Section: Opinion

Peirce the monotony of meals by creating new recipes

By Kate Ridley

It’s one of the most cliché phrases that comes with the beginning of each school year. It lurks everywhere, from an email sent by your relative to an innocent, preppily decorated recruitment poster taped on the wall of your dorm bathroom. When I read the words “new year, new you!” they’re normally accompanied in my head by a deafening internal groan.

But just because I would jump for joy at a more original combination of adjectives and nouns doesn’t mean I don’t agree with the sentiment the saying represents. Although this concept applies more to first-years than upperclassmen, it doesn’t change the fact that the beginning of the new academic year is the perfect time to implement new habits that may benefit you in the future. Yes, what I’m saying is that if college is a time for experimentation.

Specifically, my favorite kind of experimentation — food experimentation.

To first years who happen to very much enjoy creative culinary combinations (myself, for instance), Peirce Hall can seem like the zenith of gastronomical exploration. I’ve been told that this fresh enthusiasm will be beaten, dead and buried by the end of October, that I should already put away my excitement and submit to the tyranny of predictable dining experiences. But I say it’s a new year, and thus the perfect time to orient newcomers (and re-orient upperclassmen) to possibilities in Peirce yet untried. We wouldn’t have chocolate chip cookies, potato chips or corn flakes had it not been for creative tinkering — let’s not stop now.

Most know about the concept of “Peirce hacks.” By this stage, they are not simply another one of the Hill’s quirks, but have practically become a Kenyon tradition. The magic that results when a Peirce cookie hits the panini press is legendary, and so, inspired by this trick and others, I decided to formulate a recipe of my own — an unhacked Peirce hack, so to speak.

It all begins with a maple brown sugar scone (which I recommend you grab a few of and hoard for later, because they’re astonishingly scrumptious and often available). Start by cutting said scone in half lengthwise, so you have two ends of a sandwich. To each side apply a layer of honey, some cinnamon-sugar and some brown sugar. Then, go to the cereal bar and find that one with marshmallows in it; get a cupful and, although this sounds terribly wasteful, pick out the marshmallows and put them on a scone half (as many as you desire). Finally, head over to the soft serve bar and drizzle chocolate sauce on top of your honey-sugar-cinnamon-marshmallow masterpiece. Place the other side of the scone on top and there you have it: a Peirce s’more.

Granted, it is missing the gooey bliss of fresh-roasted marshmallow, but it’s still a fairly decent representation and, in my opinion, a delectable (though messy) one. The panini press might be the solution, but, at the same time, I can only envision the gooey and oozing aftermath that might be covering our beloved presses afterwards. And who wants to clean up that messy, marshmallow covered press? Nobody. But I’m not at all saying don’t take risks with the panini press; the world (of Peirce) is your oyster!

So go ahead, put salsa on your salad instead of dressing if you want some spice in your life. Sprinkle salt on your honey-drenched banana in the morning if you want that sweet and saline vibe. I recommend approaching a new year at Peirce like the Activities Fair: sign up for too much if there’s any chance at all you might like it, but you don’t have to keep going to meetings (or keep eating your culinary invention) if you don’t. You are the captains of your own destinies; you are the masters of your own meals. Just because Peirce is Peirce doesn’t mean it has to be boring, and just because “new year, new you!” is a cliche idea doesn’t mean it’s not a good one. It is a new year. Go assault your senses with never-before tasted concoctions. Who knows — you could be the next inventor of something as simple and great as a Peirce cookie in the panini press.

Kate Ridley ’18 is undeclared from Piedmont, Calif. She can be contacted at


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