My 17 Faithful Readers know I love the helpful articles I find in my local paper. I particularly enjoy augmenting these articles with my own helpful tips. You simply cannot be too safe during the holidays.
The article I read suggests first of all that one “never leave hot food or appliances unattended while cooking.” I agree. I also suggest: Never leave a 3-pound piece of freshly cooked meat “resting” on the kitchen counter unattended — particularly if you have pets. The recipe may say “rest” — but to EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, that screams “treat” – ’nuff said. As to the appliances…well I guess if you have a Cuisinart Blender set on MegaHigh, that might not be the best time to run to WalMart, especially if you forgot to put the top on before walking away.
Next up: “Use your stove’s back burner and also turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge.” Well that’s fine if you only have one pan of food to prepare. Now here’s my typical scenario: I have a pot on both the front and back burners. The pot on the front burner is done…I take it off and move it somewhere else to be dealt with shortly. Meanwhile I have to stir the pot on the back burner and the front burner is still hot (note “red” light on glass top of burner denotes it’s hot for those who can’t figure that out by themselves) Wait!! There’s also a very important note in this Article telling me to keep anything that can catch on fire at least 3 feet from the stove. But I’m wearing my special Thanksgiving robe since it’s 7 o’clock in the flippin morning when Gigantor Turkey must be prepared…and what a time to discover the robe from Sears is, in fact, flammable after all. Fortunately, the sink is directly behind me and I can whip that flame-laden sleeve into icy cold water in no time while simultaneously stirring whatever is in the other pan left-handed. Ow.
Here’s another gem: “Keep appliance cords coiled and away from the counter edges and out of reach of the kids.” Have they SEEN appliance cords lately? Lucky if you can find an appliance with a cord on it longer than 3 inches which means the appliance itself must be close to the edge of the counter in order for the cord to reach the outlet (at least on my island counter). Now if I use an appliance not on my kitchen island, but on my counter next to my sink or refrigerator and I plug in that cord…I can’t open the George Foreman grill without the top of the grill hitting the bottom of the kitchen cupboard above it — nor can I put the top on the blender for the same reason. Are there actual Kitchen Engineers out there anywhere or is it because all our stuff is now made in China and counters are shorter over there?
How about this one: “Use oven mitts or potholders when carrying hot food.” Crap, so much for that pair of gerbils I just bought and they were on sale, too.
I like this tip: “Open hot containers from the microwave slowly and away from your face.” I believe it’s much more exciting to whip off that top right in front of your eyes – and don’t forget to grab the microwaveable container with your two lil hands all the while screaming and doing the ‘danged this is hot” microwave dance through the kitchen.
Here’s a goodie: “Create a 3-foot Kid-Free zone around the stove.” Go ahead…mark off 3 feet and then fling the food at the kid’s high chair. Sounds like fun. Better yet, let’s install electric fences Indoors. Color-Coded Collars for Everyone!! Interchangeable designs – depending on the season!! Hi! Welcome to my home; here’s your collar. Too close to the stove? ZAP! That has potential… I need to think on that one some more.
Here’s my fav: “Never hold a child while cooking, carrying or drinking hot foods or liquids.” Okay!! This year try hefting Grandma instead; she’s so old she’ll never feel the burns. Just make sure you push Grandpa and his walker out of the way first — or see comment above about indoor electric fencing…
Finally the article emphasizes we should “NEVER leave hot foods on the edges of counters and tables.” Well of course…we all know the edges of counters and tables are for glasses of wine and sharp knives. Hot food goes on the back burner where you hafta drag your sleeve across the still hot front burner…no, wait, I covered that already.
I’m surprised nobody is concerned with the great chances that Bubba will drop the 25 lb turkey from atop the picnic table into the vat of boiling grease on the back deck thus igniting 4 houses (read: trailers on cement blocks) in the neighborhood in a blazing inferno. Oh wait…that’s probably because I live in an area of Ohio that’s awfully close to Kentucky and they’re used to that happening…nevermind…sigh…