One-Handed Cooking Techniques

Thanksgiving week is here! This year has been such a rollercoaster. I hope we can find some joy and (maybe) some normalcy in slowing down and enjoying a turkey-leg, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie. And what a great excuse to bust out the kitchen tools while working with our clients!

Food--eating it, cooking it, gathering around it with our families is such a cherished and personal experience. I rarely find a client who has had a disruption in food-related occupations who doesn't care to become independent again. That's why working with food is both motivating for my clients and fun for me.

Here are 5 tips for one-handed cooking--accumulated from my work with my clients with hemiplegia, but can also apply to clients who have had an amputation, moderate to severe arthritis, or unilateral weakness.

1. Hook and Handled Mixing Bowl

Threaded metal hooks can be found at home improvement stores. They can be easily installed to the bottom of a cabinet and used with a handled mixing bowl to transfer homemade goods (ie cake batter or casseroles) from the mixing bowl to the baking container.

2. Adaptive cutting board

Adaptive cutting boards are a relatively inexpensive investment and a versatile. The one pictured has one backed corner, 3 prongs, and suctioned feet and retails for about $40.

3. Pastry scraper as a one-handed knife

Pastry scrapers can be used as a substitute to a rocker knife. They are more readily available (you can likely find them locally!) and often cost fewer dollars. This one pictured is less than $4. Rocker knives range from $14-$20.