Visually-Impaired – 5 Kitchen Tips
When I taught primary school in Colombia, South America, I had a gringo colleague who enjoyed teasing me. One day Joe took his turn as the bus monitor and invited me to ride along. Just before the driver took off, Joe clapped his hands to get the students’ attention then said, “Quien quiere una esposo gringa?” and he pointed to me. All the students giggled but not one responded. He repeated his question and receive the same response, and shrugged. “Sorry, Amy, I tried. Nobody wants to marry you.”
“Joe, you know just enough Spanish to be dangerous — to me, that is.” His Spanish had several errors so he actually asked who wanted a foreign husband!
This seemingly unrelated story reminds me that I’m like that in my kitchen. I move quickly and have just enough sight to function but not enough to function without error! In other words, I’m a little dangerous when I cook or bake.
But I have found with a few aids and a conscious effort, I make less of a mess and stay safer cooking.
Last week in my post, Baking Mayhem, I shared a few highlights of a story in my book, Cane Confessions with the promise to share 5 tips this week. Here it is!
One of the problems I have in my kitchen is very little counter space to work on. So whenever I was in the midst of preparing food and moving fast, I became careless and that’s where things begin to go south (down, usually to the floor!)
Here are 5 tips that will help counteract the times when our eyes prove to be unreliable.
- Plan ahead. Decide what you want to cook and break it down into steps.
In other words, organize and stay organized. Keeping your kitchen in order during prep will save you time and energy. De-clutter is the word.Use a cafeteria tray to organize materials and catch spills. For example, keep all the waiting-to-be-used ingredients to the left and once they’re used, put them to the right on the tray. (Rachael Ray organizes herself in a similar fashion. She uses a large bowl for all her food scraps, which she throws away at the end.
I have also found keeping a wet towel at my prep station helps to minimize my trips back and forth to the sink to rinse my hands. Going to the sink fewer times also prevents me from tripping over the dog.
- Outline edges of the counter with wide tape in a contrasting color.
This helps to identify the edge of my small countertop.When my bowl or cutting board shifts to the danger zone, I can see it happening out of the corner of my eye. When I cook, my materials tend to migrate to the edge of the counter so the tape alerts me. My rehab trainer taught me this hac
- Keep cupboard drawers and doors closed at all time.
This has been a major problem for me in the past. I hit my head on open doors, spill things in the open drawers (like the brownie mix). I might as well issue an area-wide trumpet call and set out a sugar mat to welcome ants and their extended families to multiple family reunions. I’m such a hospitable hostess! But with this rule in place along with the get-all-my-mixing-utensils-in-advance rule set up, it should not be too difficult to keep the drawers shut. Now, all I have to remember is to put them back afterward.
- Use colored mixing cups and spoons that contrast against the counter top.
Likewise, light-colored dishes contrast well on a dark tablecloth. I love having different colors mixing cups and spoons. Some might find it helpful to have them labeled in Braille but the color works well for me.
- Have good lighting overhead in your kitchen.
In my kitchen, there are two long flourescent lights that take up a lot of the ceiling. There are also two strong halogen track lights on each side of my sink area. Plus, I have natural lighting coming in from a window and door nearby. This really helps me see much better, especially when I have to use a magnifying glass. There you go, my five tips for being more successful in the kitchen. Hope it’s been valuable and you’re taking away at least one new tip from it!
What kinds of tips do you have to add in way of kitchen organization?
You have just read “Visually-Impaired – 5 Kitchen Tips” by Amy L. Bovaird. Copyright April 5, 2017. Please take a moment to leave a comment! Thanks!
Click HERE to find out more about Cane Confessions.