Making stovetop cooking easier

To make stovetop cooking easier, the first thing to do is to mark stove dials using tactile, brightly colored bump dots. Placing one bump dot at the low setting, one at the medium setting and one at the high heat setting makes it much easier to control the burner. If the patient does not want to use certain burners, we simply tape over that burner's control knob or remove it. We teach patients to always to orient pot handles away from the front and towards the side. Ideally turned toward the same side all the time to help them know where the pot handle is when they are cooking. Centering pans correctly takes a little practice. We teach our patients to put the pan they want to use on a cold burner. They then can use their fingers to feel around the bottom edge of the pot to see if it is centered on the burner. Once the patient is confident that the pot is centered, S/he can turn on the burner. When cooking, we teach our patients to listen to the sound of the simmering. If it sounds too loud, simply lower the burner towards the next bump dot setting. Cooking time sometimes is important for some recipes. There are large, bold numbered timers that are easy to use and cost less than $15.00.

We encourage many of our patients to try stovetop cooking again. We urge caution but support patient's efforts to try cooking. With some practice, many of our patients can make soup again. We believe that it is important to enable patient to make the food they want to eat and not be forced to only eat cold food. Stovetop cooking allows that to happen.