Remember that thing I said a couple of days ago about going with the tried and true when cooking for others? Unfortunately, your dear narrator probably needs to follow his own advice. I decided that since I was doing MoFo, I was invincible and could get away with anything, so I went out on limb and made a dip that I'd never made before. I'll spare you the details and say that it didn't come out as I'd hoped.
The meal on the other hand, was great. Our hosts made a great Pumpkin Saag with Green Onion Paratha, and Chocolate Raspberry Cookies for dessert. Delicious.
And I got to take a tour of someone else's kitchen. It was great to get a chance to see the space that someone else has to work in and just kind of picture how I'd work in that space. Since starting this month-long project, I've really thought a lot about what I could to to improve my productivity in the kitchen. You see, I tend to be a little bit geeky -- remember, you're talking to a software developer here -- from time to time when it comes to cooking.
This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I keep a clipboard in the kitchen with paper and pencil on the counter top. If there's any complexity in the meal, meaning if I have to manage more than one thing cooking at a time, I'll get my clipboard out ahead of time and write a rough timeline for when I think things need to happen. 6:10pm: turn the oven on to 400 degrees to pre-heat for 20 mins, 6:15: start chopping vegetables, etc, etc.
If that's not geeky enough, I keep a second list of the actual times that I start or finish the tasks that need to be accomplished, just so I can make sure that things are moving along properly and so I can see where I misunderestimated things and improve my estimates in the future.
And since we've gone this far, I may as well just say it. I don't stock my clipboard with just any paper, it has to be graph paper, in case I want to, you know, do some trigonometry or something while waiting for my water to boil.