open with teethOpening a jar of peanut butter can be extremely frustrating when attempting to do so with one hand. Another hand is needed to hold the jar still while twisting the lid off. Once the lid is off and I try to scoop peanut butter onto a knife the jar moves. When I try to spread the peanut butter on a piece of bread the bread moves. Multiple frustrations occur when attempting the simplest act. My countertops are littered with pieces of sticky waffle-like nonskid fabric used under rugs. My use for them is somewhat different. They hold bowls still while I stir ingredients together. Or they help keep jars from spinning. I have a few gadgets especially designed for single in handed cooks. One is a cutting board with suction cup feet and a vice-like device to hold vegetables while I cut them. It also includes a cluster of metal spikes that I can slam an onion onto before cutting; very satisfying. My husband found a can opener that requires only one hand. Mostly I improvise using my Arky- ingenuity skills. Or my teeth or my feet.

For almost a month I was banished from the kitchen. Well, banished from using the stove anyway. My son walked in and noticed I had an empty pan on the red-hot cooktop. I had filled the pan with water, spilled it in the sink and neglected to fill it again before I put it on the stove. (Brain hiccup!). My brain is working much better now. In the past year I made many small changes in the way I do things, especially in the kitchen. Now rather than filling a large pot at the sink I place the pot on the cooktop and fill it with pitchers of water. Yesterday I made chicken Alfredo all by myself without burning or spilling anything. Since I can’t carry a huge pasta pot full of boiling water with one hand, I simply scoop the pasta out of the water with a large slotted spoon. Mostly I microwave frozen meals. Comically, just before the brain explosion, I had sworn off of all processed foods. So much for that. My family would have starved by now.

I rarely run on autopilot anymore, but think things through completely before beginning any task. In order to maintain my independence, I revert to using my teeth and feet to take the place of Lida when necessary. Yep, I’m a monkey-like barbarian when I have to be. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed much.

About Vic Cobb Fountain

Empowered Stroke survivor: appreciating where I've been, anticipating where I'm going.
This entry was posted in stroke, stroke recovery, stroke survivor and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Adaptation:Cooking

  1. Marta Szwaya says:

    I too have all sorts of kitchen adventures…My husband Jim, actually loves to cookand so a hard thing is having lost control of my kitchen, as we plan the kitchen of the house we plan to build i Florida for our eventual retirement. I realize I will havre to incorporate his preferences as well.My son is a professional chef, so some of their bonding takes place over cooking. Since that’s a good thing, I can be a good sport about that. Marta

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