Monday, September 26, 2011

Chopping board is your friend and activists defame pig farmers

Beetroot and yellow beans
Food Diary (September 26, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with banana, coconut, cocoa, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Beetroot and yellow beans with ginger, cumin and caramelized onions
Dinner: Pickled carrot and apple salad, oat sourdough
Baking/sweets: Simple coconut cookies, chocolate cookies

Three Cookies kitchen is currently operating below full capacity because of repair and recovery work. On Saturday morning I ‘damaged’ my left hand! The accident was 100% due to my stupidity and I want to share my experience so you don’t do what I did. I am pretty sure neither of you are that stupid but extra emphasis of basic safety has never hurt anyone, it can sometimes be annoying though, especially when its something so simple and basic.

Sometimes I freeze cheese and blocks of brie were stuck together. The edge (end) of the knife is a useful tool for separating the stuck blocks. It is a simple procedure – place cheese on chopping block and press with end of knife. This time I decided to be smart and bypass an important process – place on cutting board – instead I placed the cheese on my hands. This way there would be no need to wash the chopping board and I would just lick my hands. The idea was to stop the knife once the block is separated but its easier said than done, the knife has a mind of its own. The knife didn’t go all the way through my hand but I am guessing it was pretty close to the other side. I did lick my hand, though it certainly did not taste like cheese. Important lessons:

- You can freeze cheese. It affects texture since it gets a little bit crumbly. Harder cheese becomes more crumbly than softer cheese. Texture does not matter if the cheese is used for cooking
- The chopping board is your friend, a low maintenance friend. All it needs is a wash regularly. Save your hands for other purposes, such as washing the board!
- In the battle of knife vs human, knife almost always wins. Don’t try to find ways to beat the knife, if you win, you lose a knife, so you lose anyway
- Knife through hand hurts and causes inconvenience for days (or weeks, I have yet to find out). If you don’t like pain and inconvenience, treat the knife with respect
- There are many tasks you can do with one hand that you didn’t think you could, and many tasks quite difficult to do with one or one and a half hands
- If red flecks appear in your food and you are not cooking with chili, tomatoes, beets and other red food, what you prepared is probably not suitable for vegetarians, vegans and non-cannibals. You are probably the only person who can eat it
- Blood squirts from deep cuts like it does from the neck of a slaughtered animal. You can use animal blood to make black pudding and sell it, it has value. You can’t do the same with human blood, keep it inside the body unless it is for the blood bank
- In some parts of Africa, due to shortage of food, the inhabitants drink blood from living animals. They make a small slit/cut in the neck of the animal using a bow for example and collect the blood. The process is virtually painless, the cut heals, the animal replenishes the blood and inhabitants get nutrients. I am not suggesting anything, just stating a fact
- A damaged hand affects typing speed
- I can still make cookies with one and a half hands
- I wonder if I will be able to juggle 3 eggs when my hand gets better. I could never do it before
- not nice to say but sometimes accidents can be good, the mistake is unlikely to be repeated. I have used my hands in lieu of the chopping board many times before, quite frequently actually. Now I will think twice.

The funny thing, well not so funny actually, is that on Friday I had a brief discussion with Sissi from With a Glass about sharp knives being safer and cuts from sharp knives heal faster. I put this to the test next morning!

If you had a good laugh at my stupidity, I am glad, it means you are not as stupid as I am and therefore will not make this mistake. Sorry for this long ‘lecture’ but extra precaution, exercise of common sense and basic safety cannot be under-emphasised.

In case you are wondering, the cheese block did get separated. The cheese was used to make French onion soup with cheesy croutons. It was delicious, certainly worth the effort but not worth the accident. I will certainly do this again, and you know what I am referring to!

Today's Favourite Photo

Today’s Favourite Blog
Animal rights took an interesting twist in Finland recently. It started in December 2009 when Finnish media outlets published disturbing video and photographs from inside 30 pig factory farms. The material was a result of a a two-month undercover investigation by the leading Finnish animal rights group, Justice for Animals.

In Finland factory farmers always touted their "humane" practices and this video outraged the public. Members of Parliament and even agribusiness representatives condemned what they saw.

Not a single pig factory farmer was charged with cruelty to animals. Instead Finnish authorities are prosecuting the two activists who made the undercover videos with "aggravated defamation" of the nation's pig farmers and "disturbing the peace."

According to the prosecutors they are charging the activists because the conditions at the pig farms are in themselves legal, therefore making their exposure illegal and defamatory.

It may not seem fair but it makes sense, you cannot prosecute farmers if they are not breaking the law. But I am wondering though how something can be defamatory if it is true. 

I guess the pig farmers are quite powerful and influential in Finland and they managed to 'save their bacon'!

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  1. Oh no! That sounds like an awful cut! I hope it heals quickly!

  2. Awe, I hope your hand gets better!!! That is a nasty injury, one people often get from slicing avocados too. Thanks for all the tips!

  3. OMG!!!! I'm feeling so sorry for you and laughing so hard at the same time ... oh, I'm so sorry!! Bad knife! You know, the traditional Chinese believe that when a knife does that to you, you gotta throw that away ... it doesn't like you anymore. But in this case, I guess you were asking for it ... oops, sorry. I definitely will print that list out and stick it onto my fridge door as a reminder together with all of some other hilarious things I've accumulated. Take care of that hand. We need you to type faster :D

  4. I am so sorry you had that misfortune. But you did write it in a funny way I have had stupid know injury in the pas The Cilantropist mentioned...and avocado. Knife slipped trying to get the core out....1 solitary stich was needed.

  5. Hope your hand feel better soon! :( And I'm going to pass that article onto my Finnish mother in law.

  6. Hilarious! I did have a good laugh, but not at your alleged stupidity of course! Thank you for testing the safety of a sharp knife for me ;-) (Have you had stitches???).
    Your accident makes me think I should stop cutting tofu the Japanese way (you know, you put the block on your palm and cut the squares) and in general this accident might have happened to me...
    I don't know if it will make you feel better, but now that I look at my hands I have small wounds on my fingers made by... the thin metal cap around the wine's neck. I get hurt I think with half of the bottles when I cut the top of the metal part to start taking out the cork.
    Seriously I am sorry for you. I hope you didn't suffer too much.
    The pig farms' cruelty is why I only buy free-range pork. Pigs are very intelligent animals and it makes me sad to think they can be treated in such an awful way.

  7. Joanne: thank you

    The Cilantropist: thank you, and I can imagine those slippery avocado’s posing a risk

    ping: no need to feel sorry for me, I feel sorry for me and my stupidity:) I did totally ask for it, and the knife responded adequately! It’s a good knife, I’ve had the set for years, I will keep it! I am glad I didn't use its bigger cousin! Glad to make it to the list of documents on your refrigerator

    Cheap Ethnic Eatz: avocado seems to be a culprit, healthy but bit mischievous!

    Lorraine: thank you

    Sissi: no worries regarding testing the knife, I was curious myself! No stitches yet, I hope I will manage without. I cut things like that all the time (Japanese way) but I will now think! I don’t think I have gotten hurt with the wine bottle caps, I have managed to avoid it so far. They are quite sharp

  8. Ouch; that does sounds painful :(

    We do the craziest things to bypass a sink of dirty dishes sometimes. Wishing you the speediest recovery.

  9. i just cringed as i read your story about chopping the frozen block of cheese.... ouch! :( hope it heals soon!

  10. the favorite photo is now my favorite :D

    and i'm so sorry to hear about your injury

  11. Ouch that sounds painful, I'm glad that your OK. Ive done similar situations like that and I agree use chopping board specially if the knife is so sharp. Get well soon.