I suppose my mom taught me theory of cooking and how to make most individual dishes, but most meal preparation I've done was with my dad, who raised the bar by adding vegetable dishes to every menu (which I now realize is a good idea). He taught me a few of the tenets I've been using this summer: toast goes on the toaster as soon as white sauce starts to thicken. Have vegetables ready to steam from the beginning but only put them on heat about ten minutes before you eat. Set the table after five or ten pancakes have been cooked.
The last point doesn't really apply, I guess, since serving dish and eating plate are the same thing for me at the moment.We certainly didn't always get things right in the meals we made, but I'm glad to have learned how to keep a stove busy.