Cooking Without Sight
A lot of what I have learnt in the kitchen was either taught to me by my mum, through helping her when growing up, or I have taught myself through trial and error. I am not very skilled, so most of what I do is very simple to make. Most things I cook only need one or two pans, which makes it a lot easier to keep track of. This also saves on washing up. I try to do as much of the preparation before I start cooking, so that I can keep my attention on the cooking itself when I need to. I also like to add as much as I can to a pan when it is still cold as this is safer, reducing the risk of accidentally touching something hot.
I use very little equipment specially adapted for someone who can’t see. Just my talking microwave and scales. I do however, have some very trusty tools that make preparation and cooking a lot easier.
I love my Joseph Joseph chop to pot chopping boards, as they allow me to easily transfer my prepared food from work surface to pan. The handy way the sides fold up help funnel the food in to the pan without any stray bits missing the edge.
My Joseph Joseph measuring cups are really useful as well. I know which size is which. They have a flat bottom, which means I can place them on a solid surface while pouring and measuring, leaving me with both hands free to feel what I am doing.
I use my talking scales to weigh out my ingredients. This ensures that I am far more accurate, allowing me to have more control over how much we are having.
I prefer to use pots and pans that have a heavy base as they are far more stable. If you can’t see you sometimes knock against things and if they aren’t stable or balanced they can easily be tipped over, causing spillages and creating a mess. I try to avoid this as much as possible. This goes the same for glasses and crockery. I try to reduce the risk of spilling to a bare minimum but sometimes accidents happen and you just have to accept it.
Good quality knives are also important. Yes, that means they are sharp but it also means they are much easier to handle. It takes a little time to get used to the handling of a good knife, but once you get more comfortable with how it feels, you build up confidence. For someone sighted watching, I imagine it is very scary seeing me chop things. My left hand is always close to the blade, feeling what I am chopping, but I know where my hands are and where the blade is. As long as I am careful and don’t rush, then I am in control. Accidents will happen however, but this is true too for sighted people. I have lost track of how many times someone on tv has cut themselves chopping food, so this should not put you off.
I am aware my food presentation is never pretty. We are meant to enjoy food by eating it, not looking at it. I’m sorry if this offends people, but thats the fact of the matter. Smell also has a massive influence on the taste of food. I like to use a lot of herbs and spices in my cooking for this reason as it helps to enhance the whole food experience.
If you have any specific questions on how I prepare or cook anything, then please feel free to get in touch. I will do my best to answer everything that comes my way.
Thank you for reading and check back soon for my next post.