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Dec 17, 2004 01:42 PM

Microplanes - Careful Now

  • c

Watchout, all you amateur gourmets! I was busy grating ginger last night when I slipped and microplaned a substantial amount of knuckle. Ye-owch! I had no idea these things had such a bite. Next time I'll get the one with the handle! Has anyone else had ditsy accidents with innocuous kitchen equipment?

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  1. Besides all of the times I have burned my hands and arms including last night making Christmas dog biscuits. Hmm let's see, I have too have lost some knuckle and fingertip grating ginger too vigorously on a ginger grater, sliced off (fingernails only) using the mandoline, severed the tip of my index finger trying to julienne baby carrots (slipped-finger still looks weird) with a very sharp paring knife, impaled my had trying to shuck clams with an oyster shucker, had my wrist sprained from a broken door of a chest freezer slamming on it, countless slices and stabs after sharpening my knives(sharper does NOT = safer for me) Oh yeah and broke my toe by dropping a really heavy stone platter fill of grilled chicken on my foot ( I brushed it off an served it anyway, the guest wondered why I was limping but declared the chicken delicious.)

    Silicone potholders have helped somewhat - as long as I remember to use them.

    I'm sure there are more - but I have already revealed myself as a klutz.

    1. When I bought my microplane at a kitchen store, my companion teased/criticized me for not buying it a hardware store. I bought it at a kitchen store precisely for the chance of accidents. Your warning to new cooks is very well advised. As for other equipment, I got my finger stuck in the olive/cherry pitter, fortunately I remembered the release hinge thingy. I was pinched but not pitted.

      1. It's no trick to injure yourself on something sharp (I think I grated myself the first time I used my microplane, too) But from something more innocuous: after well over a decade I still have a faint scar from burning myself on the rungs of the oven rack -- I was sliding something onto a middle rack, something slipped, and my hand jerked up and the top of my hand hit the upper rack from underneath.

        I'm not a big fan of mitts, but maybe I should try the new silicon gloves. Maybe you should try the gloves that are supposed to keep you from cutting yourself.


        5 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          With regard to oven burns:
          I once reached into a hot oven to retrieve a baking sheet and forgot to use a pot holder. As soon as I felt and realized my mistake, I put my very pained thumb and fingers under cold running water. Next I filled a small bowl with ice and water and continued to soak the seared digits for about twenty minutes, taking them out of the water for a while when the cold became too painful. I had no pain the next day, the skin nevered blistered, just a callous formed on the contacted area and later when that wore off no mark was left. When you get a burn like the above, the injury progresses after the initial contact. If you stop it immediately after contact the damage is limited to the top layer of skin. Time is crucial.
          I've done that whenever I've had a similar burn cooking with the same results. If you do something worse than that or are in a lot of pain, get to the emergency room fast.

          1. re: MSG245

            add lots of baking soda to the cold water, it is even better
            When you remove the burn from the icy water, coat it with baking soda, and let it dry.
            It's magic

            1. re: MSG245

              I've done similar but dopier. On more than one occasion, I've reached in and tried to pick up a skillet that had been in the oven. Something about the handle sticking out makes me think "grab that" without thinking "hot." I don't do it with cookie sheets, roasting pans, etc. Just skillets. D'oh!

              My 12 year old son is starting to help cook, but he freaks out every time he gets a little burn or nick. I'm trying to get him to understand it's part of the game. There was a spot on Bourdain's "Cook's Tour" where he went into a restaurant kitchen and had the staff show their arms -- all covered with burn marks.

              1. re: MSG245

                I once grabbed a cast iron skillet out of the oven with my bare hand. That is some serious pain. The handle with a hole in the end left a loop-shaped blister on my palm. Miracle that it didn't leave a permanent scar.

                1. re: nja

                  Several years ago, I was cooking pasta in an all-clad pot with the little loop handles. On my crappy apartment electric stove, the only way to moderate the heat to prevent the pot of pasta from boiling over was to slide it halfway off the burner. When I grabbed both handles to drain the pasta, I burned my hand on the one that had been directly over the burner. For weeks, my left hand had a burn mark reading "all-clad" in mirror image.

            2. I was scaling a fish and it was a bit slippery so I grabbed the head by the mouth and I punctured my thumb on a tooth.

              1. I browned a half turkey breast over the stove in my cast iron pan, transferred it to a 400 degree oven for half an hour, pulled it safely out of the oven, removed the turkey, and proceeded to make gravy in the pan without using a potholder.

                Bad idea.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Liz

                  Yeah, I did that once.