Chapter OneKitchen Safety
The kitchen can be a dangerous part of your home. Sharp knives, boiling water, and hot oil are just a few things that can hurt you. But you can make your kitchen safe by following a few basic safety rules.
1 Always check with an adult before cooking. Talk about what you are allowed to do by yourself and when you need an adult's help.
2 Keep the Kitchen Clean
* Wash your hands thoroughly before and after cooking. Also, always wash your hands after handling raw eggs or meat.
* Carefully wash and dry any cutting boards, countertops, or utensils that you have used for cutting raw meat before using them for anything else.
* Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking with them.
3 When Using the Stove and Oven
* Ask permission before using a stove or oven.
* Never fry with oil at a high temperature.
* When using a frying pan that contains oil, never leave or turn your back on the stove.
* Clothing can catch on fire, so don't wear baggy shirts or sweaters when cooking. If you have long hair, tie it back with barrettes or wear a ponytail.
* Spray a pan with vegetable oil cooking spray only over the sink-not over the stove.
* Don't overfill pans with boiling or simmering liquids.
* Never use the oven, handle anything hot, or hold a pot handle without a pot holder or oven mitt. Use only dry pot holders, since wet pot holders will transfer the heat from the hot item directly to your skin.
* In case of a stove fire, have an adult smother it by covering the fire with the pan lid or pouring baking soda on it. Water should never be used on this type of fire-it only makes the fire worse.
* Open pan lids away from you to let steam escape safely.
* Always turn pan handles toward the back of the stove. If they stick out, you can bump them and burn yourself or splatter hot food.
* Use long-handled spoons when stirring.
* Never have little children in the kitchen when you are cooking. And keep pets away as well. Your attention should be focused on your cooking.
4 When Using Any Appliance
* Ask permission before using any appliance and make sure you know how to use it.
* Frayed electrical cords or damaged plugs and outlets can be dangerous. Tell an adult.
* Operate appliances away from the sink or any standing water.
5 When Using a Microwave Oven
* Use only proper, microwave-safe cookware, paper towels, paper plates, or paper cups.
* Always leave a small opening in a covered dish so that steam can escape during cooking.
* Never remove anything from a microwave without pot holders or oven mitts.
* Always open the food container slowly and away from your face and hands so you won't get burned from the steam.
* Certain foods, such as potatoes and hot dogs, need to be pricked with a fork before you cook them in the microwave. Otherwise they might burst.
* Never cook a whole egg in the microwave-it will burst!
6 When Using a Knife
* Always ask permission before using any knife.
* Don't be distracted when using a knife-you could cut yourself.
* Always pick up a knife by its handle.
* For slicing, slide the knife over the food using a back-and-forth motion.
* Always cut away from your body and away from anyone around you.
* If the knife falls to the floor, don't try to catch it.
* Keep all knives toward the center of your work space-never at the edge of the work space. Someone could get hurt.
* Knives should be used only for cutting foods, not for anything else-ever.
* Never put a knife into a sink full of water. Wash it immediately with a sponge, keeping the blade facing away from you.
7 When Measuring
* Always put the measuring cup on a flat surface when pouring foods or liquids into it. Don't hold the cup in one hand while trying to pour with the other hand.
* When pouring dry food, such as flour or sugar, into the measuring cup, lightly tap the bottom of the cup on your work surface to settle, or pack the food tightly, in the cup. Then readjust the amount if necessary.
* Never fill a measuring cup while holding it over a bowl filled with other ingredients. If you pour too much and it spills into the bowl, your ingredients will not be accurate.
* Measure salt accurately. You can easily add more salt to the dish while you're eating, but it is impossible to remove salt once you've added too much.
A Note About the Ingredients
You will be able to find most of the ingredients used in these recipes in your local supermarket. Some of the ethnic ingredients can be found in ethnic or specialty shops. For example, the rose water used in the sweet lassi recipe can be found in Asian markets or health food stores. I will always tell you in the recipe where an ethnic ingredient can be found.
If for some reason you can't find an ingredient locally, you can find it on the World Wide Web. But you must check with an adult first, because the adult will have to order it for you. Here is a web site address that is helpful:
When you get to the web site, just ask a question like, "Where can I buy German foods?" and you will be given a list of places to order the food you need.