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A Freshers Guide Part 1: The Kitchen
First of all, a very warm welcome to all freshers! When you start off cooking for yourself for the first time, there are always a multitude of questions to be asked concerning various topics, from what kitchen utensils you should own to what you can and can’t freeze. Below is part one of my top-tips for freshers, an odd assortment of advice that attempts to answer some of those questions and give you a few tips to help you on your way. This is in no way exhaustive, so if you have any tips of your own, I’d love to hear about them.
What You Should Own This section is relatively unnecessary, as most mothers will have filled an MPV with all the equipment that they are certain you cannot survive without. And even what you (miraculously) don’t already have is bound to be owned by one of your flat mates. Still, it can’t hurt just to go over the basics again. There may even be something you’ve missed off your list... −Sauce pans. At least 3, of varying sizes and preferably with lids. −Frying pans. Two would be useful – one big and one small. −A Wok. Not the obvious choice, but I managed to get a 25cm non-stick one for about £2.50 from Asda last year. It’s been invaluable. −A mixing bowl. Even if you’re not going to be doing much baking, one of these will come in use at some point. −A measuring jug. A good glass Pyrex one is relatively inexpensive, but you can get plastic ones for even cheaper. −An oven tray or two. I recently got a 33cm Tesco’s Value deep roasting tray for less than £1 . I had a flat one before, which is fine – though it did get me into a sticky situation once (excuse the pun) when some sausages and the accompanying fat decided to alight the tray whilst I was trying to remove them from under the grill. Hopefully that problem won’t occur with the deep tray... −A sieve – always useful for when draining rice etc., or as an inferior/temporary substitute for a colander. −An oven/casserole dish – great for making pasta bakes which are easy, cheap, filling and (can be) healthy. −A chef’s knife – aside from all the normal cutlery, make sure you own at least one decent sized chef’s knife. These don’t have to cost a lot and make chopping so much easier than those little knives. (There’s a great knife-skills video on the BBC Good Food website.) −A chopping board or two – whether plastic or wooden doesn’t matter too much, just make sure you have a couple – you will need them! −Oven gloves – doesn’t really need explaining...
The Store Cupboard You should always have a certain amount of ingredients in your store cupboard for two reasons: One, much of your cooking is likely to involve/require these ingredients, and two, in case of an emergency – you’ve run out of food and can’t make it to the shops, for example. The following list contains the bare basics that everyone should own: −Dried Pasta −Dried Rice and/or noodles −Salt and (black) pepper (black tastes better and recipes always seem to ask for this) −Sugar −Olive oil −Tinned/chopped tomatoes −flour −Some sort of dried herbs are always useful (such as oregano) −Garlic
Some foods are fine past their date; for example I had a pack of grated mild cheddar that went well past the date but was perfect. Tins also are almost immortal. With foods such as fruit and milk, you can tell when they’re past their prime because they smell, taste and/or look bad. But don’t mess with meat - eat it within the date. Overall, just use common sense, and don’t hold me accountable if you get ill from eating something mouldy(!) - I’m not saying ignore these dates I’m just saying that some of them are a little on the pessimistic side. Going back to bulk buying, sharing shopping with your flat-mates is an obvious solution to the shopping-for-one problem. However, you probably wouldn’t want to do this too much as it could get quite complicated what with owing each other money and whatnot. Trying to split big milk bottles evenly could be quite difficult too. A good compromise is to buy foods such as pasta in bulk and split the costs, and then do the rest of your shopping yourself.
Economy Gastronomy One thing many people, even students, are often dubious about is the economy range of any supermarket. But students are on a tight budget, and so often feel forced into the cheap ranges (unless you’re like my good colleague Fred the Friendly Viking, who is probably unique in being the only student in the U.K. to shop at Waitrose). But take heart; there is little need to be afraid of these foods. Some of the economy range, it has to be said, isn’t that great but most of it is absolutely fine; it’s just cheaper because it simply hasn’t got the fancy packaging, or in the case of fruit and veg, everything isn’t neat and uniform in size and shape. If you’re unsure, all you have to do is read the ingredients, and if there’s anything you don’t like (or sounds alien) you don’t have to buy it. But you’ll probably find that cheap stuff doesn’t even have to have lots of artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives, or insanitary additives – as I discovered with my Sainsbury’s Basics Meat Lasagne (see May 2010 issue of Fresh). The only bottom range food I tend to avoid is sausages – A quick glance over the back of the pack reveals only about 42% of the sausage is actual pork. Grim. In short, just read the packet; see where it’s from and what’s in it and you should be able to make a good judgement. Economy ranges aren’t all bad. Another thing you will discover is that it’s actually more expensive to eat healthily. Whereas a good packet of custard creams will only cost about 30p, a bag of bananas will cost over a pound. And that’s just one very small example. Just don’t be tempted to save a few pennies and eat unhealthily, because though your wallet may thank you, your body won’t.
