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Simple Cooking and Serving Equipment


A Meal well prepared is as a result of a good organisation. This starts from the time of planning, purchasing, preparing and the use of right cooking method and equipment.

Serving of food requires the use of the correct serving equipment and utensils too. There are different types of cooking and serving equipment. These are as follows:


COOKING EQUIPMENT

1. Equipment for heating provides heat for cooking, for example, firewood, coal pots, gas cooker, electric cooker and microwave oven.

2. Equipment for measuring are used for measuring the weight of the ingredients, for example, kitchen scale for large ingredients, graduated cups or jugs, 7 cm cups, different sizes of tomato tins, milk tins, different sizes of spoons for measuring water, oil, liquid milk, salt, rice, garri, etc.

3. Equipment for cutting are used for cutting food items. These are can opener, slicers, graters, scissors, different sizes of kitchen and bread knives and kitchen axe.

4. Equipment for grinding and pounding. These are equipment such as mortar and pestle, grinding stone, electric yam pounders and grinders.

5. Equipment for mixing and blending. These are equipment such as wooden spoons, mixing bowls, fork, beaters and whiskers, spoons, electric mixers and blenders.

6. Equipment for sieving. These equipment are used as strainers, sifters and sieves for both liquid and dry ingredients.

7. Equipment for boiling and cooking. These are kettles, cooking pot or sauce pans, frying pans, pressure cooker, different types of spoons for cooking and frying.


SERVING EQUIPMENT

After cooking the food, we will have to serve it. We therefore need certain equipment and utensils for serving. These are as follows:
– trays of different shapes,
– different sizes and shapes of dishes,
– plates,
– bowls,
– drinking glasses,
– table mats,
– serviettes or napkins,
– jugs for milk and water,
– cutlery,
– tea sets,
– salt and pepper sets.


CARE OF SIMPLE COOKING AND SERVING EQUIPMENT

1. All wooden equipment should be scrubbed along the grains to avoid damaging the surface. They should not be soaked in water and should be dried up immediately after washing.

2. Use only fine cleaning agents for washing glasses, ceramics, metal, steel, and plastic equipment.

3. Do not put cold things into hot flasks, pans or glasses to avoid damage due to changes in temperature.

4. Very hot liquids or oil can damage plastics and ceramics.

5. Wash greasy items with hot soapy water and others with cold water.

6. Keep kitchen and serving equipment clean and dry after use.

7. Soak burnt saucepans immediately after cooking. Do not use rough steel sponge on them; rather, use mild coarse sponge for burnt pans.

8. Use vinegar or lime juice to remove stains from kettles and teapot (put few drops and shake well).

9. Do not use soda to wash aluminium pots and plates (soda bores holes on their surfaces).

10. Leftover food should not be left in serving dishes overnight. Wash all the serving equipment immediately after serving, dry and store well.

11. All storage spaces should always be kept clean and dry.


BEING A GOOD HOST/HOSTESS

a. A good host/hostess must have the ability of making his/her guest comfortable and relaxed.

b. In order not to be taken unawares, the guest room in the house must always be made up and ready.

c. A good host/hostess should provide the guest basic needs, for example, toiletries, water for bathing, blanket and other beddings, food and drinking needs of his/her guest.

A good host/hostess should make his/her guest feel important, however, this depends solely on the type of occasion and the number of guests expected. The host/hostess is also expected to do the following:

1. Decide on the type of the occasion to take place.

2. Plan the number of guests to be invited, the date, place, time and other activities to be carried out in advance.

3. Decide on the type of guests to be invited and the type of entertainment they will be given in terms of food and drinks.

4. Plan properly and send out invitations to people early.

5. Make a comprehensive list for your shopping, based on the money available.

6. Shop in good time and wisely, following your shopping list.

7. Get all the things ready before time, for example, foods and drinks, items for serving and setting of the venue for the ceremony.

8. Set the venue, the tables, the chairs and serving sets before the arrival of the guests.

9. Dress up and get ready to receive and welcome your guests as they arrive.

10. Arrange for those who will serve and serving points, and endeavour to serve a variety of foods and drinks as much as possible.

11. Serve all your guests seated and introduce them to one another.

12. Encourage useful conversation amongst them.

13. Be courteous and thank your guests for honouring your invitation; and

14. See off your guests briefly as they are leaving.