Where are all the other blind cooks?

Back in Hampshire, I managed to find Steve and his Sri Lankan beef curry – but I’d been lucky to discover him. https://youtu.be/gS0RlZ9lF4o

There must be thousands of visually impaired people across such a big county but it was difficult to locate some who would cook with me.  Begging e-mails to the organisations for blind people plus the other charities and voluntary sector organisations failed.  Was it me?  Was it the prospect of the video camera?  Or are blind people not cooking?

Thanks to Southampton Sight, that supports people from beyond the city, I managed to find Steve, Kate and Sue who all generously shared their time, recipes and cooking tips.

Steve’s curry was especially new: I’d never used Sri Lankan flavours and my tube of tamarind paste had been languishing, unloved and neglected, in the cupboard for more years than its “Best Before” date could bear.

Most inspiring was Steve himself.    He is one of those precise and meticulous cooks who gets all his ingredients prepared first and then can cook easily without making a mess – which is important when you can’t see well.  He has enough residual sight to be able to read the spice labels with a magnifying glass.  This is always tricky with any level of sight loss so I try to always keep the spices in the same order and then trust to memory, smell and taste.  He was particularly careful with the tin of coconut – notorious for that large lump of coconut solid that usually slides out of the tin at the last moment to splash in to the pan.  His advice was to give the tin a good stir at the start and break up the solids.

Most caring was his concern that his usual level of chili would be too much for me and the other guests.  It’s a fine cook who is ready to lay down his own taste for the sake of others.  And it was delicious.

If you know anyone who has lost some or all their sight, why not encourage them with their cooking?  Being independent in the kitchen can be so satisfying  and rewarding.  Perhaps one of the videos might help show what’s possible?







Feast from fridge ferreting.

Watch me make them on YouTube or download the recipes from my website.Undulating oval clear glass plate with the colourful tangle of noodle salad, the fish fillet with its crispy skin, the cooked fishcake and broth.

Chef Mike creates magic with the simplest of ingredients transformed with a squeeze of lime and a dash of Asian flavour.

How often have I ferreted through the fridge to make something quick, more interesting than scrambled eggs and that doesn’t need all sorts of exotic ingredients?

This Asian-inspired noodle dish does it all and can be whipped together in the Boxes of the sliced and prepared broth ingredients ready on the worktop.seconds it takes the rice noodles to soften.      Capture that last carrot, a couple of sugar snaps, the left-over piece of