Tips and Tricks

  1. Chop and cut things while sitting down.  In fact do as much prep work sitting down as possible.  I often measure all of my ingredients out into pudding dishes and my chopped ingredients into bowls which are then lined up next to the stove so I spend very little time standing at the counter.
  2. Buy a bar height stool and cook sitting down.  Or if wheelchair bound buy a mirror for over the stove or use glass pans so you can see what you are doing.  See A Helping Hand
  3. Keep your measuring spoons in a coffee cup.  They are in one place.  You don't have to spend time sorting through an entire drawer because the one you want slipped to the bottom.
  4. Keep your commonly used cooking utensils in a jar next to the stove.  Again you don't have to go rooting for them.
  5. Buy as many things chopped, minced, canned, dried and frozen as possible.  I have jarred minced garlic and ginger.  I have frozen vegetables of every description.   I even have frozen herbs.  I have packages of dried mushrooms in the pantry.  Anything that will cut down on prep work.
  6. Keep frozen garlic and herbs on hand.  Dorot is one brand I use.  I've found them both in Trader Joes and the local market.  The garlic cubes are atomic so one cube doesn't really equal one bulb.
  7. Wear cork sandals when cooking such as Birkenstocks.  This cuts down on leg fatigue and back pain particularly if you are standing on concrete.  Or get a gel mat to stand on.  These are available at many online kitchen suppliers such as Cook's Warehouse or Chef's.
  8. Rinse dishes after use.  This way if they sit for a while like they do in my house you won't need a chisel to get them clean.
  9. Keep knives sharp.  It will take less energy to chop with them.
  10. Use a mandolin slicer whenever possible.  It takes way less energy to use than a knife.
  11. Find frozen rice.  It can be used as is or thrown in soups, stews and casseroles.
  12. Buy a rice cooker.  You put in the water/stock and rice, turn it on and walk away.  Get one with a no stick finish.  I have an old aluminum one and cleaning it is a pain.
  13. Buy a crockpot.  Again throw food in, turn on and walk away.  This also allows me to put dinner together in the morning when I actually have some energy instead of trying to cook when I'm crashing at 5pm.
  14. I highly recommend an immersion blender.  This is such an easy cheap shortcut to making really healthy soups.
  15. For lots of suggestions on making food shopping easier see my post Pen and Pantry  Yes, it is long winded and anal but after 35 years of homemaking this system works for me.
  16. For assitive tech for the kitchen see my post A Helping Hand.  Due to various issues I've used assitive tech in the office for years.  Why not use it in the kitchen as well?