As part of the Caltech Board plan, we get a little over $400 a term to spend on Declining Balance (DBal), which can be used in Chandler Dining Hall or the South House Kitchens for lunch or Breakfast, or in the C Store or Student Coffee House (Chouse) at any time. DBal doesn’t roll over between terms, so if you have leftover DBal during finals week, you try to buy up the CStore to get your money’s worth! In previous terms, I’ve bought several boxes of Clif Bars to bring home for my father (who loves them), or bought a dozen pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for my house (impromptu ice cream party!)
This term, though, I thought I’d do something that I can share with my house and also share with you! Here is my DBal Cookie recipe, brought to you by the CStore’s endless supply of peanut butter and candy:
3/4 cup of Skippy Super Chunk Peanut Butter
1/3 cup of Honey
2 bags of dark chocolate MnM’s
pinch of baking powder
pinch of salt
Heat the peanut butter in a microwave in one of your house kitchens (all eight undergraduate houses have full kitchens!) for 30 seconds. You want it to be quite smooth. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
Beat the egg separately.
Mix the peanut butter, beaten egg, and honey together with the salt and baking powder until very smooth.
Add your candy! I used dark chocolate MnM’s, but you can add pretty much anything that you think will go well with chocolate!
Now get a cookie sheet, which almost all house kitchens have (seniors who graduate often leave their old cookware behind and it becomes “alleyware”), and cover it with a sheet of parchment paper (also sold in the CStore!). Scoop some dough out into small cookies: these are gonna end up veryyyy soft so you want to keep them small, or they’ll break. Your batter should make 15 cookies, which takes into account the batter you ate before.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and slightylyyyy brown on the bottom!
While they’re baking, wash your dishes. This is how you get ants.
Let them cool for 10 minutes after you take them out of the oven. Go work on a problem set or something, I don’t know. Stop asking me what to do.
Finally, share with friends who are taking the finals you’re procrastinating by baking cookies! Also, don’t forget to turn off the oven.
Always not quite organized, my desk is a constant, yet subtle reminder of why I ultimately chose Caltech: the people. (sigh… I bet you haven’t heard that one before!). It’s no secret that Caltech has a small undergraduate population but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find your people, it means you’ll be able to find them faster!
With the third term fast approaching and the status of COVID on campus pushing all major events to the spring quarter, students of the houses of Caltech were excited. The reason? Interhouse season had arrived. Interhouses, a longstanding tradition of the California Institute of Technology, are summarized as parties hosted by each respective house, usually with a theme, in which the entire undergraduate population is invited to attend. As every undergraduate house of Caltech has its own personality and characteristics, these interhouses too have their own flair depending on the house who hosts them.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.
About a dozen frosh sit and stand in a semicircle around a whiteboard. Various Lloyd-themed interhouse names sit on a list awaiting their fate. One by one, possibilities are discussed and voted on, until four remain.