The other day, a friend said to me that one of the most important things cooking can teach us is restraint. That we come into cooking like toddlers in a fingerprinting session, unable to control ourselves from using all the colors and painting everything in sight. But hopefully, over time, we learn when to hold back and apply the less-is-more rule. He was commenting on the dinner he had attended the night before at the house of a new cook. "It was delicious," he said. "But it was a little heavy-handed. Too much garlic, too many flavors, a few too many dishes. She hasn't learned yet how to edit, how important simplicity and restraint are in cooking."
My friend has a point, but he was only halfway there.