Activity 18 – Preparing meals

Alternate senses contributing to this activity are: touch, hearing, smell, and taste.

Assistive procedures helpful for maintaining this activity are:

  • Labeling
  • Modifying or developing techniques
  • Using Braille
  • Using high technology devices or software
  • Modifying objects or environment
  • Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment

We will begin with:

Labeling

Use a magnetized tape labeler to identify canned goods.

Mark appliance controls marked with tactile stickers, Hi-Marks or Puff Paint.

Store food in different types of containers marked in Braille. Small adhesive bumpers for cabinet doors can be used for this.

Attach Brailled cards to the containers with rubber bands. As the contents are consumed, the cards become useful as reminders to restock.


Modifying or developing techniques

Use a wooden spoon like a small cane to find pan handles and the center of the pot when pouring.

A small food chopper can substitute for a knife, and it stops when you remove your hand.

Record recipes on a tape recorder, and use the pause button between tasks.

Put sweet baking supplies in one container and spicy in another, so you don’t mix them up.

Shop online, or have groceries delivered.

Cook prepared foods or frozen vegetables. Ask the butcher to quarter the chicken or cube the beef for you.

Don’t hesitate to touch the food with your hands, as long as they are clean. Or, wear latex gloves.

To pour a liquid, use your finger to align the edges of the containers. Raise the edge of the pouring container slightly over the edge of the receiving container. Listen for the sound as the container fills, feel the weight, estimate the time.

When pouring a hot liquid, place your finger inside the cup or pan at the level you want and feel for the heat as the liquid rises.

Use a second utensil to locate meat in the pan before flipping.

When cooking, maintain even heat and consistency in portion size and timing.

Use a slow cooker and a microwave oven. They are safer and easier than a stove.

You can press meat with your finger to tell how well it is cooked. Well done, for example, feels like the back of your clenched fist.

Cooked vegetables are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork.

Cake springs back when it’s done. You can also test it by piercing with a clean tooth pick. If the toothpick comes out dry, the cake is ready to eat.


Using high technology devices or software

Download audio recipes from the Internet.

Purchase audio or Braille recipe books.


Modifying objects or environment

For easy cleanup and neatness, use a cookie tray for a surface to prepare food on.

Paper plates and cups will make cleanup easier.

Purchase pre-measured tablets of dishwasher soap.

Grate or chop directly into a bowl.

Use stackable measuring cups.

Keep measuring spoons on the ring.

Store everything in the same place every time.

Use bowls with non-slip bases or lay a non-slip mat or damp cloth on the counter top.

Store food products alphabetically in the cupboard.

Store sharp knives in a holder, not in drawers or lying loose in the sink. Be sure to turn them point down in the dishwasher.


Using low vision materials and non-optical devices or equipment

Non-optical devices are available from low vision dealers for almost every task in the kitchen. Some of them are:

  • A liquid level indicator that beeps when the container is nearing full
  • A tactile or talking timer
  • A liquid boil alert
  • A talking food thermometer
  • An automatic electric pot stirrer

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