Image by ‘butkaj.com’
Don’t lie, students – before you came to uni, whenever you had a day off school, you watched Come Dine With Me repeats in the afternoon. And those of you at uni now still probably watch it if you have access to a TV or 4oD. We love it! And I’m sure that many of you have considered doing something similar yourselves. It seems like a huge task. But it doesn’t need to be hard!
First of all, you need the right materials to dress your dining room or kitchen. Whether you live in halls or a student house, you may find that the dinner table you have is not big enough, or you may not have one at all! In this case, you can go online or visit a budget shop to buy some cheap dining tables and chairs.
Other things you might like to buy include a table cloth (which can be made of paper), candles, and napkins. Hopefully you should already have enough plates and cutlery if you and your housemates put everything you own together!
Ok, now decide whether this will be a one off, and you just fancy putting on a nice spread for your lovely housemates, or if this will be a competition where each of you will cook a meal and the others will score. This is more effort, but lots of fun – and the prize could be some money or even a bottle of booze!
Prepare your home so that it’s cosy and welcoming. Consider soft lighting, maybe put up some flattering wall lights, and decorate your dining table with a centrepiece, candles and perhaps individual place cards for your guests. Serve them some bubbly when they arrive (Cava of course, you are a student).
Anyway, next, you need to decide what you are going to cook. You will need to choose three courses – a starter, main course, and then a delicious dessert (anything chocolate-y usually goes down well).The best thing to do is to cook simple classics which you already know how to do, but add seasoning and nice vegetables to make them seem classier. For ideas, visit websites like studentbeans.com (where you can find a downloadable student cookbook), or look to a chef’s website (try Sam Stern). Also consider the Guardian website, and even Tesco.com has a recipe section. If all else fails, ring your mum!
After the preparation, all you need to do is plan the timing of your evening, and then you can begin! If you decorate the room well, stick to the recipes, and act like the perfect host by making sure you have enough time to actually sit and talk to your guests, then the evening should run smoothly. Good luck! And let us know if you have any Come Dine With Me night stories, good or bad…
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Naomi Anderson Whittaker is a blogger from Leeds in her second year at university. She blogs about society and student life. She writes for Litecraft.