Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cooking in my Scooter

There was a time I was a pretty good cook, but then I was diagnosed with MS. My balance was gone, my strength was waning, my energy was declining, my coordination uncertain at best. I could no longer handle a multi-stepped process that included precise measuring, mixing, stirring, slicing, chopping, and lifting while standing over a hot burner or leaning into a hot oven. The time and energy it took to prepare a fantastic meal meant I didn't have the energy to enjoy it. The kitchen is no longer a favorite room -- I am finished as a cook.

But, wait. Maybe there is another way. Simplify – Simplify. I have had to simplify other areas of my life to make them work, so maybe if I approach cooking from a different perspective, this will work, too.

I spent time trying one thing and then another, tweaking, practicing and practicing some more. Eureka -- I can still cook. It's not the same, but it works. I have developed a regimen so even I can prepare a meal that Garry and I enjoy. I know there are others who are ready to give up and quit cooking, so I will share what I have learned. Here is the Introduction and Table of Contents:

Cooking from a Wheelchair

I sit in a wheelchair ALL the time and I don’t have a cook, but I still have to eat. I’m guessing you do, too.

This book is about good meals that are easy to prepare, even from a chair. Using pre-packaged mixes and even canned foods, and adding your own special touches, you can prepare a nice meal without too much time or effort. This is more about what to cook as it is about how to cook. There are a few detailed recipes, but mostly easy options and tips. Some days, when you have no time or energy but still have to eat, you will find this little book comes in handy – even if you are not disabled!

Each disabled person has limitations, and yours may be different than mine. Adjust these suggestions to your particular abilities. I do not have strength, neither my right hand nor right arm works very well, I have poor balance, and I cook from a chair. Being seated provides a unique perspective in the kitchen. Sometimes I ask for help, like taking a hot bowl out of the microwave, but I can prepare most of these meals by myself. This little book shares my experiences.

The mission of this little book is to give you ideas and confidence in your ability to turn the ideas into your meals. I hope you find this useful.

Table of Contents

Getting Ready

Getting your Kitchen Ready

Getting Yourself Ready

Getting your Menus Ready

Ready, Set, Go -- Recipes

Appendix –

Ways Others Can Help

Grocery Shopping

Tips and Techniques

Special Treats

Another section will be coming later.

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