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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in On the Basics | 0 comments

The Rules

  1. Never bake after 9 p.m. It never turns out well.
  2. Clean as you go. And I’ll add to this by saying, clean before you start: having a tidy kitchen with all of your gadgets and cookware ready to go can save so much time and frustration along the way.
  3. Check 3 times, measure twice, and pour once. (This is a play on the carpenters’ rule of “Measure twice. Cut once.” It means to be quadruple sure that you have the right measure of an ingredient before you throw it in a mixing bowl. I’m a little obsessed with this because often times you’re cooking for an  occasion, and you don’t have time to redo it. And secondly, ingredients can be expensive [or hard to come by if you’re almost out and would have to run to the store to continue with a second try]. I also run down the entire recipe before I start and throughout the process to make sure I haven’t missed anything.)
  4. Never try out a new recipe or technique for the first time with guests or any other time when the stakes are high. Always (and I mean ALWAYS) do a trial run first. Mr. J never minds this as he gets to be the guinea pig for tasty treats.
  5. Use the real thing. Butter that is.
  6. Know when to sift and when to forget it. Sometimes you can cut corners, but others it’s a disastrous no-no.
  7. It always takes longer than you think it will.
  8. When in doubt, throw it out. I’m a little OCD about food safety. It only takes one bout of ER-worthy food poisoning to do that to a person. Familiarize yourself with the basics:
    1. Meat temperatures
    2. Refrigerate within two hours
    3. Be mindful of expiration dates
    4. Label leftovers and open containers to know when they were put in the fridge
  9. Know substitute basics. Learn to roll with the punches with recipes through experience.
To be continued…

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