Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Cooking Crew

university of louisville rowing team cookbook

I was going through my cookbooks yesterday and came upon something that I had forgotten about—my crew team’s cookbook!

Isn’t that what all Division 1 college teams do in their down time… make a cookbook?


Probably not, but this one was made out of a genuine love for one another and a friendship that could withstand the test of time.  So, here’s the story.  I’ll try to give you the abbreviated version of it.


When I was a student at the University of Louisville many years ago, I was on the women’s rowing team.  Now this crew was like no other, and because we spent more time with each other than with our families (we’re talking a minimum of 20 hours of training per week, not to mention sitting through hours of lectures together), we were really close.  As it were, student athletes have a rigorous and ridiculous schedule.  They eat, train, go to school, eat, study, eat, train, eat some more, sleep, and then do it all over again the next day.  Did you catch the recurrent theme in the previous sentence?  I know that sounds like a lot of eating, but it’s really not when you think about all the calories one burns when working out that much.  It wasn’t long after rowing with this group of women that they figured out that I did not know how to cook.  I could bake, but when it came to cooking an actual meal, I was truly clueless.  Hey, no big deal, right?  Who cares if if a college student doesn’t know how to cook?  Well, in this case, this student athlete’s husband could only eat so much CAKE for dinner.  What!?!  That’s right… I was married, and I was the only gal on the team who had matrimonial bling occasionally glistening  on the Ohio River like a beacon in the night (I’m kidding about all that… lol), but really, though, I was the only one returning home each day to a husband. 


Upon discovering my lack of culinary talent (and in my eyes made me a pitiful newlywed wife), my team made it their mission to teach me to cook.  So, my crew and I, along with my husband, spent one evening a week just cooking with everyone.  We made all kinds of stuff and had the best time doing it.  At the beginning of each week, we would decide what we were going to cook and split up the ingredients amongst everyone.  That way, everyone arrived with what they were supposed to bring, and it didn’t cost each person much money.  This little weekly cooking night turned into a tradition that carried through until graduation.

(I’ve got to go get a tissue because I’m getting a little teary thinking back to those days.)


Now this brings me to the evolution of the cookbook. Before graduation, we compiled our recipes, and turned it into a cookbook so each gal could have something to remember our weekly cooking nights by once they returned to their hometowns.  Each page was filled with recipes and funny thoughts!  This one really cracked me up because we always had on spandex.  Seriously, spandex… all spandex… all the time.  It’s kind of the curse of being a rower!

university of louisville rowing team cookbook (2)


Pictured below are just some of my teammates.  I told you we were close; just look at how close we had to sit when we were in a boat!  How could you not be!?! … lol!



If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thank you!  It feels good to think back to those “pre-Just Drink a Coke.” days, but living in the now with my husband and our three children is even better!  I’m still not a great cook, and I’ll probably never be one, but at least I’ve got a little cookbook filled with great recipes and great memories to help me along the way!


What is your fondest college memory?  Was it cooking with your teammates, partying with your Greek friends, or just hanging out?

I’d love for you to share it here!

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Thanks so much for leaving me a note on your Coke break. I read and appreciate each one :)

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