Cooking Without Sight, Smell or Taste

I do the majority of the cooking in my household, as I lost my sense of taste and smell at an early age I have always adjusted my cooking styles to deal with this. At the time I still had my sight which made it easier. From years of cooking, I have learned which amount and quantities are needed. After losing my sight I needed to learn to cook all over again. It was a process which just began with boiling everything in one pot but has now progressed to being able to fry.

One. Storing

Storing things in the kitchen is very important, this is why I am responsible for putting away the groceries. This way I know where things are which makes it easier to find what I need.

Two. Labelling

Can items may be one of the hardest things to distinguish without being able to see, smell or taste the contents. One trick I learned besides storing items in a specific location was to also use the labels on the can to my advantage. For example, I take the labels off completely on milk and I tear the label on the beans. Side note, the tops of cans can also have a variation which also helps. For instance, the tops of the canned corns maybe pull top but the beans aren’t.

Three. Memory

I believe cooking is one of the times My Sixth Sense comes into play (I explain what this is in a previous blog). I use my memory of cooking with my eyes to help me to cook now because truly, the majority of my measurements are done freehand. For instance, with salt, I can tell whether it’s enough or not when I hold it in my hand. I use a rice cooker to cook my rice, so when measuring, I use the same cup and I decide on whether I am going to cook one cup or two cups of rice. I also know how many cups of water I need to fill the cooker correctly depending on the quantity of rice to be cooked.

Four. Taste buds

In some cases, I know which spice or seasoning I have by “tasting”. For example, although I can’t tell the difference between white and black pepper I know that it’s pepper because it burns my tongue. Similarly, I can distinguish Paprika because it has an acidic taste.

Five. Devices

One thing I am still learning to do is fry. At the moment, to fry, I use a large frying pan and fry each item separately. I also use a 2-in-1 detachable double spatula and tongs. This apparatus allows me to flip the item completely without fear of it falling. I also rely heavily on timers, I can put something in the oven and set a timer for when I know it will be finished. This is especially important as I do not have the ability to smell if anything is burning.

There are many more devices that are available to help the visually impaired cook independently and safely. The following sites provide more information


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