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The Basics of Cooking, part 1

The Basics of Cooking, part 1

Safety in the kitchen

Before you even start cooking, there are a few things you need to be aware of and a few things you need to do to ensure that you will get through your cooking session unhurt.

Find the cutting board you want to use and to make sure it doesn’t slip when you are using a knife on it, take a tea towel, soak it and wring all the water out of it so it is only just damp. Put that under the cutting board. This will make sure the board cannot slip or move.

Whenever you are using knives, you have to ask your parents for their permission first and if you do not feel comfortable using a knife, you can ask them to cut up your ingredients which you can then use to make a meal. If you are going to use a knife, it is generally safer to use a sharp knife than a dull knife, since a sharp knife immediately digs into what you are cutting whereas a dull knife might slip off. Either way, you have to be careful.

When you are cooking meat or fish, make sure you do this on a separate cooking board and with a different knife than what you are using to cut your vegetables as you should not mix the bacteria from the two different types of ingredients.

Reading a Recipe

First of all, read the entire recipe before you start cooking to make sure you know what you will need and that it is ready for you to use. The list of ingredients is usually set up in the order the ingredients will be used, so you know what you will need right away and what you will need later. Reading all the way through a recipe is usually also a good idea as some ingredients may need some time to get ready, for example “softened butter” needs to stand outside of the fridge for up to an hour before it’s ready.

When you read the ingredients list, make sure you are aware of where the commas are. If the comma is after the ingredient, but before the way it is prepared, it means you have to prepare it after you have weighed it. For example; “200 g peeled apple”, means you need to peel an apple and then use 200 grams. “200 g apple, peeled” means you need 200 gram apple, which you peel after you have weighed it.

To make cooking easier and faster, you can set all the ingredients out on the table in the right measurements before you start cooking to make it easy for you to simply grab the ingredients when you need them and then throw them into your bowl. Similarly, as soon as you are done with a bowl, a spoon or something else, you should put it directly in the washing machine or wash it off by hand as this will save you a lot of time and effort at the end of your cooking session.


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