People are always amazed that I can cook when they learn my left hand is paralyzed from a stroke. I love to cook even though I only learned how to about 15 years ago.
My top 5 Assistive Technologies for the Kitchen:
This comes in a roll that can be cut into smaller pieces. I cut it into pieces that are about 6 inches long. The cut piece can be used under cutting boards to prevent slipping during food prep. It can also be used under a plate while eating to keep the plate from moving. Another beneficial aspect is that it still works even when it gets wet.
The longer, larger blade provides for more control and leverage while cutting. Because it has a longer blade, it allows for cutting several pieces of food at the same time. For example, I can cut 2-3 ribs of celery into smaller pieces at the same time instead of having to cut them individually.
Cast iron skillet
I only use this type of skillet because it does not move on the burner while cooking food. It also distributes the heat evenly to promote faster cooking. Yes, they are heavy but lifting them helps to build the muscles. I wear an oven mitt on my paralyzed (left) hand when I need to lift it from the oven with 2 hands. I rest the “helper handle” on my left arm while lifting and balancing with my right hand.
The food chopper by Sharper Image is the size of a woman’s dress shoe box. I often call it the shoe box chopper. It makes dicing food so easy! This device allows me to evenly dice a large amount of food in mere minutes. To use, I cut the food into 1-inch pieces, place on the slicing grate, and press the lid down. For an onion, cut ends off and peel, cut in half then cut each half into quarters, placing one quarter on the grate at a time. I use it also for baby carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and apples.
I use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer as my left hand when mixing or kneading. I have used this device for so many things. There are the usual things- cookie dough, muffin or waffle batter. I have used it to make mashed potatoes, mix ingredients for meatloaf or meatballs. But my favorite is kneading dough to make pizza or yeast bread. It takes the hard work out of these tasks and spares my good arm from extra work.
What will you make? Thank you for reading. For other ideas feel free to contact me, Heather Taber at ATRC@UCPNEPA.org