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The Monday Mark: Jinxed in the kitchen? Thursday is your day

Thursday, June 13, is Kitchen Klutzes of America Day. Getty Images / Special to The Forum

You start with the best of intentions: You're making a five-course meal inspired by the Food Network or Martha Stewart, but you end up burning the food and hurting yourself in the process.

If this describes you, Thursday, June 13, is your day — it's Kitchen Klutzes of America Day. What makes someone a klutz? Merriam-Webster defines a klutz as "a clumsy person."

Here are five tips to help you NOT be a klutz in the kitchen.

Wipe up immediately

Everyone gets busy in the kitchen, but if you happen to spill anything, especially on the floor, wipe it up right away. Saying you'll get to it later could result in a nasty spill.

Use the right knife

All knives are not created equal. All-purpose chef's knives come close, but even so, don't assume they'll work best on every kind of food. For example, most of the time a quality serrated knife is best for slicing tomatoes, while a bread knife is best for slicing dinner rolls (gee, go figure). Using the wrong knife increases the possibility of the blade slipping away from the food and into your fingers.

Pot handles turned in, please

When you're making food in pots and pans on the stove, always make sure the handles are turned in toward the center of the stove and not extended outwards. It's too easy for children (and maybe a few adults, too) to brush up against the pot handle and spill the hot contents on themselves.

Respect the bagel

Emergency rooms are full of people who didn't respect the bagel and sliced their hands pretty badly. The rounded shape of the bread roll makes it difficult to keep the bagel stable while slicing. One solution is a bagel holder, or you can "bread-slice" them like the good people of St. Louis. (But expect scorn and disdain from bagel purists).

Avoid pepper eyes

Peppers add spice and kick to a meal, but if you're not careful, they'll actually hurt you. Touching your eyes after cutting up hot peppers is a big no-no. The oils from peppers stay on your fingers, so touching your eye with your fingers — even briefly — can cause serious burning. Wear kitchen gloves when cutting peppers, but if you've already done the damage, wash your eyes out with water or even milk.

Others holidays this week

  • Monday, June 10: Iced Tea Day
  • Tuesday, June 11: Call Your Doctor Day
  • Wednesday, June 12: Peanut Butter Cookie Day
  • Thursday, June 13: Weed Your Garden Day
  • Friday, June 14: Flag Day
  • Saturday, June 15: Smile Power Day
  • Sunday, June 16: Father's Day
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