Tag Archives: knives

"How to" Start Your Happy New Year

Happy New Year! We hope you’ve had a lovely holiday season and are embracing the new year. If you’re like many, it’s possible that holiday festivities have worn you out and have got you dreading the kitchen. Thinking about ways to enhance your kitchen and cooking experiences may be the last things on your mind.

BUT, what better time to get back to basics and make sure you aren’t selling yourself short in the kitchen? Or, on the contrary, maybe you’ve made a resolution to cook more and/or eat more at home. Whatever your circumstance, now is the perfect time to check out the timeless Cookus ‘how-to” videos below. They’re a great reminder to not forget about the foundation of efficiency as we so often get distracted by striving to be efficient.

Cheers to health, happiness, good food, and kitchen fun!
Gentlemen, turn on your fans. Everything you’ve been taught about smoking fat needs to go right out the window. Steve powers through the step-by-step on this baby. You’ll never wonder how to do this again. Today’s pressure cookers are safe and efficient. I love using mine to cook beans, grains and root vegetables, even applesauce. Here’s how. A dull knife is the most dangerous tool in the kitchen. Learn this inexpensive, tried and true method to keep your knife sharp. Soon you also will see no reflection (on the knife blade, not in the mirror…gee).

Carving Gourds

Safety reminder as we head into pumpkin and squash season.  All those dazzling orange, red, dark green and yellow squashes are beckoning.  It is total fun to scoop out a sugar pie pumpkin, roast it lightly and use it for a soup bowl (ladle in dramatic black bean stew).  Peeled and diced butternut squash and apples (with onion, chicken or vegetable stock, cream and some curry paste makes the most soothing soup. You don’t even need to peel delicatta squash as its tender out layer softens beautifully when cooked with beans and corn to marry the loyal Three Sisters.  But you do have to cut squashes open to begin any of these culinary events.

One golden autumn day as I was trying to cut a squash with a regular chef’s knife, it slipped.  The blade sliced the web between my thumb and first finger and stitches were required. Since then I have learned that it is best to use a serrated utility knife to carve up big squashes.  The sawing slows down the seconds when you pass through the thick skin into the soft flesh.  Take the time to cut a piece off of the end to create a flat, stable surface. If the squash is oblong, cut it in half to begin with so that the gourd is more manageable.  All this and more is explained in our Roasted Winter Squash video.  Tara Parker Pope (NY Times) writes a round-up of frequent causes of kitchen scars.  Watch out for those big carrots!

We don’t want to Halloween season to be too scary.  Let’s make sure fake blood is all we see on our costumes, yes?