Keeping Your Family and Your Kitchen Healthy Beginner Kitchen 101 1. Learn which knives do what! A dull knife is a chef’s worse nightmare. In most kitchen restaurants the knives that the professional chefs use are kept locked safely in a case so nobody can access them. True story. There are a variety of knives and they all have different purposes. A quality set of knives will last you a lifetime. In the coming sessions, I will explain each knife and its usage. In the meantime, Just be aware that your knives must be sharp and not over or undersized for the task at hand. 2. Different color cutting boards are a must in every kitchen. By law – each cutting board used must be co-ordinatedd with the food being cut. A red cutting board is for meat products only. A Green cutting board is for veggies only. Wood cutting boards are NOT RECOMMENDED as they cannot be sanitized properly and the grooves made by knives conceal areas that can be contaminated with deadly bacteria. Here is a list of the colors and their function: Blue cutting boards- Raw seafood Green cutting boards-Fruits and vegetables Yellow cutting board- Poultry meat, brown and duck meat Red cutting board- Beef, Mutton red raw meat Grey boards-Cooked food cutting Purple cutting boards- for several kinds of nuts White cutting boards- Dairy, bread, and cookies 3. Do wash your hands. Number one rule in kitchen. Wash your hands. 4. Don’t go barefoot. Non slip shoes are best along with being closed toed. Sandals and high heels have no place in any kitchen. 5. Do know how to put out a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are roughly 172,000 residential cooking fires in the United States each year. In fact, cooking is the leading cause of fires and injuries that occur in our homes. Be sure to always have a fire extinguisher rated for kitchen fires. Never toss water on a grease (fried foods) fire. Extinguish files with lids if necessary. Close the door on the microwave to extinguish any fire that’s inside. 6. Don’t wear floppy sleeves. Long, baggy sleeves can get in the way—not a good thing when you’re dealing with an open flame or hot liquid. In general, tops with fitted sleeves or no sleeves work best. 7. Do mind your pans. When cooking, make sure that pot and pan handles are turned toward the center of the stovetop. That way, it’s hard to bump them and send hot liquid flying. Always have dry potholders or oven mitts close by when handling anything from the stovetop or oven. Wet or damp ones transmit heat more easily. 8. Don’t set a hot glass dish on a wet or cold surface. There’s actually a lot of science behind this tip. Glass expands when it gets warm and shrinks when it cools down, which causes stress, resulting in a combustion of glass. That’s why you need to be careful when putting Pyrex in the oven. Be careful with glass pot lids, too. The best place to set a glass lid is on a trivet, cutting board or potholder. Avoid setting it on a stovetop, especially a glass one. 9. Do lift and stir away from you. When your covered pot has been simmering away, hot condensation will form on the lid. To avoid getting dripped on, angle the lid away from you when you lift it. The same goes for stirring. Make sure you always stir away from your body so you don’t get splashed by bubbling sauces. 10. Don’t use metal utensils on nonstick pans….actually learn to cook better and use stainless steel. If you must use nonstick pans – use the right utensils. nonstick is not the best solution for cooking anything by the way, but using the wrong utensil can be deadly. Metal utensils can cause the surface of the plan to flake or chip – which can become toxic and meld into your food. Ok – Pame – get cooking!