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The Sound of One Hand Cooking


Malawry
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Sending wishes for your arm to heal quickly.

I thought the pot roast idea above was a good one. (would just need a few vegetables chopped up ahead of time; can serve with egg noodles)

Another dish that would only require a few things chopped up (by someone else) would be a meatloaf. This reheats well for subsequent lunches and suppers too.

Oven roasted chicken pieces are another idea. Roast some potatoes alongside or make some rice and vegetables.

Broiled, poached or pan sauteed fish is another option.

Take advantage of "convenience" foods even if they're not on your normal menu---frozen vegetables, stovetop stuffing, store-made pesto sauce, etc. If there is a Trader Joes near you, they have lots of frozen entrees that are more appealing than regular grocery store options.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Get a nail brush that has suction cups on the back and stick it to the inside wall of the sink. That way you can clean veggies.

I made a cutting board for my sister that has two thin pieces of wood along two sides to make a corner. This holds bread in place to be buttered. In the opposite corner I put nails thru the bottom to stick up out of the top to impale food for slicing. I put some no-skid materiel on the bottom. A peeler can be mounted on one end so that you can peel veggies.

You can also get a battery-operated pot-stirrer and the angled mixing bowls. Taco holders that stand upright on their own can hold things.

A stick blender can be operated one-handed.

A bettery-operated sifter and pepper mill, an electric coffee grinder for spices would all be handy.

But pre-sliced veggies and fruits if no one can cut them up for you. Perhaps the produce dept would do this if you asked?

Pre-made soup bases. Just add prechopped veggies and meat.

Rolls instead of bread that needs slicing.

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These may be "cheesy", but I'm not sure what your biggest challenges are:

EZ Carry Handles for groceries

Potential one handed utensils?

Quick Chop

Note these are all "As seen on TV" website, so they could all be crap. :wink:

The suggestions from Athena above are good - many of them are "products" you can find for big $$$$, but it looks like Athena has experience with making them up at home - clearly a $$ saver.

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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Rochelle, you really don't need this right now!  My sympathies. But look on the bright side -- consider it  training!  You'll be doing a lot of one-handed cooking when your baby arrives, because you'll have him tucked on one hip.

I suggest eggs.  Beat them in a bowl then do scrambled, omelettes, frittata...

I second that! If bracing the bowl is a problem while you whisk, just wet a kitchen towel, roll it up and arrange it around the bowl in a "C" shape. I do this all the time at work when I need to pour liquid into a bowl while whisking and don't have a third hand to brace the bowl.

Hope your arm heals soon....you have my sympathy, I wouldn't be able to work injured....I need the use of both arms and I have to be able to be on my feet all day. And you are pregnant as well? Well I guess there is no "good" time to break an arm, but still.........

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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Here's a link to Wright Stuff products which provides assistive and adaptive equipment for upper extremity impairments. You may also find other products to help with other daily functions.

I feel for you as I broke my dominant wrist a few years ago. On the other hand(no pun intended) my continental eating technique really evolved!!

http://store.wrightstuff.biz/inkitchen.html

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Work that salad bar pull the crockpot out of the cabinet learn the art of the open faced sandwiches and grilled cheese and...?

The produce dept should have the soup and stew veggies bagged up....

with our great love of veggies (not) I often went the wastfull route of the salad bar rather than have wilted celary of funky carrots in the bin....wait they have everything frozen now even butternuts squash, pearl onions etc....

yes get out the crockpot

and dont forget one pot rice dishes too...just use the Goya and some chicken parts and dont tell anyone

I had to learn the finger work on my violin upside down for a concert because of the cast on my left arm :wacko:

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Thanks for the tips, ya'll. I am slowly regaining the use of some of my right hand fingers and feel I might be able to use them to brace foods for cutting in the next week or so. Remember, even if I Cuisinart my food I still have to peel, top and tail it...and also, gloves won't fit over my cast. (I was wearing disposable gloves when I broke my arm, strangely enough. Taking them off HURT and required the use of my teeth. I'm off the gloves for some time, in any case.)

We just visited my folks for a few days; they fed us, and Mom took instruction in making beurre blanc and paneeing fish which made me feel intellectually useful at least. :rolleyes: She sent us home with food, too. I expect to return to my first real experiments in cooking on Saturday.

