build a man a fire, an he’ll be warm for a day, light a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.


    Anyway, I was wondering: Who actually pays for all this free food?

  27. Karen says:


    MIT student groups are all allocated money by the Association of Student Activites, I believe. I think the Undergraduate Association and Graduate Student Council have something to do with it as well. Paul? They can also apply for grants from other sources if they still need money, though I don’t think it’s too common.

  28. Vicky says:

    I saw Dresden Dolls in Boston in December too! Did you by any chance catch Sxip’s Hour of Charm back in September at the ART in Cambridge?

  29. Grace '11 says:

    when i was little, my mom used to make those cucumber meatballs, except instead of cucumber, she used bitter melon.


    doesn’t finboard give student groups money?

  30. Paul says:

    Good questions! If there’s enough interest in the topic, I may make this into an actual blog entry…but anyway.

    The Association of Student Activities (ASA) is primarily responsible for regulating what student groups are actually considered “official” (and therefore recognized by MIT). It also allocates office/storage/meeting space (in the Student Center or elsewhere) to officially-recognized groups. The ASA doesn’t actually provide money to groups, but it does direct new groups to the appropriate funding sources and, in general, help coordinate resources for student groups. Also, you don’t have to be recognized by the ASA to form a student group – but it helps.

    The Undergraduate Association (UA), on the other hand, is the official name for MIT’s student government, representing all students – whether they live in dorms, fraternities, sororities, independent living groups, or anywhere else off-campus. In addition to talking with administrators and advocating for change when necessary, the UA is the primary provider of actual money to student groups – which, as Grace ’11 said, is overseen through the Finance Board, a committee of the UA.

    Grace and I are both currently part of the UA, as were Jessie, Bryan, and Matt when they were students. Definitely shoot me an email if you’re interested in finding out more about student government at MIT.