Cooking. Love it or hated it has to be done. I, actually, have grown to like cooking, baking and being in the kitchen. My culinary skills, or lack there of LOL, haven’t come without some challenges. But, I have been able to adapt my cooking style to my taste (Of course) but, more importantly for me, my physical ability level.
I now use the countertop convection oven, because it takes the bending and lifting out putting things in the oven. I also use a stove that has the element controls on the side. I was lucky enough to have that included with my appartment. Also, a lot of my utensils are smaller than normal – I find it easier to use smaller utensils, that I can manipulate, rather than larger utensils that I find unwieldy; which is weird because having had trouble with fine motor skills it would make sense that bigger utensils would be easier for me to handle. I also find smaller oven gloves (The ones that look more like lobster claws, or pincencs) to be a must.
The biggest hurdle I have had to face was building up my confidence being able to do things in the kitchen. My family is great, but one thing they sheltered me from was cooking. I was always able to be around when my mom or dad were making things in the kitchen, but I was always taught it was a dangerous place for me to be, they were always worried that I may lose my balance or get hurt– even using a spatula was something they would cringe at. Since I have found some of these new techniques my confidence in the kitchen has gotten much better. I am able to do most things now, even the things that seem hard I can find workarounds for. Like draining pasta, For instance, normally when someone drains pasta they have a large bowl or strainer, and they pour the entire bowl of pasta into that strainer. Instead, I take a bowl and use it to scoop the plasta out we bowl of hot water, carefully of course, then pour that bowl into the strainer. Doing it this way, I have more control over the amount and the weight of the bowl. It takes longer yes, but I’m able to do it without injuring myself or Jackson (my cat) for my birthday I’m asking for a standing strainer, basically a large bolts it sits over the sink. I currently have a handheld one you can imagine how long it takes me to strain the plasta and how much coordination it would take if I had to do it the “normal” way
My journey to being independent in the kitchen has not gone without its share of adventures. Today I was making salsa chicken with cheese and spasmed while putting the salsa on my chicken. It was the kind of spasm that came with involuntary movement to, I ended up walking backwards while losing my balance, and fell back first in a sitting position into one of my kitchen walls. I’M FINE! I wasn’t holding anything sharp. I did get salsa all over the place, but thankfully the jar was empty by that point, so it was more of a splattered mess then a spill. My point is, I’m always learning and changing up my techniques to make things easier. I may try cooking from my chair to avoid spasms and possible falls, but I’m going to explore all my other options first. I’m not against using my chair when I need to, but I don’t want to use it unless I really really need it.
I love the independence that I get out of cooking and the ability to create. By no means what I call myself a chef, but I will say my skills have come a very long way. Most importantly I am no longer afraid.