Kitchen Rules for New Cooks

For the first time in many years, people began cooking at home rather than eating out.

After a few weeks of picking up takeout orders and going through fast food drive-thrus, many more people decided to try cooking at home.

Married or single, everyone should know the basics of cooking.

That was my thinking when our first child went off to college.

I put together a cookbook in a binder with most of the family's favorite meals. I've thought about publishing that cookbook, which I entitled EAT WHAT YOU LIKE, but can never find the time to get it on my publishing schedule.

I figured if my kids had recipes and instructions, they'd prefer eating what Mom would have cooked rather than having burgers and fries and pizza every day of the week.

Instead, I'll continue to occasionally share items from it with you which brings me to today's post.

Kitchen Rules

1. The number one rule in the kitchen is: cleanliness is next to Godliness—and cruical for good health. Wash your hands before you start cooking, and wash them often as you cook.

2. If you have a guest in the kitchen who wants to cook, make sure he/she washes hands too.

3. Keep all surfaces clean and sterile. When you've been prepping food on the counter, wipe the counter off with a sponge or dishcloth (sink full of hot soapy water to wet the cloth or sponge and wring it out)  or spray counter with Clorox Cleanup.

4. In the kitchen, bacteria can bloom to lethal proportions faster than you can imagine. Any time you touch raw meat, wash your hands before touching anything else.

5. Keep 2 cutting boards. One for meat; one for everything else.

6. After using the cutting board for meat, wash it in hot, soapy water. Then spray with a product containing bleach or a homemade spray mixture containing bleach. Let the mixture set on the board for at least 5 minutes. Rinse and air dry.

7. Be careful handling eggs. Salmonella can be on the egg shell or inside the carton. Wash your hands after handling eggs. If you reuse an egg carton for any purpose, wash it first in hot, soapy water and let air dry.

8. If you use a fork, spoon, or similar utensil to turn raw meat, don't use that for to taste from or to touch the meat after it is cooked. Put it in the sink or dishwasher and get a clean utensil.

9. In fact, do not taste from cooking utensils. Use a clean teaspoon or fork each time. Go to a dollar store or charity thrift store and buy a dozen cheap spoons and forks. That way you always have a clean spoon or fork for tasting.

10. Use dish towels freely. Have stacks of dish towels. Personally, I like the 100% cotton bar towels.

Keep one for drying hands only. Change the towel if there are a lot of people in the kitchen cooking and washing hands.

To dry dishes, get a clean dish towel every time.

11. Toss the used dish towels into the washer or laundry basket every time you need to get a new one. I

n the evening when you finish in the kitchen, put out a clean dishtowel out for in the morning.

Takeaway Truth

Cooking is fun. So is eating. The last thing you want is to make someone sick because you have lousy cleanliness standards.

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