Sharpling with Luke Barbano ’18 and Victoria Hou ’17

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

When I first envisioned writing a column on the unique concoctions our most resourceful students create at Sharples, I thought the task would be quite simple. One or two conversations later, however, and I realized that while those unicorns of cafeteria creativity must be busy cooking somewhere, few people know them personally. Or maybe Swatties are just modest and afraid to answer the question “do you make anything awesome at Sharples?” with an affirmative.

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Victoria Hou ’17 prepares fried rice at the wok.

By happy accident, however, I noticed Victoria Hou ‘17 getting inventive at the Sharples wok on the last night of September.

After explaining my mission, I asked Hou what she was making. “Fried rice,” she replied. As I ran to grab my camera, she finished sauteing a colorful mixture of corn, mushrooms, bell peppers, cucumbers and other vitamin-filled miracles of Mother Nature. I barely had time to take a picture before she had incorporated half a bowl of rice and some previously scrambled eggs to the mix. Seasoned with soy sauce, her fried rice shone deliciously, a beacon of hope for those who have had more time to get tired of Sharples food and are more motivated than me.

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Luke Barbano ’18 drizzles honey as he prepares ice cream.

Although I was dying to learn the recipe for Wow Butter Sunflower Seed Honey Ice Cream from Luke Barbano ‘18, I had a lot of difficulty sneaking the recipe out of him. As it turns out, the recipe was actually created by Isabella Smull ‘16, so Barbano was reluctant to take credit for the conception of this coveted confection. As time dragged on, however, and I repeatedly approached him to ask whether I should keep waiting for Smull to appear, he eventually caved and offered up his expertise.

Long story short, Wow Butter is combined with honey, sunflower or flax seeds and vanilla frozen yogurt. Eaten with a fork, this dessert, which might be spurned by some for its vomit-like appearance, truly speaks for its own delightfulness.

Victoria’s Fried Rice

Victoria’s Fried Rice.

2 freshly scrambled eggs
Half a bowl of rice
Bell peppers
Soy Sauce

Saute the vegetables with oil in the wok. Combine with eggs and rice, season with soy sauce and pepper. All of these ingredients should be available at Sharples at any given time (soy sauce and oil are in the cabinet under the wok).


Isabella’s Wow Butter Sunflower Seed Honey Ice Cream

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Isabella’s Wow Butter Sunflower Seed Honey Ice Cream.

Vanilla frozen yogurt
Wow butter
Sunflower seeds
Drizzle of honey

Combine all the ingredients with a fork and experience the delights. Vanilla frozen yogurt is frequently available; all the other ingredients are available at any given time.

All images courtesy of Sophia Zaia ’18/The Daily Gazette

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