Just a couple more tips: −Always write a shopping list. That way you won’t forget anything, and if you stick to it you won’t go beyond your budget. −Eat before you go. If you shop when hungry you’ll end up with all sorts of confectionery in your trolley, and no recollection of buying it. −If you shop closer to closing time there’s more likely to be reduced items that are near/on the sell-by and needing to be cleared. That’s it for now – I hope you find this useful. Read part two in next months Fresh; just a few more tips on getting inspiration and cooking itself. Can’t be bothered to wait? See my blog at http://fraichefood.blogspot.com. Jason Alexander Wain
Supermarket Shopping With many universities, you won’t have a choice as to which supermarket to shop at – there’ll be the one that’s nearest and most convenient, and that’s it. But at Roehampton we’re quite fortunate and have a choice, so it’s worth considering where you want to shop. If you’re going to be shopping at a supermarket for three years (or more) shouldn’t you get something back for it? The majority of Roehampton students, it seems, shop at Asda because it’s close and it’s big. I tend to shop at the smaller and slightly further away Sainsbury’s as, among other things, I collect Nectar points, meaning I’m slowly earning free food!
Sell-By’s and Bulk Buy’s One of the first things you’ll realise about shopping for one person is that it is a pain in the pan-seared posterior. Nearly everything is cheaper in bulk, but as there’s only one of you, you don’t need bulk. Another problem is that even if you do decide to buy in bulk, do you have the storage space? And then there are sell-by dates. If you can store it, can you eat it before it goes off? Whilst on the topic of sell/use/consume/eat/scoff/munch-by dates, it’s worth realising that these dates are only relative – for some foods at least. Supermarkets are legally obligated to put a use-by date on their foods, so they’ll put them there whether strictly necessary or not.
FRESHERS WEEK 2010
Our Student Media Officers report back on the week that was. Memory permitting...
MONDAY: As I sit down to write this, the time is twenty-five minutes to eight. This makes me believe, that if the Freshers are anything like my year, they would be pre-drinking with their new friends of a mere matter of days, if not, hours. These people are undoubtedly going to become some of the best friends in your life. This is going to be the first Bop experience for the Freshers and they will get to know why the students of Roehampton lust over the main weekly event throughout the year. The cheesy music, the fancy dress themes, the friends, the new faces, the practicality and the cheap drink to name but a few of many reasons. Tonight’s Bop will be special though because Matt Horne, famous for his role as Gavin in Gavin and Stacey, will be Dj-ing the event. I will report on the event when I return home with an interview and a few comments from students new and old, and by that time I’ll probably be pretty wasted myself, so I’ll apologise in advance. It’s now three in the morning, and as I promised, I am reporting back on the evenings events. The Freshers at Bop partied hard, and it was clear to see the Roehampton spirit and those friendships that I previously mentioned are blossoming. Both rooms were crammed full of new students and a few very lucky continuing students. Third year and RSU Campaigns Officer Lauren ‘Mancoon’ Mcguigan was celebrating with her Freshers and said “The new students are all so nice, and the Bop really works with the new bar, it gives us two alternative spaces to dance. [The Freshers] seem to all be enjoying it, I think it’s awesome”. Matt Horne came on at about midnight and showed us he wasn’t just a pretty-faced celebrity but he also knew what he was doing behind the decks as he mixed tracks in and out of each other like a pro. “The crowd was fantastic tonight, I played a few more alternative tracks as I probably should have done but I got a great reception from the Freshers who were brilliant” he said.
