Sunday Inspiration: Blind Cook
A Video to Encourage Everyone Who Makes Dinner
35-Day Author Blogging Challenge – Day 8
I love to bake and have been doing it since I was a teen. Now forty years later, with my progressive vision loss due to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), cooking presents a constant challenge that I take on board.
I live with my elderly mother and brother and I’ve become the chief cook by default. Between having to plan meals that are highly restrictive due to dietary needs and cooking with my limited vision, I have quite a time in the kitchen! I can still read some larger-print labels but the cookbook is out. It helps to print recipes off the Internet to enlarge the font.
But I often have “adventures,” which can–when I have a moment to reconstruct what happened or what went wrong–make me laugh. Sometimes I miss an ingredient and it completely changes the outcome.
Today’s attempt to use up some apples turned out all wrong. I used an online recipe from our newspaper. At a certain point, I questioned the definition of a ‘crumbly’ crust. The texture felt more floury. Crumbly can be a bit ambiguous.
When I cooked it, the filling never bubbled and the crust never browned. I blew on it and took a bite. Sweet apples with sawdust! I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and set about to sleuth.
Elementary, dear Watson. With the omission of a basic ingredient of cold butter, the texture lacked taste and the “glue.”
Somehow I missed seeing that vital ingredient.
A recurring error. I once neglected to add the bread crumbs to a meatloaf. It raised about an half an inch off the plate. As my family picked and prodded the thin layer of meat with their forks, I grabbed the Bible and read them the story of the unleavened bread. “Come on. Think how lucky you are!” I exclaimed.”You’re eating something so close to food in biblical times-except the color’s wrong…and, maybe they didn’t have onions. Hey, an onion’s like a leek!” I was grabbing at old testament terminology. When they didn’t respond, I hastily threw out my last bid,”Let’s pray!”
Yeah, it would be great to have a recipe I could hear instead of read! My ears might catch was my eyes missed.
Sometimes my adventure is due to a spacial problem. I used to trip over my dog who adored taking naps directly in front of the fridge or stove.
Or it’s a timing problem. I feel like an octopus throwing my arms out everywhere–beating potatoes, opening the oven, flattening this or toasting that, looking for space to put this or set that down…
I love to listen to cooking shows and have tried to follow them in Spanish, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia and Arabic–whatever county I was living in at the time–but now, my challenge is not coping in a foreign language or locating an exotic ingredient. It’s simply making sure I turn out a decent finished product.
A lot of my cooking turns out well and without incident. But I have to say that having a good sense of humor helps when my meal falls … or ahem–fails to rise!
Sometimes my family takes it in stride and sometimes they don’t. I think that’s because I don’t give myself enough time to prepare everything slowly and carefully. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants cook.
This afternoon, I cringed at the results of that Apple Delight. It was more like Apple Disgust [Can I ever swallow this floury clog in my throat?] So I started searching the internet and guess what? I found this video featuring Nicole and her cooking became my inspiration for today.
What encourages me is that she has still retained her take-charge attitude. Nicole uses her accomplishment as a witness and personal testimony. Though life is so far from what Nicole would like it to be, she manages to seriously make do by being serious about what she makes.
If she and I could sit down and talk for awhile, I’m sure we’d find a lot in common. We’d compare bruises and kitchen disasters. I don’t know if she’d be the market for my humor as much as I would be in the market for her determination and amazing results.
Today, she’s my favorite cook. We all need someone we can relate to and learn from. Someone who doesn’t give up, who motivates us to move forward and become better–to accomplish more with less.
Suddenly, it seems as if I can almost smell the uncooked meals I have yet to make. No, not burnt. Nothing like sawdust. No … the aromas I envision are rich, savory, sweet and full- flavored.
That’s motivation! Thanks, Nicole.
Take a look for yourself and let me know what you think of Nicole’s video ... Blind Cook
What was the most surprising aspect of this video for you? What kinds of questions would you have for Nicole?