If you have a visual impairment, cooking for yourself is something that can seem daunting at best, to terrifying at worst. Here are some ideas to start with.
If you are not sure if something is cooked fully, it is better to cook for slightly longer. Only practise helps when you are visually impaired. This can be a scary thing when resources are tight but with practise, eventually will come perfection.
Boiling an egg
This is a great place to start. It is important to note that we would recommend using a pan with two handles for safety where possible.
Rule number 1 when cooking on a hob: always make sure that you have lined the handle of the pan you are using with the side edge of the cooker. This will mean that firstly, there will be no accidents caused by walking into or knocking the pan when it is hot, and secondly that you can orientate yourself with the side of the cooker and work upwards to find the handle should you need too without risk of injury to yourself.
- Fill a pan with cold water, enough to totally cover the eggs, add a pinch of salt and your eggs and place on the hob while the hob is switched off. This will enable you to make sure that the pan is properly lined up with your hob if your hob is not flat.
If you do have a flat hob, ignite it first to a low temperature and hold your hand above it at a distance of at least 10CM or 4 inches to detect that that it is heating up. You should then be able to orientate your pan over the top of where the heat is coming from. If you can feel excess heat from the sides of where your pan is sitting, adjust its position to cover it.
- When you are sure that your pan is over the heat, increase the heat to medium/high and leave to boil. You may be able to hear a bubbling sound when the water begins to boil, but what may be clearer is the sound of the eggs moving around in the pan.
- Leave to boil for 6 minutes if you would like a soft-boiled egg, to 10 minutes for hard boiled.
- Turn off the heat and carefully transfer pan to your empty sink.
- Run the cold water until all the hot water in the pan has been washed away and the pan feels cool enough to touch and drain.
- Peel your egg and enjoy.
- Preheat your oven to 175C or just under gas mark 4.
- Wash your potato and prick all over with a fork.
- Lightly oil an oven tray and place potato on it.
- Place in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven, always using oven gloves. Stab with a fork to assess texture inside. Once through the skin, the inner texture should be soft.
- If you feel it is cooked enough to your liking, leave to cool and enjoy with whatever toppings you wish.
- Lightly oil a microwave proof container.
- Wash potato and prick all over with a fork.
- Place in the microwave on high power for ten minutes.
- Stab with a fork to assess inner texture.
Let’s be honest. If you’re in the situation at the moment where you are having to cook for yourself and you alone, although it is always best to practise good hygiene, if your sight loss is effecting your ability to cook, you may need to use your hands. Always wash your hands before cooking and wash your hands appropriately throughout, it’s your food so not an issue.
When cracking eggs, always put them into a bowl first. If you need to feel for shell, so be it. Apart from the gelatinous texture of the egg yolk, the white should feel like liquid. It is easy to detect shell for this reason. It will feel solid to the touch, sometimes sharp.
- Break two eggs into a microwave proof bowl or mug which has been lightly buttered.
- Add one tablespoon of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper if required.
- Whisk together until smooth.
- Microwave on high power for 40 seconds.
- Remove and stir. You could add some cheese of your choice at this point if you wish. Stir in and replace in microwave and cook by ten second increments until satisfied with texture.
- Whisk together a tablespoon of milk, two eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 dessert spoon of butter in a pan until melted and then pore in egg mixture.
- As eggs begin to set or feel solid to the touch with a spatula, scoop them across the pan and fold in every five seconds until all the liquid is used up and the egg is solid.
- Turn off heat, hold pan over a ready plate and scoop the eggs onto the plate.
Jamie Oliver has come up with some great recipe ideas just using ingredients from your cupboard