I’m so excited to introduce the first blog post written and illustrated by my amazing husband Luca! He has recently expressed his wish to become a regular writer on VitaLivesFree – I think it’s because there are some topics that he’s very passionate about and he needs an outlet for his thoughts. Safety in the kitchen is one of those topics. Every time I touch a knife, I have to listen to a lecture. Well, now you can, too! 🙂
Seriously speaking, this is a very important topic. So many of us, including me, constantly hurt ourselves in the kitchen just because we’re too lazy to try a different approach to using knives or perhaps we simply aren’t aware that there is a better way. I hope you’ll enjoy this blogpost!
P.S. Please don’t get scared by the pictures! All is well, all the wounds have healed – I’m safe and sound. I promise I’ll start applying Luca’s lessons from now on. 🙂
I’ve lost the count on how many times I told her to be careful when chopping and cutting things.
I’ve also tried multiple times to teach her how to chop or slice food in a safe way, but she doesn’t seem to listen and continues to use her unsafe method.
But she’s not alone. I’ve also noticed how in general there is a lot of ignorance regarding safety in the kitchen: just watching my mum or Vita’s mum and sister, various friends, or just watching random vlogs on YouTube. As a matter of fact, people don’t know how to cut things: they assume that it’s just pressing a blade through some food.
So, as the recent event brought up this topic again, I’ve decided to write a blog post and teach all of you guys how to safely use a knife, which means minimizing the risks of injury in the kitchen. (Listen up, Vita!)
It’s not much really, just three simple rules.
Safety In the Kitchen Rule #1 – Prevention
Always, always, always keep your fingers away from under the blade of the knife. You may be careful, but you also may encounter some food that you were expecting to be harder to cut, but instead you go through it with ease: through the food and through one of your fingers.
Because Vita broke the Rules #1 and #2, she has just stabbed her finger as a result.
Safety In The Kitchen Rule #2 – Prevention, extended
Place your food on a chopping board, not on a slippery surface like a plate. If the food skids, it will do it suddenly, and you won’t have time to react. Ever.
The same applies to your hands: you don’t want them slippery or wet. They must always be clean and dry.
Safety In The Kitchen Rule #3 – Action
Hold the knife firmly: most chefs prefer to grab the blade itself with the thumb and the forefinger, but it’s an individual choice. I personally prefer to grip the handle with thumb and medium finger, while the forefinger will be on the blade’s spine.
A good grip will give you better control and will avoid the spinning of the knife if you lose grip. Then, use the “claw grip” to hold the food: the knuckles of your fingers will guide the movement of the blade and will stop the knife from getting too close to your flesh. See my glorious illustration below. 🙂
But If It Happens… (Or How To Stop Bleeding Fast)
I’d like to end this post by teaching you a trick. As after trying out and mastering this cutting technique you’re going to love it so much, sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where there will be some friend whose finger is a victim of an improperly handled knife. That’s when you can put this trick into practice. And then you can teach them how to cut things properly of course. 🙂
Years ago, I was working in a pizzeria in Italy and I managed to slice off the tip of my thumb with the meat slicer. It wasn’t much, it wasn’t painful, but it was bleeding a lot. This Russian lady working as a cook in the same place immediately brought me a spoon of ground coffee and a paper towel. She put it on the tip of my finger and told me to hold it tightly for a minute. After that, it was sealed. Researching online, it seems that soluble coffee and ground pepper have the same coagulating effect.
Below is a picture of Vita who didn’t believe me and preferred resting on the sofa bleeding for 10 minutes straight – that’s how I had the time to take all these pictures. Please note the splashes of blood that arrived on her chin and face:
But don’t worry, she is now fine, and to prove it here she is trying my new (old) camera:
In my next post, I will share with you everything I know about kitchen knives: why there are many different shapes, what their use is, how to correctly store them, and how to take care of them. It will be up next Friday. I hope you enjoyed my first ever post here!
Are you like Vita, totally disregarding your poor fingers and nails? Or are you a careful knife user? What’s your track record? Let me know in the comments!