A girl should learn to make a bed,
To bake good biscuit, cake, and bread;
To handle deftly brush and broom,
And neatly tidy up a room. ~1899
- Always work with an adult.
- Wash hands with soap and water. Wear an apron, tie back your hair, and roll up your sleeves.
- Read a recipe carefully, all the way through, before you start it. Look at the pictures. They will help you understand the steps.
- Gather all the ingredients and equipment you will need before you start to cook. Put everything where you can reach it easily.
- A good cook measures exactly. Here is a hint for measuring flour. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup, heaping it up over the top. Then use the spoon handle to level off the flour. Don't shake or tap the cup.
- Learn from an adult how to peel, cut or grate with sharp kitchen tools. Always use a chopping board to save kitchen counters.
- Pay attention while using knives so that you don't cut your fingers! Remember, a good, sharp knife is safer than a dull one.
- When you stir or mix, hold the bowl or pan steady on a flat surface, not in your arms.
- Make sure your mixing bowls, pots, and pans are the right size. If they are too small, you'll probably spill. If pots and pans are too large, foods will burn more easily.
- Clean up spills right away.
- Pots and pans will be less likely to spill on the stove if you turn the handles toward the side.
- Have an adult handle hot pans. Don't use the stove burners or the oven without permission or supervision.
- Turn off the burner or the oven as soon as a dish is cooked.
- Potholders and oven mitts will protect you from burns. Use them when you touch anything hot. Protect kitchen counters by putting trivets or cooling racks under hot pots and pans.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. If you plan to make things early and serve them later, store them properly. Foods that could spoil belong in the refrigerator. Wrap foods well.
- If you decide to make a whole meal, be sure to plan so that all the food will be ready when you are ready to serve it.
- When a recipe gives two cooking times--for example, when it says, "bake 25 to 30 minutes"--first set the timer for the shorter time. If the food is not done when the timer rings, give it another five minutes (or more as necessary).
- Cleanup is part of cooking, too. Leave the kitchen at least as clean as you found it. Wash all the dishes, pots, and pans. Sweep the floor. Throw away the garbage.
We may live without poetry, music and art:
We may live without conscience and live without heart;
We may live without friends, we may live without books,
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.