Not only are they fun to watch, but I learned that I can cook my pasta by turning off the heat after I add the pasta to the boiling water, covering it, and letting it cook in the hot water. I know it sounds really simple, but I hadn't realized that the pasta would cook just as well without the boiling. Not only that, but for me, it takes the same amount of time it would take if I left the gas on, and it doesn't use any energy, and the pasta doesn't stick as long as I give it a stir a couple of times.
I also realized that I can apply this method equally to other foods like hot cereals. I love oatmeal but I have a love-hate relationship with it because I almost always either boil it over, or burn the bottom, or cook it correctly but have to scrub the pot afterwards due to the oatmeal sticking to the bottom of the pot. Thanks to Grandma Clara, I now boil the water, stir in the oatmeal, turn off the heat, let it sit a minute as the burner cools down, and then pop the top on. I come back 5 minutes later and my oatmeal is perfectly cooked and there are no grains of oats stuck to the bottom!
Sometimes the greatest triumphs in cooking are small ones that affect items you cook frequently.