Despite Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that spring is on its way, I headed over to Miller Hall on Friday armed with my kitchen kit to make a classic winter dish: chicken noodle soup (minus the chicken).
I was suspicious of the Miller kitchen — it seemed too good to be true. From the outside, the modern appliances and waterfall countertop over the island give the room a contemporary and clean impression. You almost forget you’re in a dorm. Surely it must have a dirty little secret … literally, a dirty secret.
As I began boiling, sautéing and chopping my ingredients, Miller’s true colors began to show. Although I had ample clean counter space, a pile of dirty dishes next to the sink emitted an unpleasant odor. The large drawer-style trash bins under the island made for easy cleanup, however they did not stay shut when closed, contributing to the omnipresent stench.
Unlike Carmichael Hall, the fridge was not a source of vulgarity (thankfully). Miller residents, you’ve done well on that front — I commend you. The floor and appliances were also clean, aside from a few small food scraps on the stovetop and in the sink.
In terms of functionality, I would compare Miller to a cup of coffee from a gas station. It’s not the worst, but you wish it was something different.
The aforementioned unclosable trash drawers under the counter required me to bend at the waist at a 70 degree angle just to prepare my meal on the countertop. Additionally, the dials on the stove were not user friendly, and led to me wondering why my broth wasn’t boiling. As it turned out, the stove was not on.
On the positive side, the close proximity of the sink and stove was convenient for rinsing and cleaning; however, there was a perplexing lack of paper towel dispensers. A free floating roll was available, but needed to be hand-ripped for use.
Supplies-wise, I am reluctant to give Miller points. Yes, there are many dishes and kitchen tools in the vicinity, but they are only usable if you’re alright with risking food poisoning by using them. I steered clear aside from a couple of spoons, which I thoroughly scrubbed. I’ll leave your immune system decisions up to you.
Miller really put its best foot forward when it came to vibes. The large island had four stools which allowed for company as I cooked, as well as a convenient spot to enjoy the meal with friends. The open concept design connecting the rest of the common room brought many opportunities to chat with friends and passerby as they came in and out of the building, although this also led to feeling exposed and distracted at times.
The soup was more similar to stew in terms of thickness, but no complaints were made. The homemade focaccia (taken straight from the soup area of Dewick) was dipped in the broth and served as a grand finale to the dining experience. No complaints with the results.
Supplies: 8/10 (bring dish soap though)
Recommendations: Consider bringing a nose plug to combat the smells. If you don’t have dishes of your own, you’ll need bleach for the Miller supplies.