Let Me Just Tell You…

Hillel House
Entrance of the Florence & Chafetz Hillel House, located at 213 Bay State Road | Photo by Nicole Seese

When I walked into the Hillel House on Thursday night, I was only expecting some sushi. Instead, I walked out with two of the best-kept secrets at BU.

I won’t lie; ever since I laid eyes on the Hillel House, I have been slightly intimidated by it. I mean, the building is gorgeous, and between that and its claim to fame as BU’s center for Jewish life, I wasn’t quite sure I fit the bill to become a regular there.

I felt that way about the Sargent Choice test kitchen. Growing up, I was the girl who you didn’t trust within 10 feet of the kitchen, so the idea of taking on a Sargent Choice recipe wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Sargent Choice meals are, well, pretty damn good, and I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever be able to recreate one.

Let me just tell you: I was wrong.

On both accounts. Seriously, I was wrong.

First things first, at some point in the near future, go to the Hillel House. Just grab your stuff and head over there–you can always thank me later.

If you think the outside of Hillel is beautiful, wait until you see the inside. Simply breathtaking.

Oh, and did I mention that there’s an art gallery on the second floor? Not your thing–how about the pool and ping pong tables situated conveniently next to the free coffee and tea offered all day long. You can grab a cup and lounge about in the spacious second-floor study area, equipped with quite the view and a sizable TV, instead of trying to find peace and quiet among the mobs constantly crowding Mugar.

Hungry for a little more? How about the free Shabbat dinner every Friday night–that’s right, free. All you have to do is sign up (or even show up–if there’s an available spot, they’d be more than happy to have you fill it); you do not have to be Jewish, just a student who’s looking for a delicious, and let me repeat, free (I’m looking at you upperclassmen with cupboards full of ramen) meal.

Sorry to sound like an infomercial, but with so much hard work and dedication being channeled into these awesome opportunities and resources for students, I think they deserve to be utilized. It’s only fair.

Which brings me to the Sargent Choice test kitchen: same thing as Hillel – just go to one and try it. It’s fun. Seriously.

Sushi Rolls
Not quite the sushi we ended up with–but pretty close. | Photo courtesy of user mompes via Stock.XCHNG

Karen Jacobs, professor of occupational therapy and faculty-in-residence at StuVi 2, hosts the program during her office hours every Wednesday night from 8-11 p.m. and on select Thursdays at Hillel. After prepping a Sargent Choice recipe (all of which are vegetarian, although that shouldn’t deter any of you carnivores from coming!), the night continues with board games, lively conversation, and the consumption of a delicious treat you just whipped up, Master Chef style.

Thursday night was sushi night–brown rice, avocado, cucumber, carrot, and tofu sushi. Sound too healthy for you? It definitely didn’t taste it. A crowd nearing 50 gathered around a table of freshly cooked rice and sliced veggies to join in the making of hand rolls, and though the rice really wasn’t sticky enough to hold the rolls together, it didn’t stop anyone from diving right in, coming up with handfuls of hand rolls and facefuls of smiles.

So the next time you’re scared to approach something new on campus, cast your fear aside and go for it– and if you need somewhere to start, let me suggest the Hillel House or a Sargent Choice test kitchen night.

Or just do what I did and hit them both at once – it’s a pretty great deal.

The next Sargent Choice test kitchen will be held on Wednesday, October 16, in StuVi 2, Apt. 2302, from 8-11 p.m. The featured recipe will be Dim Sum (and for those of you who, like me, don’t know what Dim Sum is, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dim_sum).

For more information on Sargent Choice test kitchens and a list of future events, visit http://blogs.bu.edu/kjacobs/faculty-in-residence/.

For more information on the Hillel House and the programs it offers, visit http://www.bu.edu/hillel/.

Nicole Seese

Nicole Seese (COM '15) is a native Pennsylvanian who spent 19 years of her life convinced that her home state rivaled Texas in size. Her interests include wandering aimlessly, listening to other people tell her their stories, and snuggling up in any type of worn-in flannel attire. She fears strawberry seeds and escalators and will probably judge you if you don't judge her for that.

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