Monday, 29 May 2017

A safe pair of hands

Grandma Abson was never too explicit about baking temperatures. The oldest recipes in her collection were not precise with ‘cool, slow, fast, warm, moderate, fairly hot, hot and very hot’ being common descriptors. Her early years cooking on Yorkshire black leaded ranges had equipped her with that mysterious knowledge of what was just the right heat for 
In fact, much of her expertise in baking was based on practice she thought was common sense such as making sure the oven was heated up and getting the ingredients to room temperature before starting to mix. 
Modern ovens have good temperature regulators and controls so we can preheat our oven and know when it’s ready to put in our bakes. Oven mitts and gloves provide essential protection for our hands to take things in and out of the oven.
Back in Grandma’s early days as a below stairs cook for  her employer, Mrs. Hick and her family, Grandma had been told to put her hand in the oven to check the temperature. Thankfully, we don’t do have to do this now. Although Grandma never said she hurt her hands, the chances of a serious burn must have been high. Don’t do what Grandma did but instead wear oven gloves or mitts at all times when putting bakes in and taking them out of the oven to protect your hands from burns.
Grandma worked with coal, gas and electric ovens during her life and was always keen to keep the oven clean. Fortunately, we don’t have to ‘black lead’ now but we do need to keep our ovens and microwaves clean as grease is a major source of fire in the home and half of all house fires start in the kitchen. Electrical Safety First has more tips and advice. 
Take care and follow these simple rules to stay safe in the kitchen. Grandma wouldn’t want us to take safety in the kitchen for granted. It’s a piece of cake really! 
Have you got a tip or a story to share for a safe pair of hands? 

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