Somebody made the mistake of asking me my thoughts on cooking. My response was this,
'Well, I guess we all have to eat'!
The poor unsuspecting person, then listened patiently while I 'went off on one' or to put it more politely...ahem, 'outlined the issues I'm about to cover in this blog'!
My husband has always said that he would be much happier, if we could get the nutrients we need to live, from just taking a pill. He doesn't see food, the cooking or ingestion of it, as a pleasurable experience. He eats to get the right nutrients, to be healthy, but this isn't about him, it's about me.
I find cooking difficult, complicated by the fact that (being disabled) I always need to use one hand to balance myself, and I can't stand up for long without pain, so cooking is something I will hand over to someone else, willingly!
My few attempts, have either resulted in injury, pain, or late night trips to the chip shop! If I'm really unlucky, I get all three on the same night!
People often don't think about how difficult an everyday task (such as cooking) can be for a disabled person. They tend to take their ability to manage for granted.
For a disabled person the smallest of tasks takes more planning, time, and energy. Energy which many of us don't have, in the first place!
Speaking for myself, even if it were possible for me to stand without pain, and use both hands, I would still have trouble lifting heavy saucepans for example, or bending down to take hot food from the oven.
Due to the slight tremor in my hands, (due to Cerebral Palsy), I don't feel very safe, and whilst I might be able to prepare vegetables, (sitting down) the tremor is a problem after a while, as is the pain from tension in my wrists.
As I said, I may be able to manage as a one off but to do it regularly would be too much for me. As a quick side note, this is why we need being able to do things in a 'safely, reliable, and timely' manner, to stay in the criteria for disability benefits. (You never know these days whether could be removed again)! You see, it might be OK to do it once, but that doesn't mean I could do it, whenever I needed to eat!
In writing this piece, I began to think about whether I would actually like to cook, if I could manage it without the hassle and pain? Eventually I came to the conclusion,that I wouldn't!
You spend ages doing preparation, following recipes (if you are so inclined), and then you have to loiter to make sure that it doesn't burn. After all that time and stress, it is gulped down in five minutes flat, and you're left with plates to clean.
I wouldn't mind so much, if it was just a one off, but no, you have to do it all again the next day, and every day after that!
You might have gathered from this that domesticity is not my strong point! I tend to think, a long with many others, that I have better things to do with my time, but having said that, I also think it's quite sad that the cooking a meal from scratch is being lost due to microwaves, and 'quick' foods.
Lifestyles are different now though, few people have the time to make things from scratch, and with the cost of food (and living in general) having risen, while wages are stagnant (and vital benefits cut), few people have the money to eat what my Gran would've called 'proper food', anyway, so it's no wonder things are different.
Mum is not a fan of cooking either. I'm like her in that I am impatient with such things, so when I lived at home I wasn't really taught, - although one of my earliest memories is sitting on the kitchen worktop, 'helping' mum make gingerbread men, and being allowed to lick the spoons, afterwards. That's a point, maybe if it were possible to live entirely on cake mix, I'd be more interested, although that's doubtful!
I was beginning to think that my husband might have the right idea, - let's all just pop a pill and have done with it, but that would mean no more chocolate cake, and strangely enough, I've changed my mind!
NB: Apologies for the lack of paragraphing. For some reason, I am unable to do it!