Cooking with CP: Things that make it easier for me

Regular readers of this blog will know that my Cerebral Palsy means that I struggle with cooking. They’ll probably also be able to tell you that this frustrates me, both for myself and because I can’t make meals for my family. But, if my three years living away at university thought me anything (my actual multimedia journalism degree aside of course) I learned a couple of handy hints about making my life in the kitchen a little bit easier. Here are a few of my personal things that I couldn’t cope without.

This is a post about how the items listed below work for me personally. I cannot offer advice on or say how well they would work or how suitable they would be for others as I’m not a medical professional.

A plastic measuring jug: I know this one sounds obvious but I use it for a whole lot more than just measuring stuff out. It was a couple of weeks into my first year that one of my housemates at the time made the shocking revelation that you could cook pasta in a microwave! This was a totally alien concept to me but it made my life so much easier over the years when I realised that I could make it in this instead of in a heavy pan that I can’t lift. After that I started making soup in one too because I found it far easier to carry than a steaming hot bowl of the stuff (and I’ve had less spillages that way too).

Colanders with long handles: It wasn’t long into my pasta-making days that I realised colanders that just had handles on the side were a big no-go because I either ended up almost burning myself or spilling half of my just cooked food down the sink. For a while I got a bit creative and used a sieve as a replacement, but then my mother bought me a huge orange one for Christmas that year and I got far more excited that one person should ever do over a kitchen utensil.

An electric tin opener: I had one of these at home anyway before I left, but silly old me forgot to pack it on the day I made the trek to start my new life 60 miles up north. I’d been far too busy trying to remember other things like my textbooks, clothes, and duvets to worry about that. It’ll be okay, I thought, I’ll just buy ring-pull tins. That was about the time that I realised I didn’t have the hand strength for those and spent the first couple of weeks asking everyone to help me open my peas. Now it’s the first thing I pack. Oh, and coat hangers, I forgot those that day too.

An apple corer: I love apples but ever since I had braces as a teenager I’ve always hated having to bite into them. And of course the time I pulled a loose tooth out on one as a kid probably doesn’t help either. I couldn’t chop them until I realised that taking out the core first meant that I could just about manage to do it as long as I wasn’t fussy about the size and shape of the pieces I cut.

 

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14 thoughts on “Cooking with CP: Things that make it easier for me

  1. I have a solution: Ask for a small slow cooker for birthday or Christmas (Russell Hobbs one is cheap, and good!) You can chuck all sorts in… mince, a chilli paste and kidney beans,and water using your plastic jug, and in a few hours you will have chilli. Did this recently, for friends, with baked potatoes and they loved it. Or chicken pieces, chopped veg from a packet, and stock… the possibilities are endless. I will put the slow cooker on in the morning or lunch time and by meal time food is ready, and there are at least two meals usually which I can freeze, defrost when i need em and bung em in the microwave. handling the hot dishes is trickier, but I use oven mitt and just pray I don’t drop it… unless it’s a ‘sit’ and there is a carer around! Hope this helps!

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    1. Don’t know what I’d do without my slow cooker as I can’t eat processed foods but my carers’ cooking skills are limited. After three years of eating grilled meat and boiled veg every day because it was all any of my carers knew how to cook I now eat all kinds of slow-cooked soups, stews, mince and curries using ready chopped veg/meats and canned beans/lentils from the supermarket. That and a self pouring kettle are the best gifts I have ever been given. My electric jar opener has proved quite popular with able-bodied people too for those tricky to open jars.

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      1. Oh yes, that’s the other the other thing I forgot to mention, I also have a self pouring kettle, and that is other lifesaver. Nicola, look on the argos catalogue online at ‘hot water dispensers’ I think mine is a braun one it is great. Just have to September to get someone to fill it up for you, or use your plastic jug.

        I also have a blue handle sort of thing that has a bit which hooks into ring pulls on cans, then you pull it and roll it across the surface of the can, and hey presto 🙂

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      2. Do you know what the ring pull can thing is called? sounds that that could come in handy because y tin opener doesn’t seems to like opening those too much.

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  2. Good to see you take it all in your stride. I have two Tuppeware microwave jugs AND a Tupperware microwave pasta cooker which I just love to use. It’s so easy and yes, no dealing with heavy pots and pans is definitely a godsend., xo

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