My DH recently invited my SIL over for dinner on the condition that we buy the ingredients and she does the cooking, with us on stand-by for assistance. It's kind of our way to help her "learn how to cook" you might say. She's always over at our house for dinner but has never invited us over to her house because she says she doesn't really know how to cook.
Well, she picked out a tagliatelle with bolognese sauce. We substituted tagliatelle with fettucine since we doubt that my SIL is ready to make her own pasta.
Here's what I noticed.
She had 4 hours to prepare dinner. She watched soap operas for 3 hrs and didn't read the recipe until an hour before dinner. Apparently, she thought it would be the same as spaghetti and meat sauce, the sauce being from a tomato sauce can instead of a jar. Actually, she didn't really read the recipe fully, just skimmed it and said, "I'm ready to cook." Oops #1, didn't read the entire recipe.
Half way through making the bolognese sauce, she realized that the instructions required simmering for 2 hours. Oops #2. She said that wasn't going to happen.
Oops #3, she never tasted her bolonese sauce. Just added the ingredients exactly to the recipe and skipped over the part about "adjust seasoning as needed." She also missed the part that said if the sauce seems on the dry side, add more olive oil. So it ended up to be a very dry, almost sauceless bolognese...er, sauce, that lacked flavor.
Oops #4, she walked away from the boiling fettucine about half way through to play with the dogs. DH took over just in time to keep the pasta from being overcooked. Her comment, "I was coming back. I just needed a little break."
Overall, was okay considering this was her first try. I think her biggest problem was not reading the recipe in its entirety ahead of time, and perhaps lacking a bit in attention to details. Neither DH nor I wanted to interfere too much because we felt she would best learn from her mistakes. Did she learn? I don't really know but maybe we'll try this again sometime to find out.
Oh yeah, I should mention that she's a 33 year old woman.