Category Archives: Kitchen and Cooking Mistakes

This Holiday, Please Don’t Drink and Dad

40 year old father arrested for driving little Barbie car at 4 MPH drunk.

Don't let this be you.

They’ll drive you to it.

Many men start adulthood – and dating, and married life, and pregnancy, and fatherhood – with a drink, or two.  There’s a connection in there, somewhere.  Anyway, as time goes on, the responsible male head of the family recognizes, there is a time for having a beer, or bottle of vodka, and a time for staying relatively sober.

Especially now, when children’s thoughts turn to sugar plums and expensive electronics,  it’s important to spare them the lifelong embarrassment, shame and terror that can come from being a careless,  tipsy pop.  This Holiday Season, as you’re getting your drink on, I hope you’ll join me and take a moment to see things from your kids’ perspective, with this Top Ten signs they wish we wouldn’t Drink and Dad. 

1.  Holiday music is a special treat for youngsters.  Everyone likes to sing along.  But if you’re doing the third replay of ‘Grandma Got Runover By a Reindeer’ and still laughing, why don’t we check the breathalyzer.

2.  ‘Invisible elves’ is probably not going to convince anybody why Daddy is stumbling a lot over things nobody else can see.

3.  Yeah, they’re cute as can be.  But really:  trying for that once-in-a-lifetime shot of the kids hanging like ornaments on the Christmas tree is just not going to fly.  No matter how much the guys at work will really love it.

4.  If you can’t dance, there was absolutely nothing in that last drink that fixed ‘can’t’.

5.  No matter how many pretty colors and shapes it has in it, that giant mixed bowl of cereal is just not going to pass for Christmas dinner.

6.  The following are signs you’re doing online gift shopping after a bit too much Holiday Cheer.  You  (a) buy something your son will grow into and be able to use five or six years from now;  (b) order that drum kit you always wished you’d got for Christmas when you were a kid;  (c) decide it won’t really matter the gift for your wife isn’t going to arrive til January 4.

7.  Hearing the kids and their sleepover friends play ‘guess why Daddy won’t stop laughing / crying by himself in the kitchen’ is probably not the kind of Holiday game you want to encourage.

8. Yes, it really does save time and trouble to just let the little ones run around free for the Holidays without their drawers or diapers on.  For about, oh, two hours.

9.  Yes, it’s four am, and you really did leave that three page note finally getting everything off your chest on the desk in the bedroom your mother in law is using.

10.  It may be a good idea to check first, and see from the kids faces whether they are really as excited as you think to see you in the living room wearing all the Christmas lights.

This Holiday, raise a glass, make a toast, but give the family a time they’ll treasure forever.  Not a viral YouTube video.

(By the way, if you’re an alcoholic, pick up the phone.  Now.  And get help.  Seriously. )

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5 Things Dad Should Never Do in the Kitchen

Man cooking kitchen finger food drippingMost of the time, a guy in the kitchen won’t think twice.  Which is why women keep a careful watch.

Let me say, I don’t know of a single case where a family has ever keeled over and expired because of a man doing any of these things.  In fact, most of the time, the family probably gets along just fine for years without ever noticing.

Then, occasionally, someone does notice and an alarm will go up, so even distant neighbors pause behind their windows and wonder what  sick biohazard stuff dad’s been up to in the garage.

In the interest of domestic tranquility and general hygiene, consider these five tips on kitchen and cooking mistakes you might want to consider breaking.

1. Do Not Taste Food with Your Fingers   Now, at first it seems reasonable that those pointed things on the ends of your hands were custom built for the job of dipping into food, to check flavor or doneness.  However, its come to my attention that some people think men do not wash their hands nearly enough.  Or, they do not know where those hands have been. Therefore, it’s unwise to slip them into the pot or serving dish for sampling.  Especially more than once.

2.  Do Not Mix Food With Your Hands  This makes little sense.  A spoon or fork is slow and clumsy when it comes to,  say, tossing a salad, unless you want it on the floor.  And for blending sugar or spices into food that’s thick as paste?  And, are we  sure a spoon is really cleaner? I’m willing to bet, you have no idea where it originally came from. Or what somebody did with it before you got it.  Even so, some people consider it completely gross when you use the good hands you’ve had your entire life.

3.  Do Not Get Food On Your Clothes   Somehow, food which is good enough to put into your mouth, is no longer safe if it lands on the outside of your jeans or t-shirt.  Once there, it apparently turns instantly foul and repulsive.  You can no longer eat it. You need to immediately change, because wearing food below your neck puts some people completely off their appetite.  Apparently the only way to avert this disaster is to wear an apron.  A food-smacked apron makes folks feel homey.  On your t-shirt, the same thing is just stains and grime.

4. Do Not Mix The Wrong Foods Together   Many dads don’t realize,  certain spices, ingredients and seasonings need to be kept as far from each other as possible. If they ever are put together, the food turns instantly disgusting.  I’m told, someone doesn’t even have to taste it, to know its bad.  Apparently, everybody (who is not a man) knows this. You just don’t mix certain things together, even if you think it might work.  Or because they were the only food items you could find in the refrigerator. That’s a concoction.  Decent people don’t eat concoctions.  That’s why we have recipes.