Yes, I have a spouse. Cooking and food shopping are "my job," though, and with me not working until well after my arm is healed and him fighting his busiest time of the semester at the university, he needs me to do most of the work somehow. He is very understanding and helps me with things as much as he can. Our budget does not accommodate a bunch of convenience foods easily, and since we live on the rural edge of suburbia there isn't great takeout from around the world in our backyard. Besides, I love cooking and don't want to just not cook for the 6-8 weeks I'm in the cast (plus gawd knows how much time in physical therapy afterwards...)

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Thanks for the tips, ya'll. I am slowly regaining the use of some of my right hand fingers and feel I might be able to use them to brace foods for cutting in the next week or so.

....

Glad to hear that you are regaining some use of that injured hand. I am betting that by the time that hand heals, you will writing the definitive treatise on one-handed cooking. :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 3 weeks later...

ditto. hope you are coping well. saw this book at the bookstore yesterday, and the title reminded me of your posts, in several ways.one armed cook

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I've mostly given up, to be honest. I have regained a lot of the flexibility and strength in my right hand despite its enclosure in the cast, but the problem is keeping my hand (and my cast) clean. I try to be really careful but the cast has already gotten somewhat dirty from the occasional slip-up. (Though my surgeon seemed to think that the cast was remarkably clean at my Monday appointment...)

Some friends came through with some frozen meals for us, and I stocked up on a bunch of heat-n-eat stuff from Trader Joe's and Costco. I've been able to cook simple things like pieces of chicken for my husband (chicken is off the menu for me right now), in a pan lined with heavy-duty foil for easy cleanup.

I can now handle very minor cutting action as long as the food is not raw/dangerous/messy. I bought a nice sharp OXO pizza cutter but found it more annoying than it's worth to use it...I use it to chop down salad bar red onions but that's about it. Maybe I need a wooden bowl so things don't scatter so much. Once, I asked my husband to peel a bunch of onions, which I then hacked into large chunks and chopped down in the Cuiz and used to make turkey chili. That was nice. I also got an electric can opener, which helps a lot (meant I could open all those canned tomatoes for the chili without assistance, among other things). I've been able to make simple meals like breakfast egg sandwiches or stir-fried vegetables using salad bar specimens.

I had some food already put by in the freezer for post-baby when I broke my arm, but we've been eating a lot of it. We've also totally blown our usual grocery budget and eaten out much more than usual. I've made a decision not to worry myself about it since it can't be helped. On the bright side, I discovered Saturday night that I can handle chopsticks left-handed...who knew?

I had to write my next article for the paper a couple weeks ago, (I write a monthly cooking column for my local newspaper) so I had a friend come over and be my hands for me. We had a nice time with the photographer cooking, shooting and eating three asparagus recipes together, and my friend got her hands credited in the paper which thrilled her. That pretty much took care of my last work obligation that I expect to fulfill while I'm in the cast. My original plan was to write and shoot two articles in March, one for March and one for April, but it became clear to me that this wasn't going to happen. My editor was very understanding and appended a note to my March asparagus story that my column would return in May.

I'm still pregnant, and due Monday ostensibly. :wacko: The cast comes off in a little less than three weeks.

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Great to hear from you. Yes, let the chips fall - the hand will heal and you will return to normal and laugh about this in years to come. Best wishes on a good delivery!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I'm tired enough of my limitations that I'm starting to do a little more in the kitchen. Tonight, I made chicken parm for my husband for dinner...complete with breading the chicken breasts. (I couldn't figure out how to pound the chicken flat with one hand, so I had to start frying in oil and then finish cooking the chicken through in the oven.)

Three-way breading with one hand was fun :wacko: ...I gloved my good (left) hand and dried and seasoned the breasts. Then I set up seasoned flour, egg wash, and seasoned bread crumbs. I floured all the breasts one-handed and then set them in the pan. Then I went in batches of three: one breast into the egg and then rested in the breadcrumbs, the other two in the egg and left in there. Then I changed the glove. I crumbed the breast I'd laid in the breadcrumbs and set it in the pan, and then I used the very tips of my fingers to pick up the next breast from the egg wash and set it in the crumbs. This way I didn't get breaded fingers with the gloves. After I crumbed the second and third breasts, I rested them in the pan and changed my glove to start over with the remaining three breasts. From there I was able to fry and bake them using tongs to manipulate with my left hand. My sweetie reports the chicken was superlative.

