- Clean as You Go: This is Motherly Advice 101—but a tidy kitchen is a safe kitchen. Wipe down surfaces, organize utensils, and keep flammable items away from the stove. A clean kitchen minimizes the risk of accidents and maximizes the flow of zen.
- Fire Safety First: We speak from experience here: never leave cooking unattended, especially not hushpuppies deep-frying over an open flame, and never try to put out a grease fire with water. Smother the flame with a lid or fire blanket, or use a fire extinguisher. And while we're on the topic, keep that fire extinguisher within arm's length and make sure everyone in the household knows its location and how to use it.
- Proper Food Handling: As you prepare that tasty bird, remember to practice safe food handling. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator, not on the counter, to prevent bacterial growth. Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables to avoid cross-contamination. And, of course, wash your hands frequently.
- Knife Safety: We see all you Bear binge-watchers and Top Chef fanatics out there brandishing your fancy Gyuto knives. This is your mother speaking: please be careful. Remember that sharp knives are safer than dull ones, and its better to start slow to go fast than to start fast and go to urgent care.
- Watch Those Cords: With all the kitchen gadgets in use, it's easy to get tangled up in knots—and not just because you've been asked, AGAIN, if you're still single. Keep cords away from hot surfaces, and make sure they don't dangle where someone might trip over them. There will be plenty of other ways to enjoy an awkward moment.
- Stay Mindful of Allergies: If you're hosting guests, be aware of any food allergies they may have. Clearly label dishes with potential allergens and ask guests in advance about dietary restrictions. (You'd be surprised how many rogue nuts you can find floating around the kitchen on Thanksgiving...)
This holiday, let's not only savor the delicious food and cherish the company of loved ones but also prioritize safety and sanity in the kitchen. With a few simple tips, you can ensure that your Thanksgiving celebration is filled with joy and gratitude, not unwanted kitchen adventures. Godspeed and happy Thanksgiving!