The Culinary Corner

Reviving helpful hints for the kitchen

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Welcome to my little corner of culinary delights.  From time to time, I like reminding friends of important needs in the kitchen.  This usually deals with safety and cleanliness.  I also like to include helpful hints to make one’s life easier and thus more enjoyable in the kitchen.

I have often stated that glass simply is not allowed in a commercial kitchen.  This is due to safety needs not only to those working in the kitchen but also for those that will be eating the food you prepare.  If a glass item falls, it will most likely shatter.  Time must be taken to immediately clean it up.  If it falls from a shelf or cabinet onto the preparation table, splinters of glass could get into the food.  In a most busy kitchen, there is no assurance that all of the glass splinters will be cleaned-up.  Also, any glass pitcher or bowl that has the slightest chip, glass can flake off into the food.  The chipped area becomes the weak point.  Also, it is not advisable to tap your spoon on the edge of a glass bowl.  The best thing is to not use glass in the kitchen; period.  That includes bowls for your mixer.  Get rid of them.

Here are some reminders on safety practices.  Always keep your knives sharp and stored properly so the edges will not get nicked.  It is said that more people are cut by a dull knife then a sharp one.  If you drop your knife, do not try and catch it.  The best thing is to jump back out of the way.  Never carry your cutting board with the knife still on it.  Never put sharp knives of any kind into the dishwater.  Do not try and carry more than one knife in your hand.  Use a tray with sides if you must transport several knives at any one time.  Water is a great conductor of heat.  Therefore, never use wet towels or wet oven mitts to handle hot kitchen items.

I have heard of people who like to cook in the nude.  Yes, that might be fun for some.  Getting scalded or backing up against a hot oven certainly would not be fun.  Always wear appropriate clothing and shoes for working in the kitchen.  Be a nudist in safer areas of the house such as the bedroom or bathroom.

A very nasty mistake is often made in cooking and that is confusing the baking soda with backing powder.  When in a hurry, it is easy to read a recipe one way and get it in you mind another way.  This is especially true for those of us suffering from dyslexia.  As a rule, I retype my recipes into the professional format.  I also make my own special changes.  One of those changes is to use chemical formulas.  Rather than to write down “baking soda”, I prefer writing down NaHCO3.  Right away I know what to use.

Until next time, peace to all.