Dedicated to Improving the Lives of Blind and Visually Impaired People

Planning for Thanksgiving

Tips from The Blind Cook

For those who are hosting a Thanksgiving feast, a check list from Christine Ha, The Blind Cook, can help to enjoy a “stress-free holiday.” Planning is key and she provides a timeline for getting ready. More than one week before the big day, invite guests, plan the menu, and buy necessary supplies. A week ahead, buy groceries, prep casseroles, and cook your gravy. She details what to do, step by step, as the day approaches as well, including prepping pies, ingredients for other dishes, and more. Check out Countdown to Thanksgiving: A checklist to help you host a stress-free holiday.

Having Low Vision and Getting Ready for Thanksgiving Cooking

After Holly Bonner was declared legally blind, she was wary about cooking a turkey. “I was terrified that my visual impairment would limit my ability to prepare a healthy, delicious feast,” she recalled. With instruction from her Adult Daily Living (ADL) skills teacher, Bonner gained the encouragement she needed to take on the task of preparing her Thanksgiving meal. She shares her experience and advice about what worked for her “as a low vision cook.” First, Bonner recommends choosing a turkey breast rather than an entire turkey to decrease cooking time and the chance of errors. She provides a list of ingredients as well as supplies to stock up on ahead of time and explicit directions for preparing the turkey and cooking it on Thanksgiving Day, including the use of a talking meat thermometer. Read Bonner’s account of her experience, from Low Vision Specialists of Maryland & Virginia in Low Vision and Thanksgiving Ready: Cooking Your Own Turkey.

Involving Your Child in Meal Preparation

Planning for Thanksgiving week can be very intense, whether traveling, hosting relatives, or contributing to a feast. However, it can also provide an opportunity for a child who is blind or visually impaired to improve their cooking skills “and shine.” One way to do this is to ask the child and siblings to take part in preparing a dish that could be roasted, steamed, grilled, baked, or even microwaved. The key takeaway is that “you are giving your child the gift of pursuing mealtime independence and safe cooking techniques for people who are blind or visually impaired…”as well as “the gift of your time and attention.” Even babies or toddlers can help, with simple tasks like adding sliced fruit into a fruit salad, or mashing white or sweet potatoes. For details on involving a child, read the Family Connect piece Inspired by the Holidays: Enlisting the Help of Your Child Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired with Your Thanksgiving Meal Preparation.