Also, I used both hands to slice an apple neatly earlier. It brings me great pleasure to eat an apple cut into narrow, even slices, but that's hard to achieve one-handed. I pulled my big chef's knife out and it felt so good in my right hand---you know that facial expression Aragon gets in The Return of the King when he finally takes possession of the king's sword from the Elvish people (in The Lord of the Rings films)? That's about how good it felt to grasp my chef's knife. :wub: I was able to hold it in my right hand and do the pressing down with the heel of my left to cut up the apple. Nice.

I'm in the mood to bake. Originally I'd planned to make a birthday cake for my son when I went into labor, but I ditched that idea after I broke my arm. Now I'm back to toying with that idea. At the very least I'll probably make some brownies or something simple to take to the nurses in the hospital...

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You breaded chicken one-armed/handed??? Good for you! You almost make me think you really will bake while you're in labor, but I gotta say that was the last thing on my mind with all three births. Do let us know when your wee one arrives.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I might get my cast off tomorrow--if not then, than certainly on Monday. I'm also slowly building up to labor (I think). So I did a sort of last hurrah for one-armed dinners...

I bought some lamb arm chops last wkd at the farmer's market. I marinated them in red wine with oregano and EVOO and then seared and braised them in the marinade (plus garlic and a can of tomatoes). We had them with my favorite asparagus (sauteed in butter with balsamic reduction). I currently have some brownies in the oven...I plan to eat a corner piece with some java chip ice cream later tonight, and then bring the rest to the nurses in the hospital. I've cleaned up the kitchen and probably won't be cooking anything semiserious again until I have a baby and no cast.

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I baked up a storm right before labour for some reason. Perhaps the fact that Christmas was only a few weeks away had something to do with it. :biggrin: Glad to hear you're on the mend Rochelle.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Ah, that cooking before the baby! The day before Peter was born (he was induced, but things were already moving right along), I made two kinds of stock, got three baked pasta things into the freezer, made cookies, made stew. I also washed all of the area rugs.

And, upon arriving home with my new babies, the first thing I did with cook.

Hope the cast is off sooner rather than later!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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  • 2 weeks later...

This could be useful if you're using only one arm in the kitchen:

Mixing Bowls (3-pc.) by Stixx Suctionware

The base of the device suctions to the counter and it looks like the mixing bowls lock into the base. The description isn't clear how the bowl locks into the base but it may by suction, too.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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So I might get my cast off tomorrow--if not then, than certainly on Monday. I'm also slowly building up to labor (I think). So I did a sort of last hurrah for one-armed dinners...

Okay, so it's nine days later. Has this child chosen to grace this planet with his/her presence yet? And if so, how are mother and child?

If not, I will ask no questions. If you're still pregnant at this point, you're probably quite weary of people inquiring about your current state of mind and body.

Warm thoughts are with you.

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The cast came off finally yesterday! I have a splint to wear now, but only wear it at my own whim for extra support. (I wore it this morning while edging the lawn.) My handwriting has mostly returned to normal, but I still have not cooked because my son was born last Friday and my parents came up to help take care of me and my husband during these important nesting days. :wub: I'll be returning to the home kitchen next week after my folks have left and the bris is over, and I hope by then to have regained still more strength and flexibility in my wrist. Meanwhile I'm just happy and relieved to have a little boy and to have two hands I can easily wash for changing him. :rolleyes:

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WOW! Congratulations! A little boy - treasure every moment with him.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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originally  posted by Malawry:

my son was born last Friday

Congratulations, and much joy to all three of you. And many hours of sleep, snatched from the realms of improbability.

<editted to get in an OT: I hope he enjoys a varied 2nd hand diet, since his mama is such an accomplished cook. My baby did not like it when mama had legumes. Much gas and crying. Horseradish however was a big hit. Go figure.>

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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