Monday, June 7, 2010
The next most important thing are towels. Towels!? Yes, towels. The basis for safe cooking is a clean and hygienic kitchen and you can accomplish that best with towels.
You'll need wash cloths that generally stay at the sink for wiping things with lots of water and scrubbing vegetables and pans and the counter. This really don't need to be fancy at all, bar mops are cheap and sturdy. All-white cotton cloths are nice so you can bleach them clean.
Dish towels for wiping your hands, soaking up larger spills and keeping foods covered. You don't want fancy embroidery or decals, those are art for hanging on the walls, not serious kitchen tools. I like sturdy, waffle-weave towels and terry cloth.
We also like flour sack towels for covering food since they are so light, and also for wringing out water laden foods like frozen spinach and shredded potatoes.
Some people like sponges, but those are germ hotels. Sure, you can put them in the dishwasher or boil them or even zap them in the microwave, but those might be hard to pull off after a crash. I prefer to use towels and go with a fresh set every morning after they had the night to dry, they just go in the next load of laundry. You'll be doing laundry anyway.
You should have enough towels to go for at least a week without doing laundry. You'll want a wash cloth for each sink and a dish towel next to each sink and next to the stove for cleaning up spills.
An important accessory for a towel is a small spray bottle filled with about a cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon of chlorine bleach, the unscented stuff, please. This is a powerful sanitizing solution you can spray around the kitchen to kill bacteria and viruses. That you should definitely use after cooking a meal with raw meat or at the end of the day.
Sanitizing Solution Formula: 1/4 teaspoon chlorine bleach per cup of water or 1 Tablespoon per gallon.