Ratatouille is a precious commodity around here, as I've mentioned before. We all love it. Cliff's St. Louis sister likes it so well that she bought all the ingredients needed to make it, looked at the recipe I posted on my blog, and started cooking.
Unfortunately, it was a miserable failure. Hers was dry, she told me. The more she tried to fix it, the worse it tasted. We went over the recipe on the phone, and she had used the proper amounts of everything.
So this past weekend she brought the ingredients for another batch (my garden was being a little stingy, what with the recent rain) and asked me to make it while she watched; perhaps, she thought, she could figure out what went wrong.
I started cutting and chopping and got everything in the pot. "That's all exactly like I did it," she said, perplexed.
Then I put the lid on and turned it down to simmer.
"Oh, I didn't put a lid on," she said. "Do you suppose that's the problem?"
She kept peeking through the glass lid, remarking on how much liquid there was. She seemed amazed, really. Mine usually has so much liquid that I take the lid off toward the end and let it simmer until it thickens a little.
So we solved the mystery, and hopefully she has a life filled with the joys of ratatouille.