I think the only way I’m going to get better at this is to evaluate the results and figure out how to improve. I’ve got a multi-step approach here:

  1. Ask whoever eats the food what was good and what was bad
  2. Admit what was good and what was bad to myself
  3. Figure out why the bad was bad and why the good was good
  4. Make some hypothesis about how to fix the bad and clone the good
  5. Resolve to do them

Both Debbie and Val liked the pasta.  I thought it came out pretty well.  So there wasn’t really much bad at the end.  But a few observations:

  • I cooked the whole recipe, which was humongous.  Because it wouldn’t fit in any of our pans, I used an old stainless steel Dutch oven we’ve had for years, which was graduate-student stuff when we bought it.  It doesn’t handle heat well, so there are hot spots all over the bottom which burned during cooking (the recipe involved sauteeing all kinds of stuff).  Note to self: get a better pot
  • I was scrambling at the end to coordinate the stuff sauteeing in the pot and the pasta cooking in boiling water.  I miscalculated when the water would boil and had some (mildly) heart-stopping moments at the end when I was worried the sauteeing stuff was going to burn before the pasta would be ready.  It worked out, but the takeaway is: Never underestimate how long it takes a mass of water to come to a boil.

I guess that’s it for this week.

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