Every spring break, I spend my time doing these oh-so-productive activities:
Sleep for 12 hours a day.
Eat delicious home-cooked food.
Watch lots of Iron Chef.
Well this year, I decided to get a head-start on (one of) my spring break festivities!
You see, I’m taking this cooking class that meets every Thursday night. The class is taught by Tom Mannion, and he regularly brings special guests and faculty to teach us different cooking techniques. The class is split up into 5 groups, there’s a cuisine and a recipe handout for each week, and we get about 2-3 hours to cook delicious food!
The class is a pass/fail course, but we still have a final, and the final is a little like an Iron Chef competition, with a few notable differences:
Iron Chef generally has 3-4 judges. We have 20.
Iron Chef features many world-renowned chefs competing against each other, while we compete as part of our cooking team (of 7-8 people).
Unlike an Iron Chef-watching experience, I actually got to taste and enjoy the food we made during our final!
If you know how the show works, you’ll know that chefs are required to incorporate a “secret ingredient” in each one of their dishes. Our secret ingredient was… rice!
Here’s what my group made:
Appetizer 1: Les Champignon au Riz (wild rice and mushroom soup)
Appetizer 2: Rice Bites with Mango Pomegranate Salsa
To give you an idea of how beautifully colorful the salsa was:
Entree: Panner Masala with Basmatic Rice
Dessert: Arroz con Leche drizzled with Chocolate Mousse
Our chocolate mousse recipe called for a secret ingredient of its own: honey, cocoa powder, and….
Every midterm week and final week, Page House Peer Advocates (PAs) put on a de-stressing event. This term for midterms, the PAs hosted a painting night in conjunction with a Page dessert night. (Every Thursday, the House gives $60 to a pageboy (a member of Page) to buy a bunch of dessert and snacks for the house for dessert night.). They provided canvases, paint brushes, and a variety of paint colors for the night. It was a really fun and relaxing time to stop working on sets or studying for midterms for a bit and hangout with friends.
On the weekend of April 16th, my friends and I participated in the first ever Southern California College Poker Tournament! The tournament was for college students in the SoCal area with a $0 buy-in that doubled as a recruiting event for quant and finance firms. A senior friend of mine (Vanessa, a fellow blogger) put together a team of five girls who had no interest in being recruited and just wanted to have fun playing poker.
One of Caltech’s many clubs is the RISE tutoring program, where undergraduate students connect with local high schoolers and provide tutoring in various STEM subjects. I only became a tutor this academic year, but the experience has been so rewarding for me and, hopefully, also for the students I tutor.
Usually, while writing this post, I would be at Caltech playing volleyball. I begin school eith preseason, which for those unfamiliar (or are planning on joining women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, men’s waterpolo, or cross country) is a 5 week long period before school begins where the sports teams I listed before practice and compete. My life during preseason is basically volleyball 24/7. Two practices a day (during school only one) and game days three days a week. No school work to worry about, spending time with my teammates all day, a nice refresher before school begins.