Dorm Life Larder Staples

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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And, just like that, your “free paper burn” and you're back to the grind. Back-to-school happens every year but always seems to bushwhack even the most prepared. For those who have left the comforts of home and are living in campus residences, it can be daunting for some and sheer frustration for others. In order to make the transition from doing things in one's own sweet time back to a life of multiple deadlines and heated group project meetings, Thursday Food shares its list of larder essentials that will keep you sufficently fuelled and, dare we suggest, content!


Easy to prepare, filling and tasty — oats are an ideal breakfast and keep you satiated for hours. Whether you prefer it plain or jazzed up with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and condensed milk, you can't go wrong with a box of oats in your larder.


Canned Coconut Milk

From vegan stews to Asian-style curries to rice and peas, this coconut milk is tremendously versatile. Hot tip: Substitute for water when making Jell-O.


Canned Salted Fish

Lasts forever (well, almost) and so easy to use. No soaking, no bones, no problem. Perfect for a quick and hearty midweek meal. Try it sautéed with tomatoes, onions, Scotch bonnet pepper and broad beans.


Water Crackers

Whether to eat a few with cheese, jam or by the bag in one sitting, 'tough' crackers are inexpensive and with a nice cup of tea can tide you over in between meals. Hot tip: Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with grated cheese and chopped scallions and bake for a fancy snack.


Grace Hot Tomato Ketchup

Tangy and delicious, this condiment elevates even the most basic bowl of blah to a tasty meal.


Rice and Pasta

Never run out of either of these. And if you can't cook either properly, learn. Great for stretching a budget and creating numerous meals at once, rice and pasta should be the cornerstone of any sensible larder.


Peanut Butter

This seems like a no-brainer but it's the most obvious things that oftentimes slip from memory. Great for late-night snacking, adding extra protein to breakfast foods like smoothies and oatmeal.


Banana Chips

No explanation needed — we all get the late-night munchies.



Need a little extra energy? Malta is the way to go. High in vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants, Malta makes a perfect alternative to sports or energy drinks.


Ginger Tea

You know what our grannies always said about ginger tea? It can soothe and alleviate everything from gas to stress.


Cup Noodles

These are lifesavers especially if boiling water is the extent of your cooking skills. Hot tip: Feeling fancy? Add some crushed pepper sauce and a little bit of thyme.



Versatile and delicious, sardines are great for making sandwiches and topping your 'tough' crackers with.


Crushed Pepper Sauce

Convenient and brimming with flavour, pepper sauce will keep your dishes and sandwiches zesty and your grocery list within budget when the price of Scotch bonnet at the market skyrockets. Hot tip: Add to scrambled eggs with chopped scallions and eat with hot fried dumplings for a delicious weekend breakfast.


Powdered Food Drinks

Come midterm and exam time you may not find any time to cook. These food drinks can fill the gap and keep you fuelled as you dart across campus.

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