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Old 11-01-2008, 03:49 AM   #1
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Exclamation ISO Handicap advice

I didn't know where to put this question. This seemed like the most logical place.

In two weeks I will have surgery on my right shoulder and hand and will have no use of my entire right arm and hand for several weeks. I am right handed by the way.

I am looking for advice or tips on how to function in the kitchen with only my left hand and arm. I have a family of five to cook for. My girls are 8 and 10 and will be able to help me somewhat in the kitchen but I will have to find a way to function on my own as they are in school all day long.

Thanks for any tips or advice you may have for me.

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Old 11-01-2008, 08:55 AM   #2
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Morning Miss Alice....Sorry to hear about this --- Know this; Everyone here will be thinking about ya, and praying for a speedy recovery!!!

The only thing that popped into my head was --- Keep it Simple ... Between now and the surgery maybe you can come up with several "one pot" meals ---Soups, Gumbos, Chowders, Spaghetti, Pot Roast, Stews, etc. --- Hopefully the girls can help alot with some things --- I'm sure they will rise to the occassion!!! It will be a great time for you to teach -- and for them to learn some basic cooking skills --Hey!! It will be fun too!!!!
I'm sure there will be some beautiful memories as well as some "good eats" from this experience!!

I'm sure you will get a few more ideas from the gang here!!!

Blue Skies!!!
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:00 AM   #3
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UB stole my answer. Stocking up would be the best thing - especially with the main part of the meal. The sides should be fairly easy to cover. Keep it simple and use some frozen things for ease.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:15 AM   #4
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I would think one of the most challenging things in the kitchen with one hand would be using a knife to prepare things. With that in mind, buy already chopped foods. I have seen everything from veggies to potatoes to garlic to cooked chicken to many other things. This way you can just use one hand to cook a lot more things.
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:28 AM   #5
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Hey there, Alice......so sorry to hear of your upcoming surgery. Thoughts and prayers coming your way.

You've already been given some great advice.

Perhaps you can prepare a menu now, for as much of your down time as you can, and prep NOW as much of the ingredients for those dishes as you can, such as cutting up beef for stew or stir fry. Even chopping onions, carrots, celery, etc., and placing them in zippy freezer bags and stock your freezer now, can be helpful.

And something I've learned from the multiple surgeries I've had -- don't be afraid to ask for help!!! Don't be "Wonder Woman" and think, "Yes, I can, yes I can...." Take care of you!
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Old 11-01-2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice I View Post
I didn't know where to put this question. This seemed like the most logical place.

In two weeks I will have surgery on my right shoulder and hand and will have no use of my entire right arm and hand for several weeks. I am right handed by the way.

I am looking for advice or tips on how to function in the kitchen with only my left hand and arm. I have a family of five to cook for. My girls are 8 and 10 and will be able to help me somewhat in the kitchen but I will have to find a way to function on my own as they are in school all day long.

Thanks for any tips or advice you may have for me.
You're cooking for 5, and we know of you and your two girls. That leaves two additional people. Are either of them able or old enough to assist or take over the cooking duties?

As the Queen stated, don't think you're going to be able to do it all yourself. That will just get you frustrated and possibly cause damage to the surgical areas. If you belong to a church or synagogue, Let them know that you will be incapacitated. Our church helps out folks recovering from surgeries and illnesses by making and delivering meals. It's not Charity, it's Love for your fellow man that draws people to do this. We have many single and widowed people in our church who jump at the chance to help others in need. They would love to cook a meal for a family of five just to feel like they are needed. You could be twice blessed by allowing them to help you.

Joe
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:03 PM   #7
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i agree let your 2 girls be your hands, good bonding time with them and they will also learn to cook . Good luck and speedie receovery
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:13 PM   #8
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Hello everyone!
Let me see if I can answer some questions. My family consists of five folks. My husband and myself and our three children. Adam just turned three on October 18th. Emily is 8 and Ally is 10. All of the kids have been cooking with me in the kitchen as soon as they were able to stand. Even Adam enjoys cracking eggs or mixing pre-measured ingredients. Ally and Emily are starting to learn some of the more intricate cooking techniques. Ally went to a cooking class with her daddy that a local supermarket chain hosts called Cheesy Kids. They taught the kids how to make, Mac and Cheese, Lasagna, and popcorn cauliflower with cheese.

My husband is going to take the first week off to do pretty much everything around the house. I have practiced doing things with just my left hand and have found that changing a diaper on a precocious 3 year old isn't something I am going to be able to do. We have been working on potty training. It seems like now would be a great time to really concentrate on that.

We do belong to the local Catholic church. I will put out word to the educational coordinator about the surgery. She knew it was coming up because I mentioned it to her quite a while back. I have waited for over 3 months for worker's comp approval. She offered to have folks help get the kids to religious education class since I will not be allowed to drive. Perhaps that assistance could be extended a little bit to the kitchen.

I think the main problem with all of this is that going through proper protocol it has taken 11 months to get this issue dealt with and over that span of time the tear in my shoulder has gotten worse and therefore my recoup time will be longer. The doctor told me that if he finds a repairable tear (something that he can't fix by debreidment) I will be out up to five months!

That could be a huge problem since I would get fired from my job after 3 months. I wonder about the cutting up of onions and such. Will just freezing them work or should I freeze them in water. Someone told me once that doing that will keep them from getting freezer burn and they will last longer frozen. Is that true?

I have been trying to stock up on as much food as possible since my pay will bve dramatically reduced during this time off. Here is my question. Many of the meat items are already frozen. Is it safe to thaw those things out, cut them up to be recipe ready and then re-freeze them?

Potatoes - How can I keep them fresh after they have been peeled. I'm pretty sure potatoes don't freeze well. The peeling would be impossible with one hand. Hmmm I just had an idea. Have you ever seen one of those apple peeler/corer things. They work with a crank. I wonder if that would work on a potatoe? I have one of those. I'll have to give it a try. That way the potatoe is peeled and cut into thin discs. The solid cores could be boiled for mashed potatoes I guess. I'll give it a try and let you know if it works.

Well I have to go make lunch for my brood. I put some pics up of my kids under the album function. Thanks for all the advice.
Alice
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:18 PM   #9
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My suggestions are:

See if you can find someone that would be willing to "help" once a week to prep things for the next week.

Make double recipes now and freeze for another meal.

Google Once A Month Cooking. You should find some great ideas/recipes that should freeze well.

Clean out the freezer NOW so you have room for all of the things you will be freezing.

I suspect once the word goes out, you will have people bringing over things to help out. Figure out how you are going to keep track of their dishes etc.

Stock up on Thank You cards and stamps.

And most of all: Remember to follow doctors orders about not lifting.

Take Care and Speedy Recovery!


PS
Buy lots of freezer bags in all sizes so you are able to save thing that are preped ahead of time. Freezing flat in bags saves room in the freezer.
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Old 11-01-2008, 05:05 PM   #10
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I've been freezing chopped onions in ziplock bags for years with no freezer burn problem.

Another thing you might consider is using a crock-pot if you have one.

Best wishes with your surgery.
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