Idaho has been useful in a couple of ways. I have learned a lot about my likes and dislikes and also about a few basic skills.
Obviously, I've learned that I love California a lot more than I thought I did, so rather than beat a dead horse, I'll skip that point. As far as basic skills, I have learned so much about cooking! It's been a lot of fun actually, especially since having Paul up here has forced me to need to cook real meals as opposed to the normal college meals of top ramen and granola bars (not that I don't eat a lot of granola bars!)
I think my favorite thing that I have learned to cook lately has been potatoes. Of course, right, coming from Idaho, I have to learn how to cook potatoes correctly. I taught myself how to cook baked potatoes and mashed potatoes so far, both of which, happily, turned out better than I even expected them to. In fact, I thought they were rather amazing, and so did Paul:)
I've also enjoyed learning how to make enchiladas, which is a recipe I got from my mom. Unfortunately, they are a little out of our budget (with the ridiculous price of chicken lately) but I really like making them. Eating them is also enjoyable but the making of them is a lot of fun actually.
I've also just learned how to plan meals in general, which is going to be incredibly helpful once I'm married... actually, it's already necessary now, as Paul and I are on a pretty tight budget. I make lists for each week of what we're going to eat then a subsequent grocery list.
Earlier this week, Paul and I went to the church-run thrift store (pretty much everything is really nice still but really inexpensive) and got what is likely to be our most favorite appliance ever. We bought this very new looking smoothie maker for only 8 dollars. It's basically a blender, only with a little nozzle at the bottom that conveniently pours into your cup at the flip of a switch. The cleaning took us about 30 minutes though. It looked clean on the outside, but it certainly wasn't on the inside. We had to use qtips and take the entire thing apart (luckily it really is pretty compartmentalized) and scrape out all of the dried fruit stuff. Our first smoothie was incredible! It has already, this week, paid for itself. We just have to make sure we take it all apart each time so that nasty dried, crusty fruit doesn't happen all over again:)