Advice for college life where every conflict (or at least most) can be solved with a little food and conversation.
So, you’ve just moved in with your first roommate and you have no experience sharing space with another human — don’t stress, we’ve got you! Our suggestion? Bake. Use this Amish Friendship Bread recipe loaded with sugar and advice from our experience. This is probably a much simpler version than you have seen in the past. But, of course, we all know forming new relationships, for better or worse, isn’t easy. Since nothing takes your mind off stress better than baking, hopefully this recipe will be a good place for you and your new roommate to start.
Here’s what you need.
For the batter:
- 1 cup of butter, softened. You’ve heard that softening your attitude will help, but will it?
- 2 cups of sugar. You’ve also heard to take everything with a grain of sugar — or was that salt?
- 2 eggs. Hopefully your new roommate’s composure doesn’t break as easily as these eggs.
- 2 cups of buttermilk. Or 2 cups of milk with 2 tablespoons of vinegar — compromise happens even in cooking, so why not in living together?
- 4 cups of flour. Have cleaning supplies on hand because flour can be messy — and so can roommates.
- 2 tsp baking powder. You know your classes start later and really hope your roommate isn’t an early riser.
For the cinnamon sugar:
- ⅔ cups sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
You have all your ingredients and are preparing yourself to cook when your nightmares from last night flash back into your mind. Your fear of walking in on your roommate chowing down on your Doritos was realized in this dream, and you vow to put your name on everything you own. Your worry that if they steal all the closest space, where will you put your amazing sweaters? What if you both have the same name? How will you know who you’re talking to? Will you have to establish nicknames?
You worry you won’t get any sleep — I mean, you’ll have to hear someone else breathing the entire night. You bet they have some weird sleeping habits. Maybe they snore, or have to have the lights on, or have one of those sound machines. You add earplugs and an eye mask to your necessities list.
You finally calm down enough to make the batter, cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Then add milk, flour and baking soda. Realize that completely different things can mix together seamlessly, meaning you and your roommate have the same chance.
Divide half the batter into two greased loaf pans. Also, realize you are still two individual people and it’s perfectly normal not to agree on everything. Decide setting rules is important toward this end and vow to create them while eating the finished product.
Mix in a separate bowl the 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon. Cinnamon and sugar seem to complement each other well, almost like a couple … oh no, what if your roommate has a significant other? Living with another person means having to make sacrifices, and will just have to voice that to him/her — they can be all cute and lovey-dovey until it comes to your sleepy time. Then, he or she is out.
Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon sugar on top of the batter in each pan. Then add the remaining batter to pans and sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of each. Then momentarily freak out that you will feel like you are constantly on top of each other and in each other’s business. How will you find “you time”? Add headphones to your list to ensure you will have a way to escape if necessary — make it multiple pairs so you don’t have to worry about your headphones breaking.
Swirl with a knife. Are your emotions also supposed to be this mixed up? You remember that meditation class you took last summer and breathe, reminding yourself it is all just part of the new experience.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until you finally finishing unpacking.
Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Take this time to reflect on the process and realize that your world is not, in fact, ending. Remove bread from pan after your personal pep talk.
You now have a perfect example of how your new cohabitation will be — balanced and well-mixed. Enjoy your sweet treat while getting to know the person you’ll be spending the next two semesters with. You may not always get along, and that’s okay. But you might just happen to be best friends who wind up in each others’ weddings. Either way, this year will be exciting and new and your roommate will be there to help you along the way.