Saturday, April 18, 2009

safety first

the moon has moved about half-way through it's cycle, so that must mean it's time for me to prepare myself for the task before me. yes, i'm talking about going into to work today, that strange place where i move in slow motion (slower than usual) and it takes every ounce of my being concentrating on not getting hurt every second that i'm there.

professional kitchens are set up for disasters. add one hapless klutz like me to the big, scary equipment, knives a-plenty, and the fire balls that the older-than-dirt gas stove makes whenever you try to turn a burner on, and you've got a psa for what not to do while attempting to cook.

so today i thought i'd remind myself of some of my past mistakes in hopes of not repeating them. since i barely ever work any more, i have to be extra vigilant about keeping my clumsiness in check.

let's see, i definitely fell head first into one of those mega-sized garbage cans and did the whole cartoon-esque legs wiggling above the rim for help move. of course this happened in the summer so that the bruise on my arm that looked like a hand print was visible and forced me to say 'no, my boyfriend is not the violent type, i just fell in a garbage can' eliciting that sideways head-tilt from people who aren't sure if i need a domestic abuse hotline number. but since i figure that can only happen to a person once in their life, i'm probably in the clear with that.

i should also try to avoid burning myself. a friend once wrote my name out in bacardi 151 and then lit it on fire and i leaned in with my long ass hair to blow it out like a candle. well, that didn't really happen at work, but it happened, so whatever, i own the story and can use it anywhere. same goes for the time i was driving and a lit cigarette butt (um, i don't smoke) managed to get tangled in my hair and smolder away for a good ten minutes because i thought i had a bad tire that was making that gross rubbery smell. so maybe i don't have to worry about people throwing their discarded butts at my hair while i'm at work, or do i? i know they passed that law and all, but it still surprises me how many chefs smoke in professional kitchens. and no, i don't want to tell you where because some of the places i know this to occur in happen to make delicious food and no one's perfect right?

further in the vein of 'not burning myself' falls grabbing the handle of a pot that just came out an oven, or stirring hot rice so aggressively that a few angry clumps weld to my hand skin.

there have also been many, many knife slips in my culinary career so far, but i have since learned that the sharper i keep my knife the less likely it is to slip, or the more likely it is to cut really deeply when i do slip. which means my awesome knife sharpening skills i learned from the knife master at korin in tribeca are most often put to use when caring for my knife after cutting off a chunk of fingernail.

so if i avoid fire and knives, and garbage cans that look extra dangerous (just to be safe), what does that leave for me to actually do at work? sitting by the espresso machine mainlining lattes sounds about right, until i find a way to make that menacing too.


sour said...

watch out for the steam-wands on the espresso machine, there is probably a way to steam your face off with one of those

Kristine said...

You're flirting dangerously with that unspoken rule of we-don't-disclose-what-chefs-REALLY-do-in-the-kitchen.

Brian said...

yea...don't cut your fingers off, please.

Lana said...

sour- i'm not allowed to touch the big, fancy machine, so the little 4 foot tall, 35 year-old grandmother of 7 will usually be the one making my lattes for me. thank god for her.

k- i promise to never go any further than that

b- no injuries to report, and i only spilled 1 gallon of sesame oil, dropped an entire box of hors, and knocked over a half-filled tray of desserts

Dr Zibbs said...

Bacardi 151 - I haven't had that in years.

Bridget said...

Yeah, don't feel bad Lana. One time at a party at school, I was minding my own business and these guys decided to play a game called "fire ball", which is basically like beer pong except they light the balls on fire, and one of those suckers hit my arm. ahhh college. I hope you have a much safer time at work!

Miss Yvonne said...

I feel your pain...I'm am accident-prone in the kitchen. I once reached into the oven and grabbed a pan without a pot holder. My husband won't let me cut anything because he's sure I'm going to chop off one of my fingers.