The kitchen presents many obstacles to arthritis sufferers. The easiest tasks often become so difficult that arthritics end up cooking foods that they didn’t really want — only because these substitute meals were easier to fix.
More often than not, packaging is the culprit. Turn-resistant caps and lids are notorious for putting roadblocks between arthritics and food or liquid. But often the food itself is the problem. Cutting, chopping, and slicing are tasks that many arthritis sufferers can only dream about.
That shouldn’t be so. Let’s consider a tasty lasagna dinner and see how arthritics can prepare it — easily, quickly, and painlessly.
The secret to any savory lasagna is garlic and onions. And any experienced cook should know that the finer the garlic and onions are chopped, the richer the taste. Some chopping can be done with electric food processors, but is it worth pulling out and cleaning a machine to chop 2 cloves of garlic and a half-cup of onions? Anyway, lasagna is a hands-on meal if ever there were any.
Instead, use a knife! Many arthritics balk at using knives because of the discomfort or pain involved. In fact, arthritics may choose from a wide variety of adapted knives that make slicing, chopping, and cutting as easy — and safe — for them as for any non-arthritic cook.
Homemade lasagna sauce typically uses plain tomato sauce as a base. Or, you can shortcut the homemade process by using prepared spaghetti sauce. Either way, you still have to contend with the formidable task of opening a can or jar. Well, this is no longer formidable. In fact, it’s downright easy with adapted kitchen openers for arthritics: from simple and inexpensive silicone jar openers to sophisticated and durable wall-mount openers.
Now that the lasagna is made — and hopefully accompanied by a salad, bread, and a glass of red wine—the only thing left to do is eat. It’s frustrating for many arthritic persons to go to all the work of cooking an elaborate meal, only to be slowed down or stopped dead in one’s tracks when it comes time to eat.
Ever notice how slippery lasagna can be? Something about that combination of lasagna noodles and sauce makes for a difficult eating experience for many arthritics. However, arthritis sufferers can eat with the same level of enjoyment and pace as their fellow diners. Adapted eating utensils range from super-grippy knives, spoons, and forks with silicone handles, to other utensils that employ comfortable clips, straps, and cuffs to aid one’s grip.
This slippery pasta also has a way of sliding off the plate — in the opposite direction of one’s fork! Specially adapted plates and bowls make it easy for arthritis sufferers to keep that savory lasagna on the plate, and to eat it while it’s still warm and delicious.
So, the answer to the question is a resounding “No!” Arthritis sufferers don’t have to be limited to warming up bland frozen meals in the microwave — but can enjoy cooking and eating the same tasty, home-cooked meals as anyone else.