Since the beginning of the pandemic, many have found it easy to get lost in the chaos and monotony of everyday life. According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, symptoms of depression have tripled in adults in the United States as a result of COVID-19 stressors. During this time, it is important to establish a productive routine that helps keep your mind alert and your body active. For some, food and beverages have been a huge comfort. During lockdown, many people started to try new things with food and beverages, whether at home or from businesses. Social media played a huge part in this as people from all over were sharing videos of recipes, tips, tricks and at-home how-to tutorials.
For Chloe Walrad, a freshman majoring in news media, she found herself trying new things with bread, a true essential in baking, to escape “quarantine boredom.” Walrad said she has always loved to bake, and her favorite baked good is Red Velvet Cake. She has tried everything from cakes and cookies to bread and pretzels. She had familiarity with making pretzels, so she decided to try and bake bread. While learning how to make bread, she’s picked up a few tips for those trying to make this cornerstone baked good.
“Don’t mess with it too early like when it says to rise for an hour, it’s better to air on 10 minutes more than that than 10 minutes less,” Walrad said. “Read through all the directions ahead of time because sometimes they have weird directions, so you know what you are doing and don’t try to make substitutions if you’re not sure what you’re doing.”
For those in residence halls with community kitchens, baking may not be the easiest task, but Walrad is looking forward to going home and being back in her own kitchen.
“Whenever I go home, I always like to cook and bake. I’m definitely looking forward to being able to cook my own meals,” she said.
While some students have favorite comfort foods, like bread, others find comfort in pick-me-up beverages. Coffee is often seen as the constant companion of college students. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but the majority agree coffee is a necessary and a much-enjoyed part of their day.
Coffee is often seen as the constant companion of college students. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but the majority agree coffee is a necessary and a much-enjoyed part of their day.
Walrad recently made whipped coffee at home after seeing tutorials on the social media platform Tik Tok. Whipped coffee, also known as Dalgona coffee, requires four things: instant coffee, water, milk and sugar.
Instructions: Blend equal amounts of instant coffee, hot water and sugar together until creamy. Then, pour the mixture over hot or cold milk. An optional step is to top the coffee with cocoa, coffee powder or honey.
Honey Almond Milk Cold Brew
Every college student has some form of a caffeine fix, whether it’s energy drinks, tea or coffee. Coffee is probably the most common and with it comes the great coffee debate: Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
Parker Stokely, a freshman majoring in economics and Spanish, goes to Starbucks daily to get her coffee fix. Her favorite drink is an Iced Chai Latte with vanilla sweet cream foam on top.
She said she always wanted to try new drinks but never knew what to try, and that’s where Tik Tok came in.
Stokely began to try new drinks recommended to her by a Tik Tok user, Annaxsiatr, who has made multiple posts about new drinks to try at Starbucks.
Stokely said although the two girls have different taste preferences, she likes most of the recommended drinks.
One of the most recent drinks she tried was the Honey Almond Milk Cold Brew.
“I don’t really know how I feel about this, but I tried it anyway, and it was actually really good, which I wasn’t expecting,” Stokely said.
She recommended the iced chai latte with vanilla for non-coffee drinkers and for coffee lovers the caramel macchiato with blonde espresso.
Stokely is also looking forward to the addition of Starbucks summer menu items.
“I’m excited for the summer whenever the S’mores frappuccino comes back. I don’t like frappuccinos typically, but the S’mores frappuccino is one of my favorite drinks,” she said.
While some enjoy Starbucks, it isn’t for everyone.
Autumn Carpenter, a freshman majoring in English and French, is a big Dunkin Donuts fan, and her go-to drink for the longest time was the Vanilla Bean Summer drink.
Carpenter said she is really picky with her coffee and likes really sweet cold drinks. She and her mom tried mixing the Coolatta base with regular coffee, and ever since then, “it’s been an experiment.”
When the pandemic really started picking up in 2020, she started to experiment and try new things in her coffee. Carpenter and her mother saw Dunkin Donuts had a blueberry flavor, so they decided to try it with their regular iced coffee with Splenda and vanilla bean.
“Blueberry and coffee don’t really sound like they go together, and [they thought] this could be very sketchy, but it was so good, and it’s our favorite,” Carpenter said.
She said she had tried a plethora of add-ins to her coffees, including chocolate, caramel, blueberry, two different types of vanilla, toasted almond, toasted coconut and the seasonal gingerbread flavor for Christmas.
“I recommend the Charli Cold Foam, which is really good, and the Nutella drink which is a large cold brew with three pumps of hazelnut and mocha and oat milk,” Carpenter said.
Dunkin Coolatta with Coffee