1 August 2007

Safety Moment #4: Kitchen Appliances and Tools-II and a Meme

Continuing the series from here

Microwave ovens

· Make sure the microwave is located at approximately waist level and within easy reach, to provide for ease in the lifting of hot foods.
· Follow manufacturer's instructions for operating microwave ovens.
· Cover foods cooked in microwaves to avoid splattering.
· If the food is covered during cooking, make sure to leave a small portion vented, or uncovered, so steam doesn't build up and burn you when the covering is removed. Use caution when opening covered containers. Open containers away from the face because they could be extremely hot.
· Do not microwave whole eggs in its shell. Always prick potatoes, eggplants, sausages to prevent steam buildup and an explosion.
· Be aware that food cooked in the microwave can remain hot long after the microwave turns off. Use appropriate personal protective equipment such as hot pads when removing foods from microwave.
· The foods should sit as directed in the recipe after being removed from the oven so the heat can continue to spread and dissipate. This is called 'standing time', but it is actually more cooking time.
· Most ovens have hot spots, and if you eat the food directly from the oven, a few areas could be superheated and will burn. On the flip side, there can also be cold spots where the food doesn't get hot enough to kill bacteria. Follow stirring and rotating instructions carefully.
· Do not use metal foils or containers unless the recipe specifically directs you to. Microwaves bounce off metal, which can cause arcing and a fire inside the oven.
· Some recipes may call for shielding parts of the food, especially meats, with small amounts of foil. This is perfect acceptable as long as the directions are carefully followed.
· Keep the interior of the microwave clean to avoid splattering and popping.
· Make sure door seals are in good condition and free from food or grease buildup. Never operate a microwave if the door is damaged or doesn't close securely. Damaged ovens may emit harmful radiation.
· If you notice any sparking inside the microwave, immediately turn off the microwave, unplug it and do not use it, until it is repaired.
· Do not operate the oven while it is empty. This can also cause arcing and start a fire.
· Make sure any glass, plastic containers, and plastic wrap you use are labeled 'microwave safe'.
· Do not heat water or other liquids beyond the time recommended by the manufacturer or any recipe. Superheating can occur when plain water is heated in a clean cup for an excessive amount of time. The water will look innocuous, but when moved it can literally erupt out of the cup. Don't heat the water twice - that adds to the superheating risk. Adding sugar or coffee granules/teabag to the water before heating it will reduce the risk of superheating. But never add sugar /teabags to freshly microwaved liquids while holding the cup in your hand or close to your face.
· It's also a good idea to stand atleast a foot away from the microwave when it is operating - just to be on the safe side and avoid microwave radiation. Be advised that microwaves may interfere with the workings of pacemakers.


· It is important to monitor and maintain the temperature of the fridge. Find the refrigerator setting that keeps the temperature within the range of 1 to 3º C (34º to 40º F) or colder throughout the refrigerator.
· Be sure that the refrigerator doors are closed tightly at all times. Do not open the doors more often than necessary and close them as soon as possible.
· It is important to remember that cool air in the refrigerator moves downward and forces warmer air near the bottom to rise. This circulation of air is essential in maintaining the appropriate temperature throughout the unit.
· The placement of food is also important for refrigerator safety. Do not overpack the shelves with food. The refrigerator air needs to circulate to keep every food item at its optimum temperature.
· Food storage: Cover foods to retain moisture because the air circulating in the refrigerator will dry out any uncovered or unwrapped food items. This also prevents them from picking up odors from other foods.
· Clean out the fridge clean regularly.
· Freezer temperature should be maintained between 0º F and 5º F (-17º C and -15º C).

Stoves and Cooking ranges

· Always make sure the oven and stove top is clean. If not, clean them thoroughly and safely. Residue grease and food can catch fire.
· Keep pot handles turned inward, away from the edge of the stove. Don't wear long, loose sleeves that can hang over the stove while cooking.
· Flammable fabrics, such as towels, dish rags or curtains can be ignited merely by being used or stored near a gas or electric range.
· Vapors from contact cement, gasoline, cleaning fluids or other flammable liquids can be ignited by the pilot of the kitchen range.
· Always remember to switch off the stove when not in use.
Asha has given more tips, read here.

