Sunday, 20 March 2011

A kitchen farce

imageOn the pre-planned lunch menu today were tuna steaks with sweet potato wedges and roast butternut squash. Fortunately, the squash had been roasted, mashed, bagged up and frozen earlier. That just left the sweet spuds to be cut ...

Only yesterday my wrist had given out on me and bent right over backwards, with a nasty cracking sound, when I’d merely put my hands out to my sides to push myself up into a sitting position in bed. And it hurt like f*ck. Now I’ve lost almost all power – what little was left – in the wrist, so this morning I couldn’t even carry a cup of coffee, nor turn a tap.

Cutting up hard sweet potatoes certainly wasn’t going to happen today. Well, I already couldn’t do it with a knife and had bought one of the pictured apparatus – a vegetable wedger – to do the job of chopping them more easily.

Only it still wasn’t easy, because it still requires strength that I don’t have any more and I have to get down on the kitchen floor with it – and, no, it isn’t easy to get back up again – to put my whole weight behind it. Today, because I couldn’t put my weight behind my wrist, I couldn’t even do that.

In the end, I pushed on one side, while my mother pushed the other down with her foot – she couldn’t bend down to do otherwise – and with a bit of a fiddle, some brute force and lots of ignorance, we finally got sweet potato wedges.

What a bloody farce?

(I noticed Balu the cat was laying up the other end of the kitchen watching this performance. He probably thinks we’ve gone stark raving mad!)

We try to eat things like sweet potato instead of always having potato, because it’s healthier. I’ve looked to see if you can buy them ready-prepared and you can, but they come with coatings and chemicals we can’t eat and that would cause other problems, negating the healthy ethic too. And, while not everything is as hard to cut as a sweet potato, there are similar problems or parallel decisions to be made over many domestic tasks nowadays.

You just don’t realize how difficult seemingly simple things can be, until you can’t do them. What’s the alternative here? Getting – i.e. paying - someone to come in and do the preparation, if not cooking, for us, probably.


ronsrants said...

One answer to lack of strength when cutting is a good chefs' knife, at least 8" long (10" or 12" if necessary, for increased leverage), and capable of taking a razor-sharp edge - of course if you have one, this is pointless, but many people do use entirely unsuitable knives.

I have an 8" one from Victorinox (the Swiss Army Knife people), with a rosewood handle. Very light but will go through a swede or hard white cabbage as easily as an apple, so will probably deal just as easily with a sweet potato.

I use a MinoSharp Plus 3 sharpener to maintain the edge. More thoughts here

Pamela said...

Because of the fibromyalgia, I'm just too damn clumsy to be allowed loose with a proper knife. I'll just stick to soft food, I think! :)