Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

My Avatar - The Sweetest One in the Class

nia.pike's picture

As you can see my avatar is a pan full of dessert. But not just any dessert, they are monster magic cookie bars! I'm very proud of these, they are one of my most successful and most delicious baking adventure products of the summer. It's a joke amongst my friends that before last spring break I did not know what boiling water was. And like most rumors, there is some element of truth to that statement. I grew up in a single-parent household where my mum did everything she could so my sister and I could have a number of opportunities. As a result when she came home from work she did not cook a meal from scratch, even though she knew how; she simply did not have the time after working all day to pay the bills, then dedicating the evening to our education. Thus, I never learned how to cook. But this summer that all changed. I spent the summer at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center(SERC) on a research base in rural Maryland, where there was no dining hall, no parents feeding me, I had to provide for myself. So with the help of my housemates and the internet (of course), I learned how to cook and bake a large variety of items ranging from delicious desserts of every shape and size to more savory options like calzones, steak, rice pilaf, and cultural dishes from Nepal, Columbia, and my home state of Texas, just to name a few. And I must have learned something great because not only did I survive the summer, but now I have a newly ignited passion for cooking and baking!