Disclaimer: All information is taken from various sources on the internet.

Lately, it's been raining meme's on foodblogs and I was happy to escape being tagged. But I was tagged twice yesterday by Dhana and Ramya to reveal Seven Random Facts about myself. So here it is…..

1. I used to be a very reserved and quiet person, but am pretty talkative now. I was a very good Bharatnatyam dancer and quite passionate about it, but lost touch after college.

2. People I meet remember me a girl with long hair. My hair was so long – a hereditary factor - it would inch towards my knees if I didn't trim them. Even today if I run into someone, they will check how long my hair is and chide me for cutting them off!!

3. Right from my babyhood, I entered the kitchen only to eat, and never to cook, observe the on-goings or help around. My younger sister was just the opposite; she knew how to dice the veggies for sambhar or slice them for aviyal from the time she was 2 or 3 years!! Everyone mentioned how clever and nice the younger one was and how I didn't know anything. Obviously, I didn't like that. So one day I told my mum I'd help her to cut French beans. Help I did and with the beans, I also cut my finger. Seeing all the blood ooze out, I nearly fainted. After that, I didn't venture to the kitchen for a long, long time!!

4. In high school, I showed "interest" in cooking. I told my mum that I would make vegetable biryani every Sunday. But I had some conditions – I hated to chop the vegetables, so mom had to do that bit. And since she was anyway at it, why not cook them and keep aside? Then ofcourse, she had to keep the masala ready. I didn’t know to cook the rice, so that was her department too! So come Sunday, I'd return from my dance classes and enter the kitchen, put on my apron, fry the masala and layer the biryani and tell everyone I had made it!! I thought it was boring to make regular home food. Everything I made would be christened Shahi something, or Nawabi something or Royal… you get the hint?

5. I hail from a veggie family and had never seen chicken bought, cleaned or cooked ever before I got married. The first time I made chicken, I felt a whole range of emotions!! And the chicken burned! I kept mum about the chicken and didn't serve it to my BIL and family who were invited to lunch. But my better half announced that it was my first trial, and both he and BIL being magnanimous, were eating the burnt chicken!! God bless them. After all my cooking escapades, I have a foodblog!!!! And I have to say, I've come a long way from the burnt chicken days!

6. I enjoy reading books, articles, anything. I love traveling; my husband travels a lot on work and I'm ever ready to travel with him to Iran, Sudan, Azerbaijan, Aberdeen, Papua New Guinea etc etc….. except that my pleas fall on deaf ears!

7. I'm very sensitive to smells. A strong perfume may make me faint!

Now who do I tag… Mallugirl (Malabar Spices), Meeta (What's for lunch, honey), Sandeepa (Bong mom's cookbook), Susan (Food blogga), Anita (A mad tea party). Take it if you like.


sra said...

Jyothsna, your meme was fun. I enjoyed reading about your biryani skills!

Poonam said...

Enjoyed your MeMe!

Sandeepa said...

Wow you a dancer too and with such lovely hair. Now you make me check your hair too :)
Thanks for the tag, but I did it long time back

Padma said...

It was nice reading your meme, i can relate to your 1 and 2 points...Briyani skills is amazing... so girl where is ur apron?

Neelam said...

Jyothsna, nice meme, enjoyed reading it and thanks for the tips they are very informative.

Sia said...

he he he...u r really funny jyo. ur biriyani cooking episode is hilarious:)
so u too are a bharatanatyam dancer? thats so cool:) i just skimmed the safety moment part. will check them in detail. couldn't resist reading ur meme:)

Asha said...

Great collection of tips this month J! What's for August,update please!:)
Burnt chicken! Hahaha!! Why doesn't he take on all that wonderful places? Hide in his suitcase next time or don't feed him when he comes back!!:D

Suganya said...

I used to cook like you did biryani. But thats how moms slowly pull us into the kitchens..

Sharmi said...

lovely meme Jyo. really enjoyed reading it.

archana said...

Nice meme , and gr8 to know you :) I found it really funny the cutting of french beans episode. very cute ;)
Your tips on safety are very helpful.

Srivalli said...

your meme is fun to read...so nice of your in laws...eating your burnt chicken...


