Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Back on Track: Cooking With Bursitis

Hi, everyone!  After an unexpected hiatus I am so very glad to be
Back on Track!  Aside from the joys of pursuing one's interests, even
the most normal daily routine is something one dreams of when one is
unable to perform basic tasks.

While without the use of my right arm I discovered a very important
thing to remember if one ever finds oneself in a similar predicament: 

You can never have too many casserole dishes or warming dishes,
depending on whether you prefer to reheat meals in the oven or microwave
 – especially if, like me, you have no dishwasher!

There I was, with a fridge full of delicious meals and soups, and after the first
few days of being unable to do dishes I didn't have enough casserole dishes to
warm them in.  Warming meals is one thing, but washing/scrubbing casserole
dishes is quite another when one has only one arm to do everything with.  Not
wanting to rely on takeout or convenience foods, I came up with a plan of action:

Short-term plan:

  • Get more casserole dishes
  • Purchase *paper plates for the interim
  • Buy some *disposable recyclable cutlery for emergencies
  • Stock up on baking soda and vinegar for cleaning
  • Get long-handled brush for cleaning dishes
*I certainly don’t want my ailments to cause me to contribute more than necessary to the  landfill situation, and nowadays the price difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable is quite minimal. 

Long-term plan:

  • Buy a dishwasher!  LOL!

In the meantime, having baking soda in the kitchen is like having another pair of hands!

Soak casserole/warming dishes overnight in hot water, a squirt of dish soap, and several tablespoons of baking soda. In the morning, using your working arm, just lightly go around the dishes with your long-handled brush.  The baking soda will have done the work so you don’t have to scrub & scrub.  It also works on cutlery:  soak the utensils overnight as above; also add a splash of vinegar.  It will foam up and help with the scrubbing action of the soda.  In the morning, just scrub lightly with the long-handled brush and rinse.  Your sink will also thank you!

If you don't have meals already prepared and frozen, you can get a slow cooker and prepare soups/stews quite easily (or make them on your stovetop or hot plate in a stockpot).  Whole Foods offers pre-chopped mixtures of vegetables specifically for soup-making - all you need to do is add some broth (and meat if you like) -  or you can always throw cleaned vegetables into the stock then strain them out & cut them up later, when they are softened from cooking. There are also meals that you can throw into the oven with minimal preparation - in future posts I will include some recipes to get you started.

Hopefully this post will help those of you in similar predicaments.

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