Our current kettle

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We recently had to get a now kettle after our last one stopped working.

I like the way that this one looks but everything else about it is taking quite a bit of getting used to.

I fill it up using a jug because of where the handle is positioned and it’s quite a bit heavier than the old one too.

Trying a rocker knife

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The rocker knife that was loaned to me

When I saw an Occupational Therapist, (OT), a while ago, I took the opportunity to ask her if she knew of anything that might help me become a bit more independent in the kitchen. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you’ll know that cooking is something I’m keen to get better at. I’ve even made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions for 2014.

She said that the hospital could loan me some pieces of equipment that I could I try to see how they worked for me and figure out if they would be worth me buying. She loaned me a chopping board with spikes on a while ago, and said that she would try and get hold of something called a rocker knife so me to have a go with one of those too.

The one she loaned me is pictured above, and I suppose it is the kind that you would use to eat your dinner with on an evening and things like that, but she said that they come in other types as well, like bread knives, if I found them useful and wanted to buy some.

I’ve been looking forward to trying out the knife since she mentioned it, because cutting up food is something that I find quite hard at times. How hard depends on what food it is. Things like bananas don’t cause me too many problems, but things like certain types of meat, sandwiches with a few fillings in, and pizza do, to name but a few. I still struggle to use a piazza cutter.

Of course, the size of the plate makes a difference too because I find cutting things harder if they’re on a small one. I often say that people sitting close to me at the table may not want to sit too close in case they end up wearing my meal. How much I’m joking will depend on what the meal is.

I tried using this knife because the OT suggested that it might be easier for me. I’m not a professional so I can’t say if these would work, or be suitable for other people to use. I can only write this post as a reflection of how I felt using this kind of knife worked for me.

The rocker knife is curved so that you cut your food by moving it in rocking motion, rather than pushing and pulling your knife back and forth to cut food. For the purposes of this blog post I used it when I was eating a jacket potato because I was making the meal for myself and I find them really quick to make, and I only have to use the microwave to do it.

I know that jacket potatoes are usually quite soft on the inside. I sometimes have trouble cutting through the skin, especially if I’ve left it cooking for a bit too long. This happens more than I would care to admit.

At first, it was a little strange getting used to moving the cutlery a different way to what I am used to, but this passed pretty quickly. Although some of the skin still took a bit of getting through, I got the feeling it was probably easier than it would have been otherwise.

Because it is quite wide at the edge, I also found it helped when using the knife to push food onto my fork too, which I’d never really considered before I started using it.

I’ll also be experimenting with how easy I find it to use with other foods before I have to return it, although I don’t know what these will be yet. Then I’ll make a decision about if I want to buy one for myself or not.

A catalouge of excitment

My appointment with the occupational therapist (OT) yesterday went well. We’ve recently had a new kitchen fitted in at home, so some of the tips and tricks I learned for managing to do a few bits and bats in the old one won’t really work anymore, which is frustrating and hard, given that it took so long to get used to them. Still, maybe the change will do me good and I’ll learn lots of new stuff that will be useful in the future.

The OT came out to the house and brought with her a couple of things that she thought might help me. These were a bread chopping board with raised edges so that things don’ t fly off and end up here, there and everywhere, like they usually do when I’m trying to butter bread. If you’re ever anywhere near me when I’m making a sandwich I suggest you stand well back because there’s a good chance you might end up covered in something, getting accidently elbowed in the ribs, or both.

The other one is a similar chopping board, with spikes on and a mini grater attached so that I could put something like a jacket potato on it while I get the cheese ready.   Usually when I do this, I have to hold the grater in my weak hand while it’s balanced on a plate, and the cheese in the other. Usually this means that the plate or bowl flies off it one direction, and the grater in the opposite. This makes a mess, and me even more frustrated when I have to try and clean it up.

These items have only been given to me on a short-term loan to see if I find them useful before I spend loads of money on things that don’t really work for me, which I think is a really good idea. The lady left me some catalogues to browse through too, which I’m really excited about, probably because it will remind me of going through the Argos at Christmas when I was a kid. I’ve had a quick flick through them and I didn’t realise just how much was out there! I’m going to sit and give them my full attention later with a cup of tea and see if anything catches my eye, or gives me an ideas of things we already have in the house that I can adapt.

We came up with a list of a few other things to try too over the next couple of weeks so we’ll see how things go. I haven’t played with these ones that she brought yesterday yet, but it’s on the to-do list for this weekend when I’ve bought some food to experiment with. I don’t watch to use the family shopping in case I butcher it beyond all recognition and it’s not edible afterwards. I know this might sound a bit dramatic but believe me when I say it’s entirely possible.

I really hope they help because it gets me down that I can’t help out with the cooking more. I’m willing to spend the cash if I think the difference will be worth it. This could be the start of something really good for me.