TUESDAY: Tuesday night’s event was the Laugh out Loud comedy evening which was hosted in the big top tent on Froebel Lawn, also known as ‘Wonder Woman’s knickers’. The main event was Inbetweener’s head of year and fronting member of comedy group ‘We are Klang’, Greg Davies, also self titled ‘fat old man’. He came on at about nine ‘o’clock and stunned the audiences with his height of 6”8 and his bellowing voice. The majority of his set involved him telling stories of his time spent as a teacher and the kids he had come across. He also used audience participation very well and got the Fresher’s all involved. The crowd gave Greg a great reception and afterwards he stated “the crowd were great, I am usually quite crude so it’s nice to perform to a younger crowd. It was the perfect warm up gig”. WEDNESDAY: For those who don’t know, The Grand is a monthly event set in an elegant club in Clapham that is a converted theatre. Tonight though is going to be different, we have visually artistic DJ Beat a Maxx who mixes his tracks alongside video to create great incredible visual effects and videos. Within mixing tracks he also infused his set with a variety of popular culture references from television such as Facejacker, Family Guy, X factor, and even The Jeremy Kyle Show. The club filled up incredibly quickly and avid ‘Tweeter’ Beat a Maxx later tweeted about the event and thanked Roehampton Freshers for a show that ‘rocked’. The dance floor was rammed upon entry and the club management even opened up the higher tiers of the club so that the students could access another bar and also get great views of the two big projector screens on which Beat a Maxx displayed his videos. This event in many of the Fresher’s eyes was the ‘event of the week so far’, and the ‘one to beat’. Many voices were lost inside the club and if not they were sure to be so on the bus journey back from Clapham where the rivalry and banter between all four colleges was amongst some of the most proud I have witnessed. I myself had an incredible time and not only bumped in to a few familiar faces from previous nights out but I also met some more, all of whom seem to fit right into the Roehampton style of partying hard. THURSDAY: Thursday was incredible. It was set back on campus with the new indie night showcasing some of music’s freshest talent. To start the year, the union was fortunate enough to bring in beat-boxing’s finest Beardyman. The evening started with some of indie’s best tracks from the best bands including, the obvious, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes and a whole variety of music worthy of you putting on your ‘dancing shoes’. At around half past nine, five of Roehampton’s favourite boys, in the name of Beatbullyz kicked off with an incredible live set. The band’s genre is hard to pin down, they use a variety of instruments and mix up a very British vocal band with drums and guitars with synthesizers, and keyboards and even an on-stage DJ to create something bewilderingly brilliant. Their songs will never get old as they always play around with it and introduce new ideas, instruments and genres such as hip hop, rap, rock and dub-step to name a few. They were also pretty keen to plug their new album which is now in stores. During a short interval, the record’s kept spinning and the drinks kept coming for all, regardless of the thought of an influx of the dreaded ‘Fresher’s Flu’ which, by this time in the week, begins to creep up on unsuspecting first years who are too drunk to realise how much they’ve had to drink. Then Beardyman came on. Many people expected him to do his traditional beatboxing, but he didn’t. Although he used his voice in his tracks and set some voice recordings on a loop, it wasn’t a showcase of what people know him for. That didn’t matter as what he was doing was still fantastic. Beardyman’s tour manager explained that ‘he’s moving away from the beat-boxing thing, he’s done that. He’s a bit like a talented Chameleon, he’ll change what he does every show, and I don’t think even he knows entirely what he’s going to do’. This time Beardyman was sticking with the
Eurogaming Expo 2010 A short journey on the 265 bus from campus and a few stops on the District Line brought me to the Brompton Hall in West Brompton, home of the conveniently-placed-for-Roehampton-University-students Eurogamer Expo 2010, presenting me with a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the game (no pun intended, of course), and to play first-hand, upcoming releases from the biggest names in gaming. Billed as the UK’s biggest gaming event, exhibitors included Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft, and many, many more. And in my giddiness, I attempted to have a go at as many games as I could, provided the hordes of die-hard fans would not deter me from waiting. The first game was Sony’s big thing of 2010, the PlayStation Move. The Move is something that has held my interest this year, it is most definitely a product which splits public opinion; the Nintendo fans are quick to point out the blatant “plagiarism” committed by Sony in Move’s development, while Sony supporters swiftly profess Move’s superiority to the Nintendo Wii’s motion controls. Speaking personally as a player of both the Wii and the PS3, I failed to see the reason for excitement in the Move, or its Xbox 360 counterpart, Kinect (more on that later), but I picked up the Move to play a game of Wii Play-reminiscent Table Tennis. There’s no denying it, Nintendo fans, Sony’s product is much more honed and technically more accurate than what the Wii offers without Motion Plus. The paddle on screen precisely copied my movements, moving in any direction that I held it, allowing me to strike the ping pong ball in any way I pleased; the spin generated by the position of my paddle was accurate, and the game does punish you for wild flailing, with a particularly powerful shot from me clearing the table by miles. Perhaps my mind would be changed if the game was more exciting, but I felt that showing off the Move using games available on the Wii was probably a bad way to convince most gamers that the Move is truly bringing something new to the table.
the lack of real precision. In games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you really have to get your aim exactly right to get the kill, and I didn’t get this feeling from GoldenEye, as I got many kills from simply shooting at the body as I chased my opponent. I don’t know, it’s possible that the true feeling of the game will come from the single player story mode, but I left the multiplayer with a feel of a fun, yet done before mode. Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Donkey Kong Country Returns were both playable in a 2-player cooperative mode, and it was quite interesting to see the parallels and differences between both titles. Epic Yarn takes place in a very cutesy (actually prompting an “Awww” from my girlfriend at one point), yet very intricate and clever world, composed entirely of yarn and other materials, sort of like LittleBigPlanet on the PS3, with puzzles being composed of manipulation of these materials, such as unzipping an area or emoving a button from the background to find a new area. In contrast, Donkey Kong Country Returns plays in a jungle world, filled with bananas, wood, foliage and water, playing more like a traditional platformer rather than interacting with the background. Returns plays a LOT like the old school Donkey Kong games on the Super Nintendo, and will undoubtedly bring back memories as well as disillusioned fans annoyed with Donkey Kong’s recent mediocrity. Both of the titles play similarly to last year’s New Super Mario Bros. Wii, with both players needing to work in tandem to complete the level at its best. For example, Epic Yarn sees the two cute yarn characters use each other as weapons, or throwing each other to reach areas you can’t reach on your own. Donkey Kong Country Returns decides to adopt a different approach by giving either Donkey or Diddy Kong a specific ability (such as Diddy Kong’s jet pack), which can be used in certain scenarios to progress. Overall, the games play very well, and are sure to please Nintendo fans keen to play some less prominent homegrown franchises. The final thing I looked out for was Kinect, Microsoft’s answer to the Nintendo Wii. Operating very much like an advanced EyeToy from the old PlayStations, its high price tag has deterred some fans from getting too excited about it. The main display of Kinect showed three dancers following dance moves, with precision being required to collect the maximum
Moving on from Table Tennis (again, no pun intended), I entered an area with driving games aplenty; here, I was able to play Gran Turismo 5, MotorStorm: Apocalypse, F1 2010, and Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. Evolution Studios’ MotorStorm: Apocalypse is a fun and interesting racer, taking place in an apocalyptic city, with buildings falling and various things exploding as you frantically race to the end. Racing would be one of the last things on my mind if the world was ending, but the enjoyable Burnout-esque experience allowed me to let that slide. The game controls well, and if you crash due to a stray piece of...umm, building, it’s entirely your fault, as the game keeps the player in control even when a piece of debris blocks your route, and you should be able to clear the way. Graphically, the game was stunning, with the destructive environments looking fantastic on a 3DTV, often providing the illusion that stuff was flying at your face. I enjoyed Hot Pursuit very much too; with its arcade-style gameplay and lush graphics, Hot Pursuit looks like it could be the title to reinvigorate the flailing Need For Speed series. Sony’s Gran Turismo 5 looks like it will be a worthy successor in the GT line, with its jawdropping visuals and its realistic driving physics. Racing in a dusty desert track, the name of which eludes me, it was quickly made clear to me that the turning would be nowhere near as nice as in Apocalypse, and I quickly had to adapt back to the control scheme I picked up when I downloaded the Gran Turismo Time Trial demo earlier this year. Slightly odd is Sony’s preference to use the X button for acceleration, while most driving games these days have accepted that the R2 button is a better choice. This, however, can be changed. All in all, it does seem that the agonising wait of GT fans will be worth it. Stepping out of the driver’s seat now, I was able to play Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the next instalment in Ubisoft’s popular Assassin’s Creed series. Watching videos for this game suggested to me that the basic gameplay of the title would remain faithful to its prequels, so it was somewhat pleasing to see that Ubisoft were offering players at Eurogamer a chance to test the new multiplayer mode, set up to play with gamers on 7 other consoles in the area. The new multiplayer feature is essentially like one in a first-person shooter, with the goal being to assassinate other players while being careful not to be killed yourself. Naturally, there is a lot of covert play and free-running movement involved in completing this aim, and the game runs smoother than its prequels, with scaling, climbing, escaping through crowds and jumping across buildings done without a hint of lag or frame rate change. Nintendo seemed to be taking a risky strategy in this year’s Eurogamer, with most attendees claiming that their section of the expo was considerably smaller than last year; despite not attending last year, I was extremely disappointed...initially, with what Nintendo had to offer this year, with two of the highlights in a rather small selection of around 6-7 games being Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Metroid: Other M, both titles which have already been released some time ago. Due to this, the focus on Nintendo was primarily at upcoming titles, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Epic Yarn and the remake of the classic GoldenEye. GoldenEye’s demo was limited to a quick 4-player multiplayer deathmatch, and using the Classic Controller, the game played exactly like any other first-person shooter available. I noted that the game ran smoothly and controlled very comfortably, but I couldn’t help but note the graphical inferiority of the game to other FPS exhibits such as Brink or Crysis 2. However, graphical inferiority is part and parcel for a Wii gamer; another issue I felt was
“in my giddiness, I attempted to have a go at as many games as I could, provided the hordes of die-hard fans would not deter me from waiting” amount of points, but to be totally honest, it didn’t seem that different from Just Dance 2, the surprisingly entertaining Wii party dancing game just a few stalls down. So at the moment, for me, the jury is still out on Kinect. Overall, the Eurogamer Expo was a great day out, getting to try all the upcoming games sure to cause a fuss in the gaming world, and as a plus, it is very easily accessible to any Roehampton gamers! Just one thing to remember: make sure to know what is around you; I noticed, very close to the end of the evening, a big black curtained booth in the Nintendo area, very covertly hiding a playable demo of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, only to be allowed in too late to play it!! The Eurogamer Expo: definitely one to look out for next year!
SPORT ROEHAMPTON How’s it going guys?! First things first, welcome to Roehampton to all the fresher’s and welcome back to all the second and third years, hopefully everyone had a good summer and had some amazing holidays! I’m Luke Brand, the Sport Roehampton President for 2010/11. I’m a 2nd year sports & exercise science student and yes that does mean I’m a Whitelands boy! I play football for Roehampton men’s football.
something to get excited about. Get down to Whitelands and give it a go! We’ve got loads to look forward to throughout this year and I can only hope it goes as planned for a memorable year of sport at Roehampton!! We’ve got loads to look forward to including tour and the much anticipated Sport Roehampton Dinner. If you need any info feel free to get in touch, until then... Luke Brand Sport Roehampton President
So far this year is looking good with everyone trying to settle back into the world of tedious lectures and the huge challenge of dragging yourself out of bed to make it to yet another 9 o’clock lecture after what turned out to be a very messy night! You can do it! I hope everyone had an awesome freshers week, picked up your fair share of freebies, and got very “merry”, I know I did (from what I can remember). From a Sport Roehampton perspective fresher’s week was a MASSIVE success with record numbers registering their interest in sports! There was a great vibe around the sports stalls at fresher’s fair with everything from Frisbees flying around to footballers, rugby players and cheerleaders being lifted 6 feet in the air. This vibe obviously rubbed off onto some of the fresher’s with some of them getting involved! The next step for you guys is to become a member of Sport Roehampton, there are a few options to sign up but until the Friday 15th October you get the new SR puma tracksuit for half price! There are loads of ways to get involved in Sport Roehampton even if you aren’t necessarily the best at any sport, there is a new table-tennis team who are looking for a captain, training takes place in Monte hall every Thursday from 5.30-7. So get down there and see if you compare to the almighty forest Gump! We are also looking for four student reps who participate in sport to get involved and help build bridges between teams, students, participants, Sport Roehampton and the RSU. Right, now for an important date in the calendar - Wednesday 13th October! The first of this year’s Sport Roehampton socials. It’s going to be a classic old-school sports day with everything from obstacles to sack races. Then straight up to the bar for some drinking Olympics, so get involved! Don’t miss your chance to see the launch of the all new Sport Roehampton drinks which will be launched that evening. I can promise you, they’re definitely