Do you plan to spend lots of time in your kitchen in the months ahead? This time of year is your perfect opportunity to craft tasty homemade meals and treats the whole family will love.
As always, whether you’re whipping up a postcard-worthy meal, or are baking a batch of homemade cookies, be sure to keep safety in mind with these ten easy tips!
Follow directions for unfamiliar recipes
This holiday season, sticking to the cookbook isn’t just a surefire way to craft the tastiest dish—it can help you avoid burnt food and other kitchen mix-ups, too! For a time of year that’s otherwise busy and full of surprises, it can’t hurt to go by the book as you whip up your holiday feast.
Keep your cooking space clear
It may sound like a no-brainer, but keep your prep and cooking space clear and try to toss out peels, wrappers and other garbage as it accumulates. This will let you enjoy a more orderly cooking experience, and you won’t have to worry about wrappers, cloths or utensils heating up on the stove or getting lost under a pile of supplies.
Give kids and playful pets an out-of-kitchen space to enjoy
While your young chef-in-training might enjoy helping with simple projects like washing veggies or preparing the prep space, give them a comfy spot to enjoy out-of-kitchen as you handle the bigger tasks like chopping or frying foods. The same holds true for playful dogs and cats who can’t help but crowd your kitchen workspace. Your back porch, family room or cozy den can serve as a fun spot for them to enjoy as you help prepare the meal.
Keep an eye on your kitchen
It’s inevitable that you will have to leave your workspace from time to time to answer the door or catch up with visiting family—whenever you do, be sure to turn off the stove (or bring pots to a simmer) and keep an eye on food as it cooks.
Dress the part
Wear something comfy and easy to cook in, like a short-sleeved shirt, and avoid articles that can dangle over your workspace so that the night’s meal doesn’t become part of your holiday look.
Put away food promptly
Whenever you’re finished with a tub of butter or specific spice, be sure to put it away. Not only will this help keep your kitchen space clear and easy to maneuver, but it will keep perishable foods good for plenty of post-meal snacks and leftovers.
Wash your hands regularly
In addition to starting your meal prep with freshly-washed hands, wash them in between steps—most especially when you’re dealing with raw food—to keep them clean and ready to go.
Handle raw foods with care
At the start of many a good meal—including a scrumptious Thanksgiving turkey dinner—is raw meat. When handling it, use separate plates and utensils and avoid reusing them for new dishes.
Turn pot handles inward
Make your stovetop a simpler, safer space to operate by turning pot handles inward toward the back of your stove. This way, they will be safe from accidental spills over the surface.
Use a physical timer
While you may not be able to sync up your entire meal’s cook times, you can use a physical kitchen timer to time key processes like your roasting turkey, for example. Not only will this ensure that you cook it thoroughly—it will serve as a loud, hard-to-miss reminder if you happen to stray from the kitchen for an extended period of time.
We here at Ed Jones Insurance hope that your holiday season is warm, fun and filled to the brim with great company.
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