DEDICATED TO IMPROVING THE LIVES OF BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE

Every Celebration Must Include Food

Anyone who’s worked with people who are blind, has likely had some great experiences observing both professional (the only employee never to cut themselves on a commercial slicer) and home cooks who are blind – and partaking of the results. The best coconut cake EVER is a standout memory. Teaching cooking skills remotely can be a real challenge, so a little research turned up some interesting tidbits.

Googling “Blind Kids Cooking” brought up pages and pages of information. This first one was the cheesiest, and the casual approach to cooking on an electric stove might give pause, but for a blind skateboarder, risk-taking is just an everyday activity. Two videos follow, one on cooking with Brett Devloo, aka “The Blind Kid”, who became blind at 17, and the other with Brett in his early 20’s showing young man who has definitely worked on his “brand”. Here and here.

Cooking Without Looking is a new venture from the College Transition Academy through the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, now meeting virtually via Zoom. For their final project, the students are testing meal delivery kits for a month. Their narratives go beyond critiques of the kits themselves to
how to use the apps successfully – “Dinnerly is all virtual- the recipe cards can be accessed via their website as well as through their app”;
what cooking tasks are easy or difficult – “I had a hard time making sure that the meatloaves were equal in size and making sure the meatloaves were done.”,
cooking tips and tricks – “I reached out with [my spatula] to find where the edge of the grill was and found a marker on the grill itself to help me keep track of where my patty would be.”
dealing with fears around cooking – “I learned I shouldn’t be afraid to get burned or hurt, because it’s probably going to happen sometime”.
Their reports were informative, but even better, they were entertaining. Watch for the publication of their cookbook, too. The school is closed for now, but access the complete Week 1 report here.

In 2007 in South Florida, a PBS channel, WXEL, aired a different Cooking without Looking, a cooking show featuring cooks who are blind. In one episode, a recipe for Artichoke Mushroom Pizza was described so well that any cook could make it. Hint: touch was very important in the creation of this pizza, and the final product looked great. We’re just not sure whether a pizza topping made with mayonnaise would have wide appeal. Video is here.

Three sisters are the seventh generation in their family to run Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville, Illinois. They’ve put together some free resources to show appreciation for teachers – a virtual tour of the farm, kid cooking tutorials including veggie pizza made with their dairy made Quark cheese, and more activities. Must be a teacher to sign up.