Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cooking with SCI

Today's episode of The Mobility-Challenged Gourmet features restaurant-quality Cheese Quesadillas with sour cream and fire-roasted tomato and corn salsa.  Delicious!  

For this tasty item I utilized a variety of mobility skills and tricks.  It required some bending to get the griddle from the under-oven drawer, as well as some brief standing sessions gathering ingredients from the fridge.  It's important during this stage to remember your energy efficiency priorities:  make as few trips as possible, but never carry more than you can safely hold and still maintain your balance.  Since the cheese and the tortilla packages were both fairly flat, I carried them together, then went back for the salsa and sour cream.

Next, I brought a fairly comfy office chair into the kitchen.  I assembled and grilled the quesadillas sitting down - always remember safety when cooking!  In front of a hot stove is not the place to be standing around and lose your balance, as there is nothing safe on that stove top for you to grab onto to steady yourself.  Sometimes I stand for a moment to get the proper leverage to flip the tortilla or check the color it's getting, but always with the chair right behind me so that I can just sit if there's a problem, without having to grab or touch anything with my hands.

Presentation tip:  a pizza cutting wheel will give you those beautifully clean quesadilla cuts without tearing up your tortilla or smearing cheese all over a knife.  Nothing really sticks to the pizza wheel, and often all it needs after cutting quesadillas is a wipe down with a damp paper towel - saves on clean-up energy!  Here's how the toasty tortillas looked before I dressed them in my favorite condiments:

Speaking of clean-up, that is certainly an aspect of cooking that can't be ignored.  Now, I have a husband in my life who has generously offered to clean up the kitchen after any cooking attempts I feel well enough to accomplish, but if you're on your own you will want to budget your time and energy to allow for clean-up as well as cooking.  Consider your total cleaning needs when you are planning your meal, and how best to achieve them.  You might need to rest after eating, and return to the kitchen later in the day with refreshed energy to clean, and in some cases planning pain management in advance will help you get through both your cooking and your clean-up more comfortably.

I hope you've enjoyed these tips for disabled cooking, and that you will always find ways to safely push your horizons and experience the things you love to do in the way that's best-suited to your abilities.  Happy cooking, and better yet, happy eating!