Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Kitchen Basics

I am absolutely in love with the scripture Proverbs 31.

 There was a time that I had read it and felt frustrated. I am not sure why our society makes it seem to be such a bad thing to be a housekeeper. I did the usual, I went out and got a very high paying job. I spent the entire day out working. I made great money. Then I came home and felt exhausted without a moment in my kitchen or home.

I was jealous of the pretty housewives with their adorable cupcakes, adorable homes, time to get their nails done, time to keep a pretty home that they decorated, lovely recipes I ached to cook etc.

I was not happier in the career world and I do not believe as women we are supposed to be.
I see Proverbs 31 as a serene paradise now. It brings the greatest joy imaginable and I believe that is how the bible works. It 'seems' to counter what we think would bring us joy... yet when we jump in and do it, it's amazing how much peace we find. Suddenly life is everything we dreamed of.

It is in a man's DNA to be out making a living. I really have found so much peace having time at home. I enjoy having time to groom and decorate. I adore cooking. I love cake decorating. I love entertaining. I love sewing. I believe you will too. I am going to take you through the basic courses that taught me much of this. It will start off simple but hang on. It does get more complicated. If you truly desire to learn, I am positive that you will delight in everything I feel compelled to teach you. Here is my basic schedule outline that I'm hoping to be able to teach you each day:

Mondays: Nutrition,  and Food Preparation
Tuesdays: Weight Management, Menu Planning, Food Presentation and Preparing a delightful table, Entertaining 50's style :)
Wednesdays: Fashion, Sewing, grooming, (more skin care etc)
Thursdays: Homekeeping like a queen, decorating fashionably on a budget, keeping family books and budgeting to alot what you need for expenses, entertaining, entertainment, vacations and more.
Fridays: Childrearing - providing the best for your children
Sundays: Charm, etiquette, elegance, social involvement, spiritual ventures.

So let's dive into cooking :)

"She giveth meat to her household"

"She planteth a vineyard"

Providing food to our household is one of the skills that will require the most planning but it can be so exciting and rewarding at the same time. We have the ability to provide amazing meals with the right training and management of funds. We must work within our budgets and get creative. Once you learn to cook and practice it frequently, you will be whipping out amazing meals in no time.

Make it your goal to have a kitchen that smells heavenly, makes your tummy churn and feels cozy and inviting.

Make sure that you alot enough time to be diligent, trained and careful. The kitchen can be a dangerous place without proper training and with too much sloppiness or rushing. Make time to prepare your meals.
Carelessness can result in burns, cuts, fires, food poisoning and more.
1. Wipe up all spills immediately - slippery floors can result in falls. sticky spots attract bugs and ants and other germs that can cause disease. People walking through may track the mess all over. A quick wipe up now is much easier than the bigger clean up later.
1956 dishwasher. No need to bend over to fill and empty.  My back would like that!
2. Keep counters/areas clean as you work. Thoroughly wipe any area that came into contact with raw meats. Keep a garbage closeby and empty it daily. Clean counters and utensils as they are dirtied to avoid the growth of disease causing bacteria and molds. I love to keep a sink full of soapy water nearby and a squirt bottle with disinfectant right there to keep things clean as I work. Make sure all dishes are done immediately. Ideally as you work. It avoids a messy kitchen later and makes your food prep and after meal cleanup so much easier.
3. Keep your knives sharp and use a cutting board. Cutting boards are designed to keep knives sharp and there is nothing worse than a chipped counter from haste. Learn proper chopping techniques. A sharp knife makes this job so much easier and faster.
4. Be aware of where knife blades are at. Hold them point down. Hand others knives handle first. Don't leave knives in soapy dish water or you may end up cutting a finger accidentally.
5. Avoid hot spills by keeping pot handles from hanging over the edge. I had an awful accident after spending several hours on a spaghetti sauce once... it was a simple bump with my hip and the sauce went everywhere. Keep an eye on where the pot handles are and be careful.
6. Wooden spoons or spoons with plastic handles are ideal for hot foods. Metal handles are a no no when it comes to making or serving hot foods. Watch out if you happen to leave a plastic utensil resting against the side of the pan, it will melt. Wood may be best. Always thoroughly clean wood utensils.
7. Never walk away from a stove when it is burning. If liquid evaporates, food will burn and may catch fire.  Oils and fats can burst into flames. Some foods can catch fire if they boil over. Stay nearby. If you must go, just turn it off until you return.
8. Keep potholders and mitts near the stove. Wet potholders are ineffective. Make sure they are dry. Use protective matts when setting hot foods on counters or tables.
Pretty pink kitchen
9. ALWAYS wash your hands before cooking. We often forget we pet the cat, touched something dirty etc. Keep hand sanitzer or a good soap in the kitchen area and just get into the habit of washing first thing.
10. Keep cupboards closed. I've hit my head far too many times standing up quickly after forgetting a cupboard was open.
View of kitchen from living/dining room
11. Don't touch prongs when plugging in electrical appliances. Don't pull the cord you could create a spark. Make sure the beater is off before plugging in. I had the beater on as I went to plug in the metal attachments and it immediately started spinning giving me quite the bruise on my finger. Water is dangerous near cords. Be careful.
12. Make sure no cloths, cookbooks, recipe cards etc are anywhere they could accidentally touch the stove. Watch draping sleeves etc. Even wooden spoons can begin to smoke on a stove. Hot pads are often left near by etc.
13. NO MORE dirty refridgerators. Make sure they are cleaned and tidy. :) It will make your job so much easier.
1956 Fooderama by Kelvinator.  Anyone whose refrigerator and freezer are that organized need to be heavily medicated.
I love the following: :)
Rules for  a Happy Kitchen
If you spill it, wipe it up
If you open it, close it
If you get it out, put it back
If you wear it, hang it up
If you drop it, pick it up
If you dirty it, wash it
If it rings, answer it
If it howls, feed it
If it needs love, hug and kiss it. :)
Until tomorrow much love and happy cooking

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