The Back-to-School Kitchen


I entered college in 1976. I took my sewing machine and a stereo. Once I met my roommate, she talked me into renting a small refrigerator together ($25 for the year). We had coffee available 24 hours a day in the lobby, and a small hot pot for tea in the room. By the standards of the day, we lived in luxury. We had no TV, phone, or microwave. We certainly had no computers!

Oh dear, please slap me. I'm falling into the curmudgeon hole.

Packing up a freshman for college is completely different now. Many arrive at the dorm with a laptop, cell phone, music player, digital camera, television, video game consoles, hand held game players, and a credit card. But what does a college student really need? Something to eat. That has always been the case, and will never change.

Here's how a student can cook in the dorm (I hear that's actually allowed at many schools now) without packing a bunch of appliances. The 3-in-1 Breakfast Center is like a complete kitchen in one component. At 16" x 14" x 13" it's about the size of a boom box, but has a coffee maker, oven, and griddle all in one. Put your toast in the oven and eggs on top. But why limit this to breakfast? I use a toaster oven and a frying pan for everything. Warm up a sandwich or leftovers. Toaster ovens are great for pizza. Fry a burger on top, and bake fries in the oven. It has a 30-minute timer and an automatic shutoff for safety. If I were cooking only for myself, I could whip up some pretty intricate meals with this little gadget. And it's on sale right now for $39.99. I've paid more than that for a simple coffee maker. But it might be a back-to-school special. The regular price is $79.99.

(via Coolest Gadgets)