Thursday, 3 November 2016

Small Appliances

It's not just the big appliances that I need for living with ALS, not just things like the wheelchair, commode chair, power wheelchair, slings, lifts and so on. There are lots of small appliances I am beginning to need more and more, the kind a great many people have in their homes, yet I have never had in mine.

The other day I was peeling potatoes. It's that time of year, time for big dinners with plenty of mashed potatoes. Except it took me a heck of a long time to peel those potatoes, and I was pretty much worn out by the end of the exercise. So I thought about it. Why do I have to do all that work? There are electric potato peelers out there. So I went out and bought one, a "Rotato" by Starfrit.

This is something I would have called an unnecessary gadget in the past, a piece of plastic junk designed to litter a counter or sit in a cupboard unused. It isn't. not for me. I've had an apple in the fridge for a week but haven't eaten it because I didn't want to put the work into peeling it. No, I'm not lazy. Well, perhaps a little. In the end, it wasn't worth it for me. Yet my little Rotato peels apples, oranges and all kinds of things. So I used it, along with my manual corer and slicer, and ended up with apple slices to eat.

Opening cans is getting pretty tough too, so a few weeks back I got one of those little can openers, the kind that sits on top of the can and rotates around it, opening it without leaving edges exposed. I don't know why I waited so long to get something like this. I suppose, once again, I saw it as an unnecessary piece of gadgetry, offering me no value, until now.

The other small appliance I purchased yesterday was a replacement for my hand mixer, the wand kind that you hold with one hand. My old one broke and I've been hand whipping for a while. I simply cannot keep it up anymore, so I bought the needed replacement. Only this time I bought one with a small chopping attachment. Chopping onions and peppers is getting to be quite a task, so I thought this might be a better option. We'll see.

I like doing a lot of my kitchen stuff by hand. I have an electric hand-held beater which rarely comes out of the cupboard. Instead I have a couple of different hand whisks and mixing spoons for various beating and blending tasks. I don't have a big mixer with bread kneading blades. Before today I didn't have any sort of a chopper or food processor. I preferred to do it by hand.

But my hands are getting weak. My arms getting weaker still. I get tired easily and can't finish the bigger jobs. The truth is that I need these small appliances just as much as I need the big ones; that is if I want to continue cooking and baking. I do. It's something I love to do. So I will take these gadgets, gone from unnecessary to probably useful, and do what I can to keep going.


  1. Good for you, but at some point you are going to have to ask yourself why your healthy friends can not bear the brunt of food prep and cooking. If you have to host in order to keep these people engaged, maybe it is time to reevaluate. I no longer feel that I need to host. Other folks are in better shape than I am.

    1. I love to cook, and I love to host. Already my friends take over much, if not all, of the work in having an event at my home. I prepare very little food for larger parties, and even small dinners have become more collective efforts.

      I don't even really host all that much. My friends realize that getting me into their homes would be a challenge thanks to stairs and such. I encourage them to do stuff here so that I can still be a part of their lives.