5. Do Not Use the Kitchen Sink for Cleaning  Dirty things have no place being washed in the kitchen sink.  It’s used for washing.  That’s  just the way it is.  If you want to wash hands in the kitchen, go wash them first in the bathroom.  Don’t bring that filthy dog in here.  Don’t even dare think about doing anything greasy, gummy or grimy in there at all: the sink might get dirty. And then where would we wash up?

Good luck with all this, and take my word, there’s no point going to the mat on a single one.  By the way, when I talk about aprons, I’m talking about the kind a man should be comfortable in.

And since I get asked what that means, I decided to come up with a few one of a kind, Dad’s own, like the one’s below, that a guy can be PROUD standing in at the sink or stove.  Not your mother’s apron, by a long shot.  And, enough with the BBQ already – these are for men who cook in the kitchen, with some attitude.  Tshirts, for those who prefer to just wipe the hands.  Printed and delivered through Zazzle, a pro place that does high quality work, and ships worldwide.   Dad’s In the Kitchen! Gift Shop

Go over and take a look if you’re in the market.  I’m told some women find a man in an apron sexy. There are some fun ones, I come up with new ones every week, customizable, plus mugs and other gear.   Let me know what you think, or what you’d like to see .Gift cooking aprons for men and dads Chicken Dinner and I Love Dad's Cooking

House Fire for the Holidays

fire in the kitchen, kitchen fire quiz, cooking fire advice

Cooking oil flames burn fast and high.

Tis the Season for most deadly kitchen fires, say authorities.  How safe is your family? Can you pass the quiz below?

I was drifting between channels looking for something that didn’t involve reality, when reality intruded. A hysterically loud, tinny skreeeling from the smoke detector in the kitchen.

My record for not burning things is pretty good, but I hustled in there anyway.  There was a tang and haze of smoke, all right.  I tracked it back to the oven, which I’d left to pre-heat for dinner.  I checked for flames, popped the door.  After the cloud rolled out I could see something had spilled onto the oven bottom, and it was now busy pumping out special effects in the kitchen.  I  started throwing open windows and doors, then waving cookie pans.  The alarm kept up its nerve-grating howl, and the kids appeared, hands over ears, at the dining room.

“It’s ok”, I shouted uselessly, then smiled, trying to clear the air.

The whole episode got us talking about fires, what to do, and not to do, and I decided to brush up.  Which is how I found that home fires are actually part of the Holiday tradition.  With men spending more time cooking, it pays to stay up to speed on kitchen hazards that can affect the family.

Here’s a little quiz to check if you’re up to date on important fire and safety knowledge.  Answers at the bottom.

1.  The most common cause of home fires is:

a)  candles

b)  cooking

c)  heating and chimneys

2.  The greatest risk for starting a kitchen fire is:

a) broiling

b) baking

c) frying

3.  What percent of all deaths due to fire occur in the home?

a) 24

b) 58

c) 81

4. What percent of American homes have fire extinguishers?

a) 36

b) 47

c) 64

5.  The most common reason cooking fires start is

a) leaving food cooking unattended

b) spilling food on the stove

c) overheating appliances

6. You should only use a fire extinguisher if

a) the fire is confined to small area and isn’t spreading

b) everyone else has left the building

c) someone has called the fire department

d) the room isn’t filled with smoke

7.  You’re more likely to end up in the emergency room with a scalding burn from

a) using your microwave oven

b) spilling a boiling liquid

c) taking a dish out of a conventional oven

8.  In the US, this many home fires are started by microwave ovens each year

a) 880

b) 4400

c) 6600

9.  The recommended place to keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen is

a) very close to the stove

b) very close to the microwave

c) next to an exit from the kitchen

HERE’S THE ANSWERS *

1. (a) Cooking fires account for nearly 40% of all home fires in the US.

2. (c)  Frying is by far the most likely to start a fire.  Oil will flame if it gets hot enough.

3. (c)  The home is a much more dangerous place than work.

4. (b)  Less than half of all homes have one in the kitchen.

5. (a)  Nobody plans to start a fire.  They’re just distracted from the stove by something.

6.  Alright, it’s a trick question. Authorities say you should NOT use an extinguisher unless you have a, b, c, AND d.  They also point out that three out of every five non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occur when victims tried to fight the fire themselves.

7. (a)  Microwave ovens boil the same way as open flame, and carelessly handling or opening a covered dish is an invitation to burn.  Eleven percent of scald burns, and 5% of all microwave oven injuries are to children under five years of age.

8. (c)  6600 fires a year.  Everybody knows how to use them.  But what if the food inside starts to burn? Keep the door closed, turn it off.  Don’t open the door if there’s any chance it hasn’t gone out. And get it checked before using.

9. (c)  If your extinguisher is too close to the fire, you won’t be able to reach it. And if you use an extinguisher, you should have your back to the exit and be ready to bolt.

* If you want to see the National Fire Prevention authorities checklist about being prepared and what to do, I’ve put their entire cooking fire safety information and instructions at Kitchen 911, with links to more  sites.

It’s worth the time and effort to brush up, for the kids.

Information above is from the National Fire Prevention Association.