1.) Season your pasta water. No one likes flat, doughy tasting pasta. There's no real measure. (indicative of water hardness / other mineral contents). However, it SHOULDN'T be "salty" but taste markedly of salt. kapeesh? 2.) Thicker asparagus is usually marked by being more tender, but in most restaurant applications, you would cut more off, or literally peel the bottom half of your veg to reveal the softer innards. You always want thinner asparagus, this is a good sign of seasonality, as well as a developed flavor (not scraggly, but thin) 3.) Certain varieties of mushrooms should never be washed. primarily due to the loss of ESSENCE from them... do some research to find out which ones can be washed with no problem (ie button, porcini, and shitake) and the ones that you'd be doing severe injustice to by all measure of the laws of nature (ie chanterelles, and other aromatic assortments) 4.) Bananas ARE slightly radioactive --- FACT.