Don’t forget to cook the noodles!


I want to tell you about a personal story about when I was growing up. One of my favorites, and most enjoyable classes in Junior High was Home Ec.

“Home economics, domestic science or home science is a field of study that deals with the relationship between individuals, families, communities, and the environment in which they live.”

I learned so many useful things that have helped me for years after the class… cooking, sewing, ironing, party planning, even organizational skills. But my favorite was cooking. I love to cook! Some people eat to live, but I live to eat (and cook).

Well after learning how to cook using a cookbook in Home Ec class, I decided to show off my new skills to my mother and grandmother. So, I told them I was going to cook them dinner and we set up a get-together. My dad, my mother, and I all met at my grandmother’s home so that I could cook for them.

It was a special occasion for me and I was as excited as the mad hatter at the tea party. My mother and my grandmother both asked me if they could help me, but I wanted to do it all by myself and show them I could cook. I really wanted to make them proud of me.

I had already picked out the recipe and gone to the store with my mother and got all the ingredients. Now in grandma’s kitchen, I went about reading the cookbook and cooking my first real meal. By the way I chose to cook lasagna.

I followed all the directions and it seemed really easy. Then when the lasagna was done I waited a bit for it to cool and then cut it up and served it to my family. I was so excited to have my family taste my first meal.

Then for the final approval. I just waited on pins and needles to see what my family thought when they took their first bite. I didn’t even try it myself. And as they took their first bites, I heard crunch, crunch.

Yes, “crunch, crunch”!

My dad didn’t say a word, he just stopped eating. My grandmother just smiled and said, “It’s very good dear,” and she kept eating. My mother finished her first bite and then said, “It has a good flavor, honey, how long did you cook the noodles?”

I was happy they liked it and I happily replied, “It was in the oven for 45 minutes.” My mom then said, “No honey, how long did you cook the noodles before you put the lasagna together?” I said, “Huh? What do you mean, cook the noodles before I put it together?”

Then she explained that I was supposed to cook the lasagna noodles before putting the dish together and cooking it in the oven for 45 minutes. Oops!  I thought that I had followed the directions in the cookbook to the letter and I didn’t remember it saying to cook the noodles first.

My family was so thoughtful though as they all finished their lasagna plus the salad I fixed to go with it. Luckily nothing was wrong with the salad. My grandmother even told me, “I like it better crunchy, dear.”   She knew how horrible I felt messing up my first meal for my family as I really wanted to please them.

Well, after we all finished dinner, mom and I looked at the cookbook together and the ingredients said – 1 box of lasagna noodles (cooked). Obviously, I missed that one word and boy did it make a difference. Since I had already purchased the ingredients, I skipped over that part when I began to cook and only read the directions on how to put it together.

On that day, I learned to be more detailed when reading a recipe and to watch EVERY word and to think about it. Nowadays I read through the entire recipe and its ingredients once before making my grocery list and then again before starting to cook. Plus, I have the recipe open and go over it line by line when putting it together.

How does this lesson relate to horses?

Follow all the instructions and don’t leave anything out.

Just like the list of ingredients in a recipe is where you start… with horses you start out with building a relationship based on trust. The horse has to be in the right state of mind emotionally and physically before you start your training. There has to be a foundation of trust before beginning a connection and a relationship.

Before you jump on your horse, you make sure you get some training on how to ride, right?

Well, your horse needs something too… a relationship. Before you jump on your horse to ride, your horse needs to know who you are, that you won’t hurt him or her, what your intentions are, and if you can be trusted.

You have to have the right ingredients to make the right connection and have the right relationship, just as you need the right ingredients to make lasagna.

Don’t forget to cook the noodles!

As a postscript to this story, no-boil lasagna noodles came out a few years later and my mom bought me a box for Christmas!  It became our running inside family joke.  Mom and I laughed for years about it.

​​If you would like to know how I start my relationship with a new horse, you can watch my new Stallion Series videos at no cost coming soon on my Facebook page…TeddieZieglerCoach

And if you have questions about an issue you currently have with your horse, watch my new online training and then you can schedule a call with me – also at no cost.  I’m always willing to help you and your horse anyway I can.

Do you have any funny cooking stories? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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  • As I was commenting the post got interrupted but, it is yes I’ve had a few experiences cooking as well as around my horses and ponies. Always be sure not to mistake salt for sugar and always check tack as well as wear boots. I thank you for your training tips and when upon getting anouther horse I will gratefully use your tips. Thank you again, Connie Lombardi

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