Thursday, October 18, 2012

The One-Handed Cook

Part of getting back into life after my stroke was to gradually resume the household duties that had fallen onto my husband and friends during my first months home. One of the scariest tasks for me was getting back into the kitchen. The kitchen is full of sharp and hot things. Packages demand to be opened and resealed. It is a domain of the two-handed.

But I couldn't continue to ask friends and family to drop off home-cooked meals. And after my fifth tray of enchiladas, I googled "one-handed cooking utensils" and hit a jackpot of products for the disabled chef.

I was reluctant to spend money on adaptive devices in the beginning because I was sure my complete recovery was right around the corner. Two-and-a-half years post-stroke and still very limited with my left hand, I recognize that the corner is at the end of an extremely long block.

My other excuse for not wanting adaptive equipment was that forcing myself to use standard tools would be therapeutic. But my first failed attempt to use a regular can opener convinced me that I ought to buy the One-Touch Can Opener. I was very skeptical that it would work as advertised — but the thing is magic!

My second concession was to purchase a Single-Handed Cutting Board. This item is more practical than magic. I've stabbed myself carelessly on the upright nails, and the suction cups that hold it in place are so strong that when you pull up the board after slicing tomatoes, the tomato juice and seeds splash all over the place. But I do not know any other way to slice and spread bread with only one hand. Watch my demo below. Bon Appetit!