Six hundred and eighteen

Tips on common sense cooking (lessons I learned the hard way over the past week)

Tip #1: pay attention when using sharp knives

It’s the first time I’ve used a knife since deciding it would be fun to stab myself in the hand full force, hitting the muscle, bleeding and hurting like hell.  Although I do consider myself a much-improved cook, I’ve got a long way to go.  And no, I didn’t stab myself on purpose or think it was fun.  I was trying to fit a big knife into it’s sleeve; I didn’t realize the sleeve was open on the end, the knife got stuck, I pushed harder, it slipped in through the sleeve and out the end, into my hand.  Yes, ouch!  And yes, it was very stupid!  Alas, these kinds of injuries do happen when using sharp knives.  I am recovered, although I do have a large bruise on the palm of my left hand still, one week later.  And I’m a little more tentative while cutting today.

Moral of the story: don’t have your hand behind anything you’re pushing a knife into.

Tip #2: cut onions before putting on makeup that is not waterproof

I just looked in the mirror to find black makeup running down my face, after crying from cutting onions.  Enough said.

Moral of the story: buy waterproof mascara.

Tip #3: when you’re having someone over for dinner, plan ahead, or else you’ll end up serving them almost rotten vegetables

I am absolutely THE WORST for this.  I always think I have all the ingredients in my house to make something, then find out as I’m starting to cook that the pepper I had in the fridge that I bought a couple of weeks ago is feeling pretty mushy, and I’ve run out of rice, but have some quinoa in the back of the cupboard.  I always end up making something with the all the ingredients I have, but never quite what I set out to do.  I’m getting better at this, but it’s a challenge for me.  (Don’t worry friends, I don’t ever serve you completely rotten vegetables)

Moral of the story: check the quality of veggies in the fridge before planning to use them in a meal.

Tip#4: wearing white white cooking something red is not a good idea

I’ve had to change so many times because I’ve splattered on my clothes.

Moral of the story: wear an apron – always.

Why I still keep cooking despite my silly mistakes:

I know many of these seem like common sense.  And yes, they are.  Sometimes my common sense is overshadowed by the many thoughts rolling around in my head.  Sometimes it’s hard for me to fully concentrate on one task when I’m thinking of my next blog post, or some big idea I have, or what I’m doing the following week.  I’m slowly learning that when it comes to cooking, it’s best to pay attention completely to what I’m doing. I think this might be why I’m learning to love it: it’s one place where I am forced to get out of my head and just do it.  Cooking is peaceful for me (when I’m actually focusing), and that’s why it’s worth a stab in the hand, or tomato sauce on my white blouse, or mascara running down my cheeks.

9 thoughts on “Six hundred and eighteen

  1. #2 and #3 I am so guilty of doing. Although I was taught a method of cutting onions that doesn’t make you cry as long as you don’t stick your face too close while cutting (and no it’s not under running water). It’s really quite effective and I use it all the time! Plus my onion comes out diced or sliced perfectly. I wish I knew how to explain it via wordpress comment, but I think it will be a lot of words without a whole lot of sense.

    • Thanks Shannon. If you can think of a way to explain it, I’d love to hear it. I could use a good method! I used to put a spoon in my mouth while cutting them and it worked sometimes. It looks so silly, though, so I can’t really do it when I have guests over!

      • I cut it in half then set it on the cutting board with the open end facing the hand with the knife. I then slice the onion in even horizontal segments (not all the way through – knife faces away from you in this case). Then slice from top to bottom in equal sizes perpendicularly to the way I’m holding the onion (the knife is facing your hand holding the onion). Finally I cut the onion all the way through towards my hand (again the knife is facing away from you). It makes perfect diced onion bits without the tears.

      • I’m glad it made sense. You definitely got my wheels spinning trying to explain it. As far as why you don’t cry, I think you’re right about it being because you have less exposure to the open onion…

        I also forgot a step! Be sure to peel it first, but you can do that part under running water 🙂

  2. I love this post, Lindsay! Maybe it’s the shared love for food and desire to make it… or that you’re making a memory for you and some friends because of that food. And your last sentence says it all – sometimes it’s worth a stab in the hand. 🙂

    In the words of the famous chef from “Ratatouille”: “Anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great.” – Chef Auguste Gusteau

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