The practical kitchen, #3

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FIRE SAFETY - More than 130,000 kitchen fires are reported every year ~ there are cetainly many times more that are not reported - and about 16 percent of fatal fires in this cuntry are caused by kitchen fires. So fire safety should be an important element in any kitchen, both in how the kitchen is designed and equipped. All kitchens should have usable fire extinguishers that are rate ABC for paper, wood, cloth, and plastics (A), grease (B), and electric (C) fires.

Unfortunately, smoke detectors are often triggered by the routine smoke that kitchens produce thus it is usually not recommended to use them in the kitchen. FIRE BLANKETS - In Europe, fire blankets are routinely kept in kitchens. You can smother all types of fires by placing blankets over the blaze. You should have a fire blanket in your kitchen. BAKING SODA - Baking soda is an excellent extinguisher of grease fires. Keep a marked container of it near the stove for rapid use. COST-EFFECTIVE REFRIGERATION - Refrigeratore are major energy consumers,

so pick the right size carefully. You want to find the size that balances the concern of not getting too big a refrigerator that cools more space than you need over not getting one that is so small that packed food infringes on circulation. The rule of thumb here is 8-10 cubic feet for a family of two plus 1 cubic food for each additional person in the family. The freezer space should be 2 cubic feet per person. BLACKBOARD REFRIGERATOR - Put a black board on the refrigerator to post notices on what is coming for dinner and what leftovers and goodies are available for snacks. This will stop everyone in the house from holding the door open and staring at the food for a snack while the refrigeration escapes; it will head off any family members from eating the dinner ingredients. DISHWASHERS - A good buy. If you are wondering about the cost effectiveness of buying a dishwasher, think no more. Two reasons: One is that the average dishwasher uses less than 10 gallons of water to wash the equivalent amount of dishes in the sink (more than 15 gallons). The second reaosn is that washing dishes by hand is a quaranteed inducement to want to eat out. It is much cheaper toeat at home.

this is usually a hiden financial benefit of owning a dishwasher.

SPLIT COOKING DECISION - Although it is more expensive, you may want to consider not getting an oven and stove burners as one appliance.

Instead, separate the tasks with a gas range and an electric oven.

Gas stove tops are much more flexible and precise than electric burners, and elctric ovens beat gas stoves hands down because they generate a much more uniform heat and do not dry the food. MICROWAVE OVENS - There is no question that microwave ovens are extremely convenient, but the debate continues over whether they may prove to be unhealthful appliance. If you get a microwave oven, be sure to read the instructions. They are very finicky about what they can cook and what they can't. In general, use containers that allow the microwave to penetrate the food that needs to be heated. If you are unsure, place water in the container and put in on high for a minute.

The wate should be heated but the container remain cool. Do not put metal containers in microwave ovens. Origin: Household Hints + Formulas, by Erik Bruun. Shared by: Sharon Stevens, Aug/95.

Submitted By SHARON STEVENS On 10-06-95

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