Tag Archives: Kitchen

Simple Switches

There is an old county song by Alabama that reminds me of my husband. You have probably heard it, even if you don’t listen to country. The chorus goes something like this “I’m in a hurry to get things done. I rush and rush until life’s no fun. All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.” My husband is always early, and he is always in a rush; which I find humorous considering that I am one of the slowest people I know. This difference of pace can sometimes lead to mutual frustration, especially first thing in the morning and around dinner time, when we both seem to be at our crankiest.

In an effort to keep our morning and evening hours as zen as possible, I have adopted many time saving switches that speed us up, plus keep him from pacing while trying not to stress about the clock. Today I am talking specifically about time saving switches for your kitchen; after all, the kitchen if full of time suckers.

The number one time sucking and frustration inducing object in my kitchen are those stupid twist ties they put on bread bags. Not only are the infuriating, they are dangerous for small animals. So I have replaced them with these nifty little clips. The green ones are the perfect size for bread bags or for closing little bags of snacks for lunches. They are reusable and much less likely to show up in a litter box if you misplace them.

The second switch not only saves you time, but also space. When cooking, I never use nestled measuring cups and spoons. Instead, I use a 4 cup measuring cup and a mini measure. These make cooking much easier for me since they require less fine motor control to avoid spills, which allows me to move faster. They also speed up the cleaning process because you are only washing one cup!

My final switch might seem hard to justify for some because of its price, but for me, it is worth it. Cooking vegetables is a huge time sucker; part of this is because my stove takes quite a while to heat up, and microwaving them tends to leave veggies a little mushy. So instead, I spring for the veggies that you can steam in their bag. They always come out perfect and can go from the microwave to the plate! But what about the delicious fresh veggies I am growing my garden? These Zip and Steam bags work perfectly for those too!

These time saving switches really make the kitchen run much smoother. They may seem like small things, but a minute or two here and there can feel like an eternity when you are late for work, tired from a long day at work or just plain old HUNGRY!

Arthritic hands … mixing it up.

MX N TILTAbout 6 months ago I received this email from my friend Ellen. She knew that I was looking for ideas for my Unlimiters blog. It reads: I do have a suggestion …I have arthritis and find that when I cook or bake, holding a bowl in one hand while attempting to get the ingredients into a pan…as in brownies this afternoon, I have such difficulties scraping everything out.

I held on to it until she found an answer and now I can share it with you. She is thrilled with her 3 piece tilt ‘n mix bowls by Wilton. They are a lightweight plastic and the five little rubber feet stop the bowl from sliding around and they also allow the bowl to tip at different angles. This is perfect for Ellen.

Here is her technique. She puts her ingredients in the largest bowl and then tips it slightly, feeling confident that the bowl won’t slip. This makes it easier for her to stir with her arm instead of her wrist and that relieves the arthritis in her hands. She then puts her baking pan on the table in front of the bowl (that is held in place with the rubber feet) and leans in so that her body keeps the pan in place. It’s then an easy thing to simply tip the bowl further and scrape the contents into the pan.

So there you have it. A simple product but one that makes life easier for those with arthritic hands.

For the Wine Lovers

I love wine. I am not much of a drinker though; or at least I haven’t been since my college years, which barely counts. After all, college is kind of like the Vegas of life: what happens in college stays in college. Wine, in my opinion, is like coffee; it is a social drink. One that you sip with friends over important conversations, like whether or not you should go on a real life date with the guy you met online,  what non-food item your dog managed to eat that day, or the recent ER trip to get the bean removed from your son’s ear. Of course, wine, like coffee, is also good when you are alone. Only instead of helping you start the day, it can help you wind down and relax at the end of the day. Additionally, wine is delightful when cooking; the Italians are especially fond of it, I should know, I’m Italian. Then again, isn’t everyone when it comes to good food?

One thing I don’t like about wine is that it’s not what I’d call a “CP friendly” beverage. First off, it is complicated to open unless you get the super cheap stuff, which isn’t worth drinking in the first place. I simply do not have the dexterity or the stability to work a manual corkscrew; and my husband, bless his heart, is such a non-drinker that the whole process is completely beyond him. Luckily for me, electric wine openers exist. These things are just amazing. They require very little strength or dexterity to work. You just place the wine opener over the top of the bottle, press the button, and like magic the cork is removed. Did I mention how amazing they are?

Once the wine is finally open, there is the issue of the wine glasses themselves.  I don’t know about you but I find wine glasses difficult to hold and easy to knock over as they are top heavy. Also, I cannot tell you how many times I have smacked the stem of the glass on the edge of the table when reaching over to put it down. I prefer stem less wine glasses, which are a fairly easy solution. Of course, if you want to be super spill proof, think red wine white dress, someone has invented a wine glass sippy cup.

Lastly, since I don’t usually finish a whole bottle of wine at a time, I usually need to store my wine in the fridge. I can never get the cork back in the bottle, and I find that most wine bottle stoppers that create a seal are overly complicated. (I have watched many able bodied people struggle to get these stopper on just right.)  I found these bottle stoppers which just require a flip of the plastic top to create a seal. While it might be an extra cost, it is so much easier than wrestling to get the cork back in the bottle.

At UNlimiters, we’re always looking for products that help us live more independent and easier lives. Have you found a product that has improved your life? Let us know in the Shout section of our store and we’ll try to add it to our selection.

Coffee Anyone?

Sometimes you discover the solution to some of your most annoying problems when and where you least expect it. The other day, for instance, my husband and I were watching a show called Mountain Men. It is one of those “reality shows” that depicts the life of men who live in remote areas and survive off the land. It is ridiculously staged, it drives me crazy, but my husband likes it and sometimes a girl has to make sacrifices. Anyway, during one episode, this guy’s wife brought him a cup of coffee in this mug with a wide base and a narrow opening at the top. I immediately shouted, “That coffee mug is CP proof! I must have one.”

Because of my CP, I spill things a lot. I prefer to drink out of bottles or cups with straws in order to avoid unnecessary spills. Finding a solution to avoid spilling hot beverages has been hard; travel mugs keep my coffee too hot for too long, and you have to wait forever to drink it. Normally, I just take my chances with a traditional mug by trying to leave a little space at the top. Despite my efforts, I still manage to spill my coffee at least once a week. I thought the narrow mouth mug would be the perfect solution to the problem, if I could find one.

The next day, I was out shopping with my Mom and her boyfriend and I told them about the mug. My mom had never seen one, but her boyfriend had, he said he would keep his eyes open. We were at the Salvation Army when he found this little gem.

It is not exactly like the mug I saw on the show, the mouth is a little wider, and it is more angular, but it is still awesome. It is exactly the solution I hoped it would be.

This mug allows my coffee to cool at a normal rate, and the tall narrow mouth keeps me from spilling anything. It also has a slip proof bottom and a good sized handle, which I like. It doesn’t look like it, but it holds a full eight ounces of coffee.

Of course now that I have one, I would like to get a few more; perhaps one for work, and a few for my friends with similar disabilities when they come to visit. I know I probably won’t get as lucky as I did the other day, so I have been looking online and I found several that were almost exactly like the one I saw on TV. This one is for home use and this one even has a lid so you can take it with you!

In what unexpected places have you found a solution to an everyday problem?

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