"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-06-2006, 08:41 PM   #1
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
Cooking Shortcuts for the Disabled Cook

Without going into detail, I have a multitude of physical problems that cause chronic pain.
Cooking is one of the few hobbies that I can still enjoy, but I have learned that I have to have help, do it a little at a time, and take some short-cuts that make life easier for me. I usually cook enough for more than one night, which might end up being "re-runs'", or a totally different dish made from the already cooked meat and vegetables.

So here's my question:
What kinds of short-cuts or hints do you all have for me? Time in general is not the problem. It's time on my feet and the amount of mess that I (actually,my beloved husband) have to deal with.

I'm talking good food here, not Cambells soup over chicken breasts and instant rice.

__________________

__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2006, 08:55 PM   #2
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
I too have a disability, a mobility impairment that some might consider severe, but is low middle in reality. I love to cook, and hate to do it sitting down. But I do pay a price at the end of the day. I do use a stool near the stove for many watch and stir moments, but chopping and mixing is best done standing up for me.

I would (and will be) avail myself of all the machines I could...Kitchen aid mixer with all the bells and whistles, a good food processor, etc. These can speed things up.

THe other element of course is good planning. Mise en place. If you are prepared, you can do it with economy of motion.

You can also replace certain stand up techniques with sit down ones. Rather than browning meat in a saute pan, broil it brown, flip it, then sauce and bake , roast, or braise. Easy to sweat the veggies in a pot while browning in the oven.

As for lifting pots and pans, calphalon one is great to cook in and weighs less than clad SS etc.

Stews soups and braises are easier than labor intensive recipes calling for many pans. THere are many one pan saute dinners. Julia's The Way to Cook , and James Petersen's Essentials of Cooking are basic texts with many great recipes you can easily do without strain. Petersen's contains over 20 chicken sautes of quality.
__________________

__________________
Robo410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2006, 03:56 AM   #3
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
I have a high step stool that is quite comfortable (it's available in many stores and catalogs) that my husband uses to do kitchen chores when his arthritis or gout is bothering him. If you have room for a kitchen table, being able to sit and do the 'menial labor' (i.e., peeling and chopping) is nice. But mostly a good, comfortable stool. Also arranging your kitchen appropriately can cut a lot of steps. Dishes near your sink/dishwasher. Spices/pantry near your stove. Good cusioned rugs where you are going to have to stand. We lived in an RV for three years, on the road, and were amazed to discover that many, many handicapped people take up this lifestyle. One advantage? You can stand in one place and reach everything. A smaller kitchen is actually easier for people who have difficulty getting around. If your kitchen isn't small, find ways to make it smaller by having everything you need in a small area.
__________________
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2006, 04:14 AM   #4
Master Chef
 
cara's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Hannover, Germany
Posts: 5,763
can't you get something like this...




just helps you to watch your pots and pans and can be put away if not needed....
__________________
LiGruess cara ~~~ Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
cara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2006, 06:15 AM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4,764
Send a message via MSN to urmaniac13 Send a message via Skype™ to urmaniac13
A good adjustable stool like Cara suggested will be a must... that will save you lots of physical fatigue.
I also have this Braun handheld chopper/blender/whip which I use almost everyday, I would recommend it highly...it is one of my beloved tools which is powerful (600W) enough to grind nuts or parmigiano without worrying about having it burnt out, also can handle something more delicate like chopping up herbs. Another plus is there are very few parts (usually 3) to wash out after each use, so you can use this as often as you feel like without dreading about the toil of cleaning it up afterwards. (to wash out the blade, I fill up the bottom food container or some other vessel that is tall enough with soap water and give it a spin, works out perfectly without any strenuous effort)
If you are interested, here is more information...
http://www.braun.com/global/products...rs/mr6000.html
__________________
urmaniac13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2006, 05:31 PM   #6
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Proper tools, well maintained, and appliances to ease the chopping, blending, mincing, etc., and multi-tools, like the afore mentioned Braun Hand-blender with processor, whip, and blending attachments, these all help make the process easier, and speed things up as well.

Also, well planned meals don't have to be difficult to be great. If your kitchen is set up properly, then whle you are near the stove, you can easily reach whatever flavorings you might need. Knives should be near your working surfaces, light-weight bowls are great for mixing. And categorize your drawers with the tools you will need where you need them. And let Hubby assist in the cooking process as well as in the cleaning department.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2006, 12:33 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
I like everyone's idea of the stool. Can you pre-slice a whole pack of carrots in a food processor and store in freezer? Carrots and other veggies. I know it will take a lot of time initially but it may help in the long-run.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2006, 10:47 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
Constance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Southern Illiniois
Posts: 8,175
I designed the interior of our home, and I knew I wanted a small space that looked big and roomy, so there are no walls between our living area, dining room and kitchen. The kitchen really is small...I can reach the sink, stove, microwave, dishwasher and fridge without moving more that a few feet. The stove is in a T-shaped island, with a bit of counter space on each side, and an extension where we can pull stools up and get our legs underneath. That is where I sit to do my chopping, and if the skillet or pot is on the back burner of the stove, I don't even have to get up to dump in the vegies or give it a stir.
The kitchen and living area have a sloped ceiling that is over 20' high at the top, and has 3 skylights in it, which opens up the area quite a lot, as does the greenhouse that extends the full 28' length of the living area.

Robo, it sounds like you and I both do things a lot the same. Gotta love those one dish meals cooked in a big Calphalon skillet.

I'd like to have a stool with wheels, so I can roll around without having to get up and move the stool.
__________________
We get by with a little help from our friends
Constance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2006, 11:02 AM   #9
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
"Robo, it sounds like you and I both do things a lot the same. Gotta love those one dish meals cooked in a big Calphalon skillet."

I have a lot of fine copper, and enameld cast iron, and pro aluminum. But my "prizes" are some inherited Griswold cast iron pans, and a 7 qt saute pan from the Commercial Aluminum Pan Company (what it was before Calphalon) a real restaurant size pan. But it needs a real gas burner...way too big to use on electric or glass top stoves.
__________________
Robo410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2006, 12:09 PM   #10
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
The carrots must be partially cooked before freezing or they will become mushy. This is due to water expansion in the cell-walls. The walls burst and leav you with something that resembles a carrot, but the texture and flavor are ruined. The same is true with raw potatoes, and may other similar veggies.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________

__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.