BURNED-ON FOOD is more easily fought with vinegar. Keep a spritzer (an old hairspray container works well) filled with 1 part white vinegar & 1 part tap water. Let burnt pot cool, then spritz with vinegar solution, cover & let sit. If burn is bad, pour in a splash of undiluted white vinegar, cover & let sit. If burn is really bad, add 1 part vinegar & 1 part water, cover & bring to a boil. Let simmer 5 min.
CLEAR COUNTER-TOPS A wonderful motivator for freeing your inner cook. so give yourself room to work. Cooking in a kitchen without the tiresome accumulations of life is liberating, so avoid creating a situation where liquid can crash into paper.¬† Experience the energy clearing the decks allows.
CUTTING BOARD Reserve one side of your cutting board for onion and garlic, the other for everything else.¬† Usually there is a wood burn on one side, you could make your own with a hammer & a grommet.¬† Place a damp dishtowel under a cutting board or bowl to keep it secure while chopping or whisking.
DISHWASHING Fill pots & pans with hot, soapy water (except egg & milk dishes) before sitting down to eat so that pot-washing is easier.¬† Don‚Äôt stack dishes to avoiding getting the bottoms of plates & glasses greasy; dish washing will be easier. If you soak dishes in a sinkful (or potful) of hot, soapy water, clean-up will be a snap.
FIRST AID¬† FOR MINOR BURNS (I’m Not a Doctor; this is a Common Sense Suggestion and not Medical Advice)
ALOE Not for eating, but for minor burns.¬† An aloe plant gracing¬† the kitchen is first aid in a pot.¬† Break off a section of leaf, split in half & rub over the dry, burned area.¬† Aloe relieves the sting & helps to heal.¬† Burns that break the skin should be treated by a medical professional.¬† Aloe replenishes itself and, aside from purchasing the original plant, it’s a way to add a low-maintenance element of the outdoors to your kitchen or other moderately sunny window.¬† ICE First response to a minor burn, whether it is from boiling water, or a hot pot, oven or stove surface.¬† Time is the greatest factor here; drop everything & get to the freezer or at least the cold water tap. Cooling with water or ice diminishes the pain & redness until you can get to some aloe (see Aloe, above).¬† Burns in small children or that break the skin should be treated by a medical professional.
FIRE IN THE KITCHEN (I’m Not a Fireman; this is a Common Sense Suggestion and not Anti-Arson Advice) To extinguish a fire, pour baking soda on the flame. Better advice might be to keep towels, clothing (sleeves especially) away from stove burners.¬† NEVER put things on the stove or cooktop except cooking containers.
FOLLOWING RECIPES Make a photocopy of whatever you’re using at the time and tape it to your kitchen cabinet at eye level.¬† (Put tape on a piece of clothing before taping to a painted or wood surface to protect fine cabinets from damage, or use blue painters’ tape.)¬† Highlighting the steps you’ve taken will allow you to keep from losing your place.¬† File recipe pages in a loose leaf binder to create your own working cookbook.¬† You can even keep a diary on the reverse listing when you made the dishes and your thoughts and observations about cooking.
SERVING FOOD HOT Especially in wintertime, fill serving bowls with hot water & let sit to warm them before filling with food for the table.¬† Place plates in sink and run hot water on them for 1 min & dry before putting on table.
WORKING CLEAN This means not only cleaning up as you go, but washing your hands before engaging in preparing food.¬† Like most people, we tend to accumulate dishes in the sink — first sentence to the contrary — so before diving into cutting a zucchini or setting the table, go wash a dish, especially after you’ve been you-know-where.
- When cooking egg or milk dishes, run cold water into used plates, cups & bowls. The cold water will dissolve the milk & egg proteins, making washing them easier. Even if they’re going into the dishwasher. Glassware with a milky coloring? Undissolved protein. Rinse just-used vessels before loading dishwasher, or stack for hand washing.