It is that time of year when family and friends gather for warm cups of cider or hot chocolate, friendly conversation, laughter and of course lots of delicious things to eat. For those of us who are blind and visually impaired there is no reason that our vision loss should keep us from joining in on the fun and festivities.
People with vision loss can cook and prepare dishes for office potlucks, holiday brunches or family dinners. With a little help from some assistive aides and devices found at the VisAbility Store at CVI, you can enjoy holiday cooking too. So get ready to raddle those pots and pans!
Ever had problems removing a hot turkey from the pan to the serving platter? I discovered a really useful item that can remedy this problem. It is called the Sili Sling and can be used to transfer a whole turkey. You place the Sling under your raw turkey prior to cooking. The Sling is made from a silicone material that will not burn or melt and stays in place while your poultry cooks. It comes in the color red and has holes in the bottom for draining the hot juices from the meat. When your turkey is ready, just use the grips on both sides to hoist that golden bird out and place on your platter.
Now that the turkey is cooking, how do you know when it is done? Well, just use the talking meat thermometer and there will be no more confusion or half-cooked meats. The thermometer has a removable cover and if you press the thermometer button, it will give you a verbal temperature reading along with a large visual digital display. The top of the thermometer has a clip to hang for easy storage.
In addition to the talking meat thermometer, use the Voice Zone Talking Timer to avoid burning your turkey or under-cooking that squash soufflé. This timer has a clock feature. By pressing the side lever you can switch between modes of count-up, and count-down. The clock counts down the minutes and hours to help your dishes come out perfectly from the oven. Or you can also use a low vision tactile timer. It is about the size of a small wall clock with large numbers in a black/white contrast. Just turn the dial to the amount of time you want and the timer will ding when the time is up.
When you get ready to remove your turkey from the oven, use the long arm mittens. They are about 17-inches long and go up to the elbow to protect not only your hands, but also your wrist and arm. They are flame retardant. This is a great item when removing that hot bubbly macaroni and cheese, cornbread, green bean casserole or my favorite-sweet potato pie!
Now that you have your turkey out of the way, let’s look at some devices that can help with those sides and yummy desserts. Measuring for recipes can call for precision and accuracy. Too much or two little of an ingredient can ruin a favorite dish. Need just a pinch of salt? Or what about a quarter teaspoon of pepper? Low Vision Easy Measure Salt and Pepper Shakers are exactly what you need. They come in two colors - white for salt and black for pepper with measurements written at the top of the shakers in opposite contrasting color.
The My Weigh Talking Food Scale is an excellent measuring device. It is battery operated and comes with a plastic round container to sit on top of its flat surface. Just place your item you need to weigh, such as meats, vegetables or fruits on the scale and the scale will verbally read the measurements in either grams or ounces.
The talking measuring cup is another great device that gives a verbal read out. The measuring cup sits inside a removable base with a flip lid. Just pour sugar for your favorite chocolate chip cookies or oil for your brownies into the measuring cup and it will verbally indicate the amount you poured by cup, ounces, milliliters, and grams. The measuring cup is dishwasher and microwave safe.
One last item for measuring are the metal spice spoons. These spoons are excellent for those dishes that require spices or herbs. They have high sides that help avoid spills and are attached together to keep from misplacing.
For cutting up fruits and vegetables use the low vision cutting board. One side is black while the other is white. This cutting board provides great contrast on the black side when slicing white onions, cauliflower or white potatoes. Use the white site of the cutting board for green peppers, yellow squash, red apples or orange pumpkins and carrots.
Whether you just want to cook a simple holiday meal or host a five-course dinner party, these low vision and blind kitchen aids will help any meal you prepare be a great success. Now let’s sit down and eat!
To purchase these kitchen aids and see much more, visit the VisAbility Store at CVI. The store is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
For special holiday shopping, the store will be open two Saturdays in December including December 1st and December 8th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The VisAbility Store is located at 739 West Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30308 and the number is 404-602-4358.
You can also purchase items on line at www.visabilitystore.org.