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SMC Dining Hall launches ‘Recipes from Home’ initiative

| Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Instead of complaining for a weekend away or a good night’s sleep at home, students can now cure homesickness with a simple trip to the dining hall. Saint Mary’s new “Recipes from Home” initiative will introduce some students’ favorite foods to the rest of the school, as the dining hall will now serve a different requested meal each month.

Senior Mary Kate Luft presented this idea to Barry Bowles, director of dining services, last year. (Editor’s note: Mary Kate Luft is a copy editor for the Viewpoint section of The Observer.)

“He was more than happy to work with SGA and make these special meals of our choosing,” Luft said. “I’m excited to show students that dining services does take their opinions and wants into account when choosing what to serve.”

According to Luft, the reaction so far has been positive.

“Many people have come up to me and told me they are looking forward to ‘Recipes from Home,’” Luft said. “They think it’s a great idea. Many people have already submitted recipes.”

First-year Morgan Matthews said she looks forward to trying foods she normally would not. Although she hopes that her dad’s seafood medley will be one of the featured “Recipes from Home,” she also recognizes the value of experiencing other people’s favorite meals.

“I was so excited when I first heard about ‘Recipes from Home,’” Matthews said. “There will be such a wide variety of foods presented. Everyone will get to try something new. A girl can only have so many hamburgers.”

Matthews said “Recipes from Home” will make her feel like she’s at her own dining room table back in Pennsylvania, but she mostly looks forward to the surprise element, since there is a new meal each month.

“I’m not going to know what to expect,” Matthews said. “It’ll add some excitement because it’s more of a mystery.”

Matthews also said she appreciates the effort that the dining hall staff has invested to make this new initiative a success.

“By asking us our opinion, they are incorporating the views and opinions of the student body,” Matthews said. “They are serving the exact meals that we ask for and trying to make us feel comfortable.”

According to Luft, that is the whole purpose of this new approach.

“Part of being a college student is complaining about the dining hall food, because it can’t compare to what we have at home,” Luft said. “Barry Bowles and I will choose the recipe of the month based on the viability of it to be prepared in the dining hall and what we think students would most enjoy.

“The best part of ‘Recipes from Home’ is that students can have meals similar to what they eat at home, which hopefully will make them happy,” she said.

With some of students favorite foods made available, Luft hopes that students realize that the dining hall prioritizes their individual requests.

“‘Recipes from Home’ will personalize the dining hall for students by giving them more of a say in the food that is served, which will hopefully provide them with a more positive and interactive experience in the dining hall,” Luft said.

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

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