From our kitchen to yours

David Rubin

Chef Anneliese is on vacation this week… so I’d like to present you with a little creation of my own. Let’s call it a “recipe for Disaster, plus remedy.”

What you need:

  • 10-week academic terms. Note: if you’re making Disaster in the winter, remember to use a 9.5-week term instead!
  • Three courses; four if you’re ambitious — that said, it’s super easy to make this recipe con-friendly! Just schedule a few chamber groups and a large ensemble in place of the third class. If you want to go the extra mile to make it wind-player compatible as well as gluten-free, just be sure to double up on the large ensemble assignments — Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra make a tasty combination, but you’ll have to allow for extra cooking time and the possibility of injury. Don’t forget to use oven mitts!
  • Some commitments! Student organizations, Greek life, co-operative meal plans, conference planning, on-campus jobs, off-campus jobs, athletics, long-distance relationships, confusing friendships, angsty siblings, international news, calamities, etc.
  • Unpredictable weather! It’s best to make Disaster in the weeks between Winter and Spring. A combination of snow and tornadoes usually yields the best results. Thundersnow adds a certain… “je ne sais quoi,” but it’s hard to find.
  • Extra projects can turn a good Disaster into a great Disaster! Junior recitals are okay; senior recitals are better. If you can find an exotic “Honors Project” or “Senior Experience” at a specialty grocery store, don’t be afraid to splurge. They add a special tang.

What to do:

Disaster is super fun to make! All you have to do is dump the ingredients in a food processor and let things churn for a few hours. Sooner or later, you should hear a loud boom! After the explosion, your Disaster should look dense and sticky, with a slightly rank odor. Turn everything off and quickly step aside to avoid the avalanche of sticky, smelly liquid. Find a mop, sing a happy song, and clean to your heart’s content!

Disaster serves 1 to 4.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve found this term to be particularly rough. I’m a champ when it comes to overbooking and over-thinking, and every so often… it catches up with me. The unpredictable, gloomy weather; the depressing news from the world-at-large; the looming feeling that I’m failing at any number of little tasks in order to distract myself from more important things… you get the picture.

Well, in any case: if you’re in the midst of an existential crisis, or if you’re just having an old-fashioned bad week, don’t fret. Here’s a little remedy that sometimes works for me. It’s called “Hot Toddy and Pärt.”

What you need:

  • Arvo Pärt’s “Fur Alina”
  • M3.1.P37 I5 in our very own Seeley G. Mudd.
  • Whiskey.
  • One lemon.
  • Honey.
  • Plenty o’ hot water.

What to do:

Heat some water in a tea kettle. Mix with a shot or two of whiskey, the juice of one lemon, and a generous dollop of honey. Experiment to figure out the amounts that suit your taste. Two dollops of honey? Go ahead. Four shots of whiskey? Whoah… slow down, soldier.

Enjoy your “Hot Toddy” while listening to the gentle resonance of Pärt’s “Fur Alina.” Repeat as many times as is necessary.