Jyothsna said...

OK ladies, so no one read the Safety Moment!! I'm going to hold an exam now!! :)

Sra, Poonam, Padma, Suganya, Sharmi, Srivalli - Thanks :)

Sandeepa - The tag, thats ok. Long hair has become short now :)

Sia - I don't dance now :( Did you read the Safety Moment???? ;)

Asha - Next topic updated!! and thanks for your contribution! Hubby is a nice guy, he took me to the nice places he goes to :))

Neelam, Archana - You deserve a pat on your backs, you read the Safety Moment!! :)

SeeC said...

Good and useful tips.

Interesting MeMe. Nice knowing you Jyo. I do admire at ppl with hong hair. But it is hard to maintain.

SeeC said...

Forgot to mention that I have given a link to your blog from mine. Hope it is fine with you.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Jyotsna

THose safety tips are invaluable and I enjoyed reading your meme!

So you've studied Bharat Natyam, wow, I find everyone that has studied the discipline tends to have a very graceful walk.

I love that you were a late bloomer in the kitchen, perhaps there's hope for my high school-going daughter too? Presently, she doesn't even know how to boil an egg or make coffee!

Gosh, your hubby does go to some very interesting places, lucky him! I hope you get to travel with him soon Jyothsna!

Pravs said...

Reading the safety moments, i learnt a few things i should be taking care off.
Very nice MEME... :D

Sig said...

Nice meme girl... So, can we see pics of your hair now and then? :)
And thanks for the safety tips too...

Nanditha Prabhu said...

your safety tips were very useful! Thanks for that!
it was nice to read about you...wow you had long hair!( mine never grows beyond a limit!...:()
good to know that we both share a passion for dance...and Im lucky to be still able to pursue it!

Roopa said...

fun reading your meme! long hair hmm i too loved for once i can never make it grow :). wonderfull tips on MW :)

Prema Sundar said...

nice meme and enjoyed reading ur first chicken adventure and making biriyani...

Jyothsna said...

A pat on your backs for reading the Safety Moment! :)

SeeC - Thanks! You may link me.

Lotus - Thanks! Graceful walk? Well people have mentioned but I haven't noticed.
Now, my mum thinks I'm competition!! Don't fret about your daughter, one day she'll outdo you :)
Travel, I go to the nice places with hubby :)

Pravs, Roopa, Prema - Thankyou :)

Sig - For pics of hair you'll have to mail me :) During my early married days I still had waist long hair :)

Nandu - I grew my hair long since I was learning dance! Then I wasn't allowed to cut them!!!! I've taken all liberties after I got married :)

Mishmash ! said...

Biriyani episode was a classic one :)

hehhe...now I am trying to imagine you with long hair :)


Cynthia said...

Hey Jyothsna, like Sra said, your MEME was fun reading and enjoyable. I wonder how short your hear is now :)

Susan said...

It was fun getting to you know more, Jyothsna. I especially liked your story about the chicken--very funny. :) I hope you don't mind, but I'll have to pass on this one since I've already done this meme. Thanks though!

Jyothsna said...

Shn, Cynthia - :) I still have long hair for US standards - just below shoulder length :)

Susan - Thankyou! The tag, its okay!

Vcuisine said...

Thanks for the tips Jyothsna. Veryuseful they are. A nice meme and it was interesting to read. Viji

Jyothi said...

Hi Jyothsna, very nice to know about you and lovely meme and also thanks for the tips and lot of information. Thanks for sharing and great weekend.

Jyothsna said...

Thankyou Viji and Jyothi!

Suma Gandlur said...

Those were great safety tips and a lovely meme.

Jyothsna said...

Thanks Suma!

Kajal said...

Nice to read your Me Me and also like your Briyani Skills.....

Jyothsna said...

Thanks Kajal!

Raaga said...

enjoyed reading your meme. Especially the bit about the biryani :-)

And my parents are vegetarians, but my mom made chicken to impress my dad... he used to eat non veg back then... to this day he says the poor bird wasn't even dead!

Jyothsna said...

Raaga - I'd be glad if certain people had short term memories of such matters :) Thanks for stopping by!