It was Thursday, Nov. 18, and I ventured to the kitchenettes of DeHority for Thanksgiving Around the World. An appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert from seven different countries, and they were all for my bite-sized sampling pleasure.
Now, I haven’t always been known for my pacing when it comes to free food. As a child, you could find me scouring the entire grocery store for any bit of cheese on a dry cracker I could find. But on this night I was determined to conquer all the samples laid out for me, and still have room to eat some Noyer stir-fry afterwards.
My life-long dream of being a snooty food blogger was finally coming to fruition. I had devised an elaborate rating system of happy or sad Marys. I had cleansed my palette with a swig of cran-grape juice. I was ready.
I started my evening in Mexico; a promising start as 70 percent of my body is comprised of Woodworth taco bar and Crunch Wrap Supremes. As I entered the 1AB kitchenette, though, I discovered possibly the most heinous circumstance I’ve ever encountered: they were out of churros.
I took a moment to mourn what could have been, but I am a serious food critic and cannot be taken down that easily. There were nachos to be eaten, and it was my duty to do it.
I started as most would, with chips. I topped them with some unseasoned ground beef, cold refried beans, shredded lettuce, a Mexican mix shredded cheese, a variety of salsas, and the piece de resistance: guacamole. In my humble opinion, the dish really came into its own with a dollop of verde salsa, a generally overlooked condiment in the unauthentic Mexican culinary world. I was pleased to see that offered as an option.
My journey took me next to Germany. Land of sausages, a place I could thrive.
In the 2AB kitchenette I found Hall Director Bart Upah and Assistant Hall Director Jamie Han with a spread of boxed pretzels (imported from Germany, I assume), sausage (of unknown authenticity) and a tantalizing apple strudel. A promising array.
Bypassing the pretzels, which looked a little too not Snyder’s of Hanover Honey Wheat Braided Twists for my taste, I decided to start with the savory and work my way to the sweet – a decision that did not disappoint. While the sausage was good, my mother’s barbeque cocktail weenies would win the battle of one-bite meat treats any day of the week. The apple strudel, on the other hand, blew me away. It was the clear center piece of the Bavarian feast.
At the door of Italy came more devastating news: no more sauce. In the same sentence, though, I was informed that they still had noodles left, which was enough to keep me going. Such is the life of a food blogger, I suppose. Adversity is inevitable, but it’s how you’re able to push through that separates the tumblr novice from the New Yorker columnist.
In what some might consider divine intervention, I stumbled across a solitary Dixie cup graced with a drop of marinara. As I fumbled to fill the cup with noodles using the plastic teaspoon provided, the chef told me they were closing. I shoved what I assumed was biscotti into my mouth, and, clutching my pasta parfait, I scurried out of the room.
It was then that I discovered the dessert in my mouth was not biscotti, but rather an Italian cookie: biscotti’s sweeter, moister cousin. I’m not sure if it was my haste, my anticipation for something crunchier, or the actual taste, but the Italian cookie definitely left something to be desired. The three noodles and pinch of sauce I had procured, however, were immensely satisfactory. My only complaint is that there wasn’t more.
In line for Poland is where things got interesting. Just as I was about to be handed a cup of whipped cream and frozen fruit, I did not have time to contemplate the Polish significance of this dish, because the fire alarms began to ring.
For those of you not familiar with Muncie weather, rain is a reoccurring theme, and this night was no exception. As I was herded down the hallway into the impending wetness, I looked down to realize my current footwear situation was a dismal one. I was wearing fuzzy socks, my rain boots the other direction in the dry comfort of my room.
I briefly entertained the idea of claiming I didn’t hear the alarm and slipping away to my suite instead of braving the elements. But I knew that I could not disappoint Bart, the hall director. So, with soggy feet and anger in my heart, I made my way to my designated checkpoint.
After attendance, I sat with my wet socks, dead phone, and shattered dreams in the solace of Woodworth Commons until the all clear was given to return to DeHority.
Although the ordeal of the evacuation, possibly caused by some slightly burned potato pancakes, only lasted about 20 minutes, by the time I had dried off I was late for a meeting and Noyer was closing their stir-fry station.
I sulked through the rain to my meeting, picking up some Chick-fil-a on the way, my bright future as a cosmopolitan food blogger slipping away with each step.
If there’s one thing I learned from my trails that evening, it’s this: always wear shoes when college students are attempting to cook in a tiny kitchen.
Fire evacuation: 5/5 Sad Mary’s