It’s no secret. I’m not a very good cook. Actually, I’m a horrible cook. And NO, it’s not because I’m blind. I just seriously suck at cooking. Perhaps it’s because I’ve just never had any love for the art of cooking. Paper goods or drinks are my specialties for every damn party, School event, or potluck! Don’t judge, I KNOW you’ve done that too! Truth is, I wish I never had to cook again. Ohhh…life would be a dreeeam! Well, until my fairy godmother grants me my wish for a delicious personal chef, I need to learn some sweet blind skills for the kitchen! (Seriously though, where is that fairy bitch when I need her!!)
I felt I was ready….well, sorta ready to take the next step. What was the next step? Go hang out with other blind people. Like hang out for a whole day, once a week, and get a taste of what I’m supposed to be doing now that I’m blind.
Last January, I started attending classes at the Braille Institute. Although I’m 50ish years old, I felt like a 10 year old walking into the first day at a new school. You know… don’t cry, find your class, make new friends, hope you can sit with the cool kids at lunch, and wait for your mom to pick you up at the end of the day. Yep, it was just like that and it was hard. It was hard to be in a new place surrounded by people who’s faces you can’t see. Trust me, it took everything I mentally had to keep myself together. They did have coffee to go with my Xanax, so that helped a little bit. A donut would have been nice too! Comfort food people, comfort food!
One of the classes I just finished was “Basic cooking skills”. You have to take this class before you can take any other of the more complicated cooking classes like, … waaaait for it…“Casserole making”! Yes, It’s a real class…12 weeks of casseroles… the husby is very excited about me taking that one!
Besides eating what we made each week, we worked on measuring, cutting, chopping, pouring, mixing, baking, and frying with the use of adaptive or assistive items and utensils. I did grow to love the “Robot” oven mitts they made me wear. HEY, not many people can ROCK those things ya know! We made some meals that may have been burnt, too salty, lopsided, or not very appealing to the eye. …but if I were you, I would just shut up, close your eyes, and eat that shit like everyone else! We learned it’s okay to be a hot mess, have fun, and laugh at ourselves in the kitchen. We learned to be a little more careful and confident in doing the basic cooking stuff we used to do before vision loss. I even made some things I never made before, like Chicken Parmesan, Bruschetta, and Pizza dough! Who knew they were so easy to make?! Obviously not me. Hey…Are you silently judging me AGAIN?
This class was an awesome experience and I know it would not have been as amazing without my three sweet OT intern instructors, Alex, Dana, and Rowena, along with my partner in cooking crime “Blind Guy Chris”! Never a dull moment with Chris in the kitchen! Every week, the five of us looked forward to swapping stories and building friendships, sometimes more than the lesson at hand.
I DID NOT find my love for cooking, and I’m pretty sure I never will. You know what they say, “You can give a girl a recipe, but you can’t make her cook!”…..OMG, That’s brilliant! Write that one down! But, I DID find new friends, a few skills, and a yummy recipe or two. All good stuff to help me move on through this life as….Girl Gone Blind.