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Mar 31, 2011 04:31 PM

Public Service Announcement: Kitchen Essentials

* A fire extinguisher

* Aloe, ice, or a bag of frozen peas

* Band-aids, neosporin, gauze, and surgical tape.

The kitchen is not a safe place. It has fire. Scalding oil. Boiling water. Sharp knives. With respect to equipment, you need to be able to safely hold your pots and pans. No wobbling. They can't be too heavy for you.

With respect to the third bullet, well...When you slice your hand you don't want to be running upstairs into the linen closet looking for these things, while bleeding all over the carpet.

I've had a hard day. Sigh.

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  1. I hear that! I had one of those days yesterday. No fire extinguisher,but luckily A box of kosher salt worked for me. I'm going to purchase an extinguisher this weekend.

    2 Replies
    1. re: petek

      I hope your reference to a box of kosher salt doesn't refer to bullet point #3!

      1. re: nofunlatte

        Lol! No nofunlatte I used the Kosher salt to douse the flames not to heal a burn or cut.

    2. Car safety. People always talk about the difference between safety measures during a car crash (e.g.: selt belt and air bag) versus safety abilities to prevent a car crash (e.g. acceleration and deceleration abilities).

      In light of this, I will also list:

      Avoid kitchen TV

      Avoid unnecessary multi-tasks outside of the kitchen (e.g. try to pan fry a steak while cleaning the bath tub).

      Maintain sufficiently sharp knives (they do not have to be excessively sharp, but they should never skate on foods)

      Practice good knife skills (about half of the people I know incorrectly grip a kitchen knife or incorrectly hold the foods)

      Remove tripping hazards (if you have kicked your kitchen mats more than a few times, it is time to remove it)

      Maintain a sufficiently large counterspace to work

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Since watching knife skills drilled in on "Worst Chefs", I've been much more conscious of where my hands and fingers are while I'm cutting things.

      2. E_M, I feel for you! I've been nursing a particularly grisly finger incident for four weeks. Which prompts me to opine that another kitchen essential would be a "NO COMEDIANS ALLOWED" sign to warn funny-guy spouses off practicing their wit when I'm chopping things. At least I know that knife was indeed sharp.

        Seriously, I think the kitchen is *the* place for the first aid supplies. I maintain a stock in the bathroom, but the kitchen is where the serious supplies are (I have a vast boutique of bandaging options in my always-stocked first aid kit, for good reason). Add in finger cots to your first aid supplies. They'll save you in the kitchen. At least they do me. Well, after the fact, I guess. But still.

        I whole heartedly echo Chemicalkinetics' statement about tripping hazards. I have once and for all banished all rugs in my work area. It's just not worth it.

        Heal up! Today's got to be better!

        5 Replies
        1. re: cayjohan

          Need to include pets as tripping hazards. My 2 retrievers are such food hounds (pun intended) that they are constantly underfoot. I have tripped over them more times than I care to remember. Fortunately, the cat is smarter and chooses to watch from her safe perch on the barstool.

          1. re: baseballfan

            You have a smarter cat than mine! My three ribbon around my ankles constantly while I'm cooking. They are indeed a tripping hazard. To that end, we have a spray-bottle filled with water and labelled "Cat-Smartener." It gets deployed when there are cooking events that would work better without a trio of beggars. Necessary measures, at times - although I am enchanted by my kitchen 'helpers.' Most days, I'll admit, I just do a peculiar foot-slide to nudge the offending cat out of harm's (his/her or mine) way and go on with it, but with certain cooking, it's better to simply distress the cats and get them outta there, isn't it?

            My dearly departed greyhound was a larger potential kitchen hazard, but had a desperate fear of slick floors. If there wasn't a rug, he wouldn't go there, wherever-there-was. Related, somewhat, to my decision to banish kitchen work area rugs.

            1. re: cayjohan

              I've threatened to use the squirt bottle on the men I've lived with to stop them from feeding cats human food!

              1. re: tracylee

                I've used the squirt bottle on the men I've lived with. <g> For the same reason I've used them on my cats!. <vbg>

              2. re: cayjohan

                I too do the pet slide around the kitchen most of the time. Sometimes I just can't take it though and have to banish the offending dogs to the yard. It's usually when I am doing large scale baking or cooking for a dinner party or holiday.

                I think the cat dislikes being trampled by the much larger dogs hence her perch on the stool.

          2. Can I banish individuals who insist on leaving cabinet doors and drawers open? If I never have another bruise on my hip or scrape on my forehead I will die a happy woman.

            5 Replies
            1. re: aggiecat

              Yes, do let's invent a cabinet door that swings shut of its own accord. My kitchen is skinny, and if I had a nickel for every time I bonked my head on an open cabinet door, I could afford a wider kitchen. Or a full-time cabinet-closer-person.

              1. re: small h

                Now THATs a job that would give me satisfaction. I can DO that job!

                1. re: aggiecat

                  Come on over, by all means. Because it's glaringly obvious that I do not have the skills required.

              2. re: aggiecat

                Or people who decide they need something from the freezer while *you* are rooting around in the crisper? Yesterday was the second time the boyfriend got me with that trick. The first time, I stood up and nailed the back of my head on the freezer door. Yesterday, a box of pop of popsicles slid out and caught my ear.

                1. re: onceadaylily

                  The best thing about moving to the house we're in now is the French door fridge with bottom freezer. I don't think that's hyperbole. Before that, I had a head-injury rate that would concern the NFL.

              3. How right you are!! I like to think of myself as very good with knives--I can sharpen with a steel or honing stone, I can use them correctly and quickly and I never cut myself...
                Until that day my dad came home from the VA. We were all so tired, he'd had a big stroke and then had a quad bypass right afterwords. He was going to be fine and was allowed to do his own cooking--they actually helped him re-learn how to manage cooking and the kitchen.

                I bought him one of those gloves for use while chopping and he wouldn't wear it. We were kind of nervous I mean, how do you let go and supervise at the same time?

                I was helping out as he said I could chop the onions. Mind you, right before his stroke I had gifted him with brand new very sharp knives. Oy!!

                Well, I sliced deeply into my finger and blood was everywhere and I'm glad I didn't lose part of my digit! I laugh now at the thought of my dad saying "that just isn't something you'd do, you're not clumsy with knives at all." Well, I was that day!

                A bunch of gauze in the kitchen would have been great.

                Years later, he deeply sliced into his hand and now he wears the glove AND they have gauze in the kitchen!

                We have a fire extinguisher in our kitchen, band aids, gauze, hydrogen peroxide and even a tube of triple antibiotic goop right in the kitchen. What can I say? I like to be well prepared, just in case.