The 3rd really fabulous thing that happened recently is that I’ve learned how to cook well enough to feed people! A couple of years ago I was leafing through a Crate & Barrel catalog and when I came to the pots and pans I lost it. I’m talking UGLY cry. I was so sad and I missed all my pretty dishes and cookware that Mommy gave me before I moved to Oregon. So then I bought a Vitamix and decided to learn how to cook. You all joined me as I posted recipe after experimental recipe in 2013.
So last month I decided to invite J and myself (Team Tanimal’s Recreation Director) over to A and DGI’s house to prepare 3 meals. It worked out great bc they had a fun houseguest who took charge of mashing the potatoes (Thank you, K!), their little girl loves watching the Food Network (so we were entertaining), A got a little rest since she was extremely pregnant at the time (PTL baby boy is here and all are well. PS. He’s cute as a button), and they ended up with food for the weekend!
- Dairy Free Clam Chowder and roasted broccoli and carrots for lunch
- Meat Sauce to be frozen and thawed later to put over gluten free brown rice spaghetti
- BBQ Cheeseburger Shepherd’s Pie to be baked later for another meal
- Dairy Free Custard to go with the strawberries and pound cake Mommy sent for dessert!
It was a great morning. The night before I sent A a picture of the day’s checklist. She loved it – she said it reminded her of the checklist I came up with when I coordinated her wedding. I have no recollection of that checklist but I’ll take her word for it.
The fact that I made a checklist that listed every step is a trick I learned from other brain injury survivors. When I asked them how to cook they really emphasized the importance of planning. A non brain injured person would know immediately that for main dish X, sides A B or C would be suitable. But if you have a brain injury you’ll be wasting too much time remembering what A B and C are whereas you’ll need to keep your wits about you so you can keep track of your potholders and dishtowels since you are likely to set one on a heat source and potentially burn the house down. #True story. (The house didn’t actually burn down, there was just a significant incident.)
I avoided this problem by keeping the sides to a minimum, but I did write things down in the order in which I needed to do them, or ask others to do them 🙂 so we could finish all 3 dishes in one morning. So we prepped the onion and pepper, roasted the veggies, and put my Vitamix (thanks for carrying it around, J!) to good use and since I had thought it all out and written it down the night before we carried it off without a hitch and sat down to enjoy a nice lunch after our labors.
Go, Team, go!!
My Trainers have both been amused by my Bossy Smurf checklists and behavioral patterns. Admittedly, a lot of it is personality and when I was an administrative assistant I ran a tight ship. Or at least I flattered myself that I ran a tight ship. But now running a tight ship is more necessity than preference. My brain simply doesn’t process multiple things simultaneously well. Visual, audible and mental clutter are paralyzing for me, and I’ve heard the same from many other survivors. The problem is that life is messy and it’s difficult to streamline my processes all the time – so when I am able to it’s a victory in RecoveryLand.
Ruthie explained once, Tans show love through food.
My latest project is to get Mommy to assign me dinner duty once a week like I do at Boo Boo’s house. It would’ve happened a lot sooner but Tanpo doesn’t like my food. I don’t blame him. Who wouldn’t rather eat Mommy’s cooking?
I’ll say stuff like, Hey, Daddy – I just made some delicious DF cream of celery and spinach soup. It’s such a pretty shade of green. You want some?
Poor Daddy gets such a pained look on his face. He doesn’t favor my cashew cream and nutritional yeast creations. I’ll try to cook some Asian stuff to accommodate him, but I have to put my thinking cap on bc you often have to cut veggies and meat pretty small and evenly so they cook at the same rate in the wok.
Ummm….precision is not my forte, so we’ll see how that pans out. I’ve been amusing Mommy for the past week by asking things like, Does Daddy like enchiladas? What about (cauliflower) Alfredo?
Heh heh. My first dinner duty is tomorrow night. I’m not telling Dad, but I’m making the DF clam chowder and he IS going to like it :).
UPDATE: he liked it. And last night he ate kale.