Knife Sharpening

Knife Sharpening

Yesterday my oldest daughter made it clear to me that she wanted me to cut up a watermelon we had bought.  I figured this out after hearing her sharpen a rather large knife. Knife sharpening is not a skill I have taught my children.  I’m not sure that it is a good thing for my 11 year old to have taken this on herself.  But it made me realize that I honestly do not know the proper technique when it comes to keeping my knives sharp.  The block they came with includes a long, metal sharpener (which I just learned is called a steel), but my use of it has been haphazard at best. It is one thing to read how to properly sharpen a knife, and another to see it in action.  So for this lesson, I turned to the Internet.  As you can imagine, I found a video that showed me exactly what I need to do.  It also shows how to tell if your knives are sharp enough or have dull blades.  This was something I had never considered beyond my rubbing my finger ever-so-carefully along a knife’s edge.  I also found out that even sharp knives can act dull if not properly sharpened. After watching the above video, I realized that I have been sharpening knives wrong.  I’ve been holding the knives upside down with the blades pointed up, not down the way the man in the video showed.  Looks like I have a new project – to go sharpen all my kitchen...
Cutting Board Safety

Cutting Board Safety

If you have cutting boards, then there is basic cutting board safety that you need to keep in mind to prevent bacterial illness.  As far as cooking tools go, cutting boards are a must-have.  Here are some things to consider when choosing and using a cutting board: Always wash a board after raw meat has touched it before using it again.  Juices from the raw meat can contaminate anything else that touches it, possibly causing food bourn illnesses. Plastic is a better choice than wood simply because it can be washed in the dishwasher.  Wooden boards may get damaged from a dishwasher’s high temperatures. When possible, wash cutting boards in the dishwasher for thorough cleaning, especially if raw meat or poultry was cut on them. If you are unable to wash your cutting board in the dishwasher and it touched raw meat, then wash it in the sink with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of bleach for every quart of water. If possible, use one cutting board for meat only, and any other(s) for non-meat usage.  That is the best way to prevent cross-contamination. Keep your board from slipping by placing a slightly damp dishtowel under it. Cutting boards come in many different materials.  There has been a debate in recent years about whether wood or plastic is safer.  You can learn more about the debate at plastic vs. wood cutting boards.  Regardless of which type you choose, just be sure to practice cutting board safety so you and your family stay...
What To Look For In Measuring Cups

What To Look For In Measuring Cups

Measuring cups might seem like a strange topic for a post, but I feel rather passionate about my newest measuring cups.  The reason I feel so strongly about them is because they are awesome! My previous measuring cups were flawed, but I did not know it when I bought them.  The flaw is that the size of each cup was stamped onto the cups.  Over time, the stamp wore away, until the sizes were completely gone.  Although the cups were still fully functional, I didn’t know what size they were.  If I am going to learn to cook, then I need to be able to accurately measure ingredients when I am cooking recipes. I took a trip to my local kitchen store to buy a new set of cups, and I was very surprised to see that every set, but one, had the sizes stamped on.  The price of the cups did not matter.  The most expensive cups at the store I was in was about $10, but I knew that they would eventually become useless once the stamping wore off. The one set that had the sizing made as a part of each cup also happened to be the least expensive.  I was shocked to see that this set cost just 99 cents.  Not only did it have the sizes imprinted into the handle, where it would never wear off, the cups were also indented so that I could fill the cups partially and accurately. What I mean by this is that the One Cup size was indented at 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup intervals, so I could...

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