As a stay-at-home-mother (not quite by choice, but that’s neither here nor there), it’s inevitable that I do most of the cooking, as well as the bulk of the baking (often with the children’s assistance).
I’m certainly not incapable in the kitchen; nor, I think, am I a danger to myself or anyone else (after all, my right hand is the good one), but there are a few things that I find rather tricky…
- Tipping and pouring
This is only a problem if I try to tip or pour using my left hand. But sometimes you need your abler hand to wield a wooden spoon or another implement…
Tipping stuff out of a pan with the handle in my left hand rarely works very well because my wrist feels weak* and I seem to have lost the easy rotational movement I used to have. I usually have to put the pan down and adjust my grip before I can get anywhere near. The wok is particularly tricky as it’s a big, heavy old thing – but it’s a jolly useful thing all the same.
- Rubbing fat into flour to make pastry.
This just doesn’t work any more with my left hand. Fortunately, I have one of those wire pastry blender things, a bit like this one:
… which allows me to do the job. Mine was a gift that I rarely used before, because I preferred to make pastry by hand.
We don’t, actually, have roast dinners all that often. But when we do, I usually try to get someone else to carve the joint.
- Opening packaging.
Some sorts of packaging just elude me. Fortunately, there is a plenitude of scissors and knives available in the kitchen. And when the troublesome packaging won’t yield to a sharp tool (jars, f’rinstance), there is always the time-honoured solution of the husband. If he’s there. (Usually the only reason that I do have trouble with jars and other screw caps is because he’s closed the lid unreasonably tightly – I don’t think that this is necessarily a problem I can lay at the door of Parkinson’s!)
I’m happy to report that I can still manage crisps and chocolate without the assistance of tools, however.
*My consultant assures me that this isn’t, actually muscular weakness; Parkinson’s, he says, does not cause such weakness. I’m still not entirely sure that it’s not a weakness caused by reduced use of the relevant muscles, however.