THERE are plenty of perks to being an international student- freedom, independence, new friends and delicious coffee, but as much as fun as all that sounds, living away from home is no iced-tea-in-hand stroll in the park, trust me.
One of the biggest challenges I found was avoiding starving to death. Coming from a home that had an insurmountable feast on the table every night, it wasn’t easy having to adjust to crunchy cereal or bags of chips for dinner.
Eating out in Melbourne costs two-to-three times more than it did back home, and it’s just so much easier staying in your sweats during winter and training yourself to ignore the hunger pains. It can be done!
When I explained my predicament to my peers, their eyes widened and they choked out the words, “You could cook, you know.”
Ha! Me? I can hardly boil water, still have trouble making a decent sunny side up and had an ugly, tearful fight with an onion, which I lost.
But just when I was on the brink of throwing in the (kitchen) towel, I found these life-changing gadgets. I’m convinced the inventors of these products are secret admirers of mine because how else did they know just what I needed?
1. Fat Magnet
This should be included in all university starter packs for Asian students. We’re famous for our soups that are lovingly brewed from a 1000 different ingredients, one of which is always the part of some kind of animal – bones, breasts, thighs… feet?
Anyway, what you end up with is a delicious tasting soup that would be nutritious and healthy, if you could just get rid of the gigantic layer of fat on the top. That’s where the Fat Magnet comes in. This gadget literally sucks up the layer of fat in one solidified blanket so you can just pick it up and give it to the dog. Kidding, don’t give it to the dog.
Garlic is your best friend when you’ve decided to avoid evil onions forever. They’re a basic ingredient in almost everything and taste fantastic, but you don’t want to waste too much time cutting them, especially when there are so many more important things to do, like watch America’s Next Top Model.
Enter the Garlic Rocker. Designed for people like me, and you, so it now takes less than the ad break to make your perfect Spaghetti Aglio Olio.
A combination of a knife block, bookshelf and cheese board, the Kitchen Bull ensures you have space for that new ice cream maker. Yes, everyone needs an ice cream maker… or a cotton candy machine
4. Finger Tongs
Any cooking novice needs finger tongs. Not only because they look ridiculously marvelous, but they are also extremely useful for cooking newbies. I hardly know how to work a spatula as it takes a herculean effort to manoeuvre it the right way.
Finger tongs allows you to use your fingers to flip bacon and sausages, no dexterity required! You can do it all with your fingers! Which, I assume, you know how to use.
Boiling things have never been this easy.
Step 1: Put your stuff in the Foodpod.
Step 2: Put it in the pot and hook the grip-clip onto the rim of the pot so you can pull it out later.
Step 3: Pat yourself on the back.
Step 4: When everything’s cooked, remove foodpod from pot.
I know what you’re thinking, “There’s an amazing thing that’s already been invented to do this, called a strainer”. But what if you’re boiling a few different items together and only want to take out the eggs and not the broccoli? What do you do then? Aha! Foodpod.
I’m not going to lie, even with these magnificent gadgets, it’s easier to have take-out or starve yourself. But let’s at least give it a shot, shall we?
Belinda Tan gets excited over smiley faces and creative ideas. In her spare time, she trains to be a Ninja, wonders about the genetic similarities between unicorns and rhinoceros and enjoys discovering new hiding places. She also sneezes in even numbers, doesn’t like coconuts and uses spell checker to spell rhinoceros. She also chronicles her adventures on her blog.