This is not me!
I love food-focused family holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I approach them with a great deal of trepidation.
It’s not due to a lack of interest: My mother is a fantastic cook and I’m thankful for her delicious meals and baked goods made with love. I want to do the same for my family, but recipes drive me to drink. They are often overly complicated and intimidating with dense, small text, too many steps, complicated instructions, numbers and math.
Should you need a PhD in math to make a simple casserole? Quite frankly, it just takes me too long to complete a recipe and make it edible.
For me, cooking is boiling water and adding pasta (my family says I’m very good at it!)
Still I try.
My family watches with fear when they see me head for the kitchen intent on cooking. They know that soon the floor, ceiling and the dog will be covered with food and I will be very grumpy.
Kitchen = danger zone!
How to cook and not lose your mind
This year, I decided it was time to make a change and set myself up for success:
√ I chose 2 recipes well in advance of making them.
√ I read them in advance, underlining the important steps and measurements.
√ I wrote up a list of ingredients and made sure we had them all in our pantry.
√ I gave myself plenty of time to make it — no rushing.
√ I let go of my need for perfection.
It all helped. And I got through with only a few cooking calamaties (sweet potato splattered on the floor and the ceiling!)
Here’s the final product — Sweet Potato and Carrot Crisp:
Cookbook: Easy Read Recipes
Buoyed by my new success in the kitchen, I looked up “dyslexia and recipes” to find more cooking tips. I was thrilled to find an amazing resource, “Easy Read Recipes” by Leanne Foreman.
Leanne is a mom and a nutritionist who created an accessible cookbook:
“My inspiration initially came from wanting to reduce frustration and save time in the kitchen. Then as my children got older, I used what I had learnt from my training in Education and Computing, to refine my method so that my ASD/ADHD son and Dyslexic daughter could more easily cook nutritious meals from scratch.” (Source: easy read recipe website)
Leanne was featured on The Dyslexia Quest podcast in which Elisheva Schwartz talks about how she too struggles with recipes (her complaints: no pictures, foreign food names, multi step instructions). Leanne talks about her journey with nutrition, perfectionism and being a mom to children with dyslexia, ADHD and autism.
All in all, it’s an edifying podcast about cooking and parenting:
The Easy Read Recipes book is on my Christmas list!!
Happy thanksgiving, from my home to yours.