Some practical advice for cooks

If you’re cutting up jalapenos for pepper jelly, it is not recommended to idly rub the suburn on your forehead without first washing your hands. Trust me and thank me later.

Also, when you have a huge canning kettle boiling the hell out of itself, a dutch oven going with tomato soup, a saucepan full of boiling water with your rings and seals, and another saucepan boiling over with molten jelly, you really might want to consider being very careful when you reach over to the stove timer control. Just a hint.

God, I’m a menace to myself. I really have no business canning things.

Along the same lines, don’t decide to use the bathroom without washing your hands first.
Otherwise Mr. Happy will not be amused. :eek:

Sadly, this is a lesson I’ve forgotten more than once. :smack:

Now I have a sign hanging above my work area to scrub my hands raw after handling peppers.

Christ. I thought I did the worst putting my face over a blender to smell Thai pepper sauce in the making.

I am very happy to report that I was not the person that pissed off Mr. Happy. It was a friend of mine. :smiley:

Psssst, gloves.
I have a box of vinyl gloves for all things hot and raw errr spicey and potentially hazardous.

Are you referring to Mr Happy or the peppers?

My mother told me to always make sure to put a top on the blender when you’re blending powdered Thai chilies. Otherwise, you’ve made something akin to pepper spray, except in gaseous form. Very bad stuff.

Not rubbing your eyes or going to the bathroom are pretty much Cooking with Peppers 101. The sunburn thing is a wrinkle I never thought of.

Stopped by my sister’s house the other night. She’s not there, so hubby is making do on his own:

“I think the electric kettle is broken, so I’m microwaving the water in the mug. It’s easy!”

Adds instant coffee…


“Holy fuck! What happened?”

“You’re not a Doper, are you?”


“Well, lemme explain what can happen when you microwave water… aah, on second thoughts, just put a wooden popsicle stick in next time before you nuke it.”


“Trust me.”

Just because they say cut away from you, you can still cut yourself.

Trying to balance heavy things because you’ve run out of space is tempting, both to you and the laws of Probability, and will usually result with a mess all over the floor.

Dry your hands before you put those oven mitts on to get the Thanksgiving turkey out of the oven.

For…uh…those that don’t know (not including myself, who, being a Doper, certainly knows), what does happen when you microwave water? I’d explain it myself, but I…uh…will leave this up to…TheLoadedDog, whose mastery of the English language far surpasses my own. Yes, that’s the ticket.

I’m not proud, 'splain, please! Is it that funky superheating thing where the water is hot enough to boil but it doesn’t? Or something else? What does the wood do? [whiny petulant kid]I wanna know![/wpk]

Erm… now you’ve put me on the spot. :smiley:

It’s to do with nucleation points which typically consist of impurities in the vessel that seed the boiling (bubbling) process, and allow boiling to take place. When microwaving (especially previously boiled) water, the nucleation points don’t activate the boiling process, and the water can become superheated (go beyond 212F or 100C and remain in a liquid state). When you add something like coffee or sugar, you introduce a zillion nucleation points, and the whole shebang can boil suddenly and violently, blowing up in your face, potentially scalding you. At least, that’s my lay Doper understanding. I await one of the scientific types to come along and explain it better.

My high school science teacher had a few papers he’d hand out at the start of each semester. One caution was that hot glass looked EXACTLY THE SAME as cold glass. Since we weren’t blowing glass in the lab, and didn’t have anything to heat the glass up to red-hot temperature, this was a handy item to remember. It’s also good to remember in the kitchen. My husband always seems to think that he has asbestos hands when he reaches into the oven. And he always says “HOT HOT HOT” when he finds out that, in fact, his hands are made of flesh.

Heh. We called that the Fourth Law of Thermodynamics in our general chemistry lab. You forget that only once.
My practical advice for cooks: Don’t lick knives. weally.

You misunderstand how foolish I was. I removed the top and stuck my nose in to sample the aroma. :smack:

Must have been a VERY close friend . . . :wink:

Unless you plan to keep your hands away from any sensitive spots on anyone’s body for the next 24 hours, use gloves when handling chilies. I offer the following as a cautionary tale:
In college one Saturday afternoon I made chili with some home grown jalapenos. Having previously experienced the joy of touching my eyes after chopping jalapenos, I quickly washed my hands. I then settled on the couch with my girlfriend. Things progressed from what shall we do today, to let me help you take your clothes off. Shortly after I caressesed that most sensitive portion of the female anatomy, a quizzical expression crossed my lover’s face. It was followed by a very pained expression. Within seconds she was running to the shower swearing…. Helvetes jävla fan

If you watch the cooking shows you’ve probably seen them use a towel to handle a hot pot or pan from the oven. Works great, as long as the towel is DRY! A wet or damp towel doesn’t work well at all as you get steam as soon as you grab the pan. :eek: