Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How hard can this be?

I am a decent cook but not a chef by any stretch of the imagination. I can boil water and follow a recipe but I cannot improvise. I don’t know what herbs would taste good with what protein and I certainly can’t just whip something together with the tomato sauce, bread crumbs and fruit cocktail that are currently in my cupboard. (That’d be a pretty nifty challenge for Top Chef – fix something using only the random items in Christy’s pantry!)

But spaghetti I can do. Or at least I think I can until I’m serving it on everyone’s plates. Then I remember I can’t do that, either. I mean, yes, I can boil the noodles and I can brown the meat and I heat up a jar of spaghetti sauce. But what I can’t do is make the sauce not runny on the plate. See exhibit A:

I made spaghetti Tuesday night. When we sat down for dinner and again I saw a runny mess of sauce on everyone’s plate I exclaimed, “Dadgum it! I have been making spaghetti for 16 years. Why the heck can’t I make it so the sauce isn’t runny?!” It would have been okay if only my family had been there but Amy had a friend over… self-editing is a skill I really should learn.

Why does this happen? This runny-ness never happens when we eat at Italian restaurants. Why can’t I figure this out? And does this happen to everyone’s spaghetti at home?

Any advice would be much appreciated.