With the intent to improve my diet in recent months, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen. Trust me, I’m no chef, but I can follow a recipe. I even own a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.
Even before my rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed, I had started purchasing things for the kitchen which would prove to be quite useful. These items help when the hands are sore, swollen, and weak, since they require much less effort to hold and use. Even when the hands are feeling strong, they just make things easier to accomplish.
The first item on my list was an impulse buy at the Container Store. I saw it near the check-out counter and was waiting in a long line. Don’t you just love how stores funnel you through a long line and present you with lots of bizarre small items? Well, this one turned out to be well worth the few dollars I spent.
What it does is help to break the seal on jar lids which makes them easy to unscrew. Growing up my mom would tap the edge of a jar on the countertop or take a butter knife and ply it under the edge of the lid. Both of these tactics were used to break the seal and release the vacuum.
OXO Good Grips Spatulas and Cooking Utensils
As the cooking utensils from my college days have worn out and begun to disintegrate, I began replacing them with new items. While shopping, I was intrigued by the vast selection of choices available as compared to the items I purchased in a dollar-sale at Sears way back when.
So after my spatulas had become warped and weak ghosts of their former selves, I went shopping at the local department store. Trying not to look at the pretty plates and shiny new pots and pans, I went straight to my target: the spatulas. I fondled the many designs and stopped on one which just felt good. Those were the OXO Good Grips. Needless to say, but I had no idea how helpful those curved, wider handles would be during times which I can’t make fists out of my hands.
Alaskan Ulu Knife (similar to Mezzaluna Rocking Knife)
Now, this item I purchased just because I thought it looked cool. The Ulu (oo loo) knife has a semi-circular blade with a wide handle to grip. To chop or slice, you use a rocking motion. I like it because my energy from my arm actually makes it through the blade to the cutting board, without having to use my index finger to direct. Plus it’s just easier to hold in my palm. The literature says that it’s supposed to be good for chopping herbs and such, but I haven’t gotten that far in my culinary skills…yet.
Looking to replace my sad-looking vegetable brush, I found this nifty gadget at the local department store. It has a ring which you slide over a finger so that the brush fits in the palm of your hand. It is so much easier to use than my previous brush which had a long handle, plus you don’t have to grip anything. Enough said.
A friend of mine who also has multiple sclerosis recommended this nifty gadget. It is a peeler which has the same shape and design as the PalmBrush. I’ve since learned that the PalmPeeler came first in the evolution of these products. It’s not too easy to use with small items like radishes, but potatoes and carrots are a breeze.
So I hope that by sharing a few of my favorite gadgets will help you in thinking of ways to make cooking in the kitchen easier. What are some of your favorite kitchen tools?
Lisa Emrich is a patient advocate, accomplished speaker, author of the award-winning blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA, and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Lisa uses her experience to educate patients, raise disease awareness, encourage self-advocacy, and support patient-centered research. Lisa frequently works with non-profit organizations and has brought the patient voice to health care conferences and meetings worldwide. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.