The taste of the too salty cream sauce before it goes on the pasta.
The too black color of the grill marks on the London Broil.
The smell of the sugar and butter solids browning the cookies in the oven after they cooked too long.
The flicker of real fire in the oven the first and second times I tried to reheat a cheese biscuit and forgot it was in there.
How easily the eggs lift onto the spatula, the yolk holding or not holding its shape when flipped.
The sandy seizure of chocolate heated too high.
The omelet that won’t hold together.
My bare fingers absently lifting a cookie sheet straight out the oven.
The curdled vodka sauce looking like scrambled eggs instead of vodka sauce.
The bread dough that wouldn’t rise because the water was too cold to wake the yeast.
Having to buy more cream because the rest is somewhere between whipped and butter.
The pudding that failed the fourth time in a row.
The smoke alarm going off when the paella welded to the bottom of the pan, when the milk burned, when the turkey juices dripped onto the element in the oven, and almost every time I use the oven after cooking for more than one person.
That thing they say when all the dishes are used and dirty, when the kitchen is a mess, when we are sitting on the couch, or at the table, when they taste it, after they have eaten it: “It was delicious.”