How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun

PinExt How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun

Now that school is over, or almost over, children will be home for longer periods. Make those days productive and fun. Working with them in the kitchen can be a fun, educational and a safe activity, providing certain rules are followed.

Following directions
In all aspects of life, there are certain rules that must be followed. Working in the kitchen requires certain rules and directions as well. Depending on the age of the child, you may need to repeat directions on how to do different jobs.

Tell and then show the child what needs to be done. Show how to “cut-in” butter into a flour-sugar mixture, for example, using two table knives or a pastry blender. Explain what “folding-in” means and use the spatula to show how you gently bring the spatula over and over to “fold-in” the ingredient. This often refers to folding-in beaten egg whites into the remainder of the ingredients.

Some children can remember a list of more than one jobs. For example, for some you can say: please get out the big bowl, the mixing spoon and the measuring cups. For others, asking the child to do one or two jobs at a time may be appropriate.

Read the recipe out loud to help everyone know what you will be doing. Pictures help, too.

Offer praise and thanks

Make sure you praise the child for offering to help and the work  done. You can also offer such statements as: “We really make a good team here in the kitchen.” “You are doing such a good job of following directions”. “Thank you for helping today.” Won’t our family be surprised when they taste what we made today?”

Following safety rules
There are certain safety rules that must be followed when working with children in the kitchen, such as:

Always wash your hands before working in the kitchen.
Young children should not use sharp knives.
Small appliances are not play toys.
Potholders and not towels are for handling hot dishes. Towels could catch fire from the stove.
Handles of pots and pans should be turned inward.
Always use a separate spoon when tasting food.

Do you have stories about working with children in the kitchen?

 How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun
PinExt How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun

Napkins, “Going Green”, and Manners

PinExt Napkins, Going Green, and Manners
300px Folded napkin 01 Napkins, Going Green, and Manners
Image via Wikipedia

In a recent post I talked about using cloth napkins versus paper napkins when we are trying to “go green” in our kitchens. By eliminating disposables we make one small mark in this vast sea of waste and consumption.

Did you know that people did not always use napkins at the table?

At one time, in very early history, people wiped their hands on pieces of bread. Later, they used handkerchiefs, or small pieces of material, to wipe their foreheads when it was hot and to blot their lips at the table. For a period of time, people just wiped their hands on anything that was available – their pants, the back of their hands, or whatever.

Later, during medieval banquets, tables were covered with many elaborate vessels for holding food. A servant would carry a towel for the lord and honored guests to use in wiping their hands.

Forks came into use in the eightenth century by all classes of society. Napkins varied in size from covering the entire front of a person to smaller sizes. Eventually napkins about the size of our present style became part of the table appointment.

Now, when we sit down at the table, the first thing we generally do is open the napkin halfway and place it on our lap. If you have to leave the table during the meal, the napkin is placed on the chair. We never put the used napkin on the table during the meal. And we never use the napkin for anything except to wipe mouth and hands. At the end of the meal, the napkin is loosely placed on the table to the left of the plate.

That’s our little napkin story for today. I hope you have a good day!

Chef Crombie

 Napkins, Going Green, and Manners
PinExt Napkins, Going Green, and Manners