My new roommate is sick and doesn’t need me critiquing her cooking, but

I made myself pasta and a salad twice a  day, most days, for four months.  This is how it goes:


  • one bowl
  • one pot
  • one fork
  • one knife (optional)
  • one cheese grater (optional)
  • one cutting board (optional)


  • whatever salad fixings you prefer
  • pasta (I prefer spaghetti because it’s less likely to stick together in the pot)
  • canned pasta sauce (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional, doubles as a salad topping and a pasta topping.  Pasta + grated cheese + butter or olive oil is fine by itself if you don’t want to buy sauce.)


  1. Put water on to boil (boils faster with lid)
  2. chop salad fixings, or pour pre-chopped salad fixings into bowl
  3. eat salad (with fork)
  4. add pasta to boiling water, turn heat down a bit (this step can trade places with 3 depending on how fast the water boils)
  5. wash fork and bowl
  6. stir pasta, using fork
  7. poke pasta with fork to check for doneness; if done, pour off water into sink.  Use fork to keep pasta in pot.  No strainer necessary, as long as you can lift your pot with one hand.  (This is much more doable when only making pasta for one.)
  8. If your sauce/pasta topping needs to be heated, put the pot back on the stove and add some sauce.  If not, go directly to 9.
  9. Move pasta to bowl and add toppings if desired.
  10. Move pot to sink, add some water so the sauce doesn’t dry and stick.
  11. Eat pasta.
  12. Wash bowl, fork and pot.

This generally took me about 30-45 minutes.  Though, to be fair, I would sometimes use two fork/bowl sets, instead of washing the one from the salad right away.

(Yes, this looks basically like a page from my lab notebook except it says Groceries instead of Reagents.  My cooking habits are heavily influenced by the “finish quickly and you can leave early!” and “you must wash all your dishes before you leave” aspects of a chemistry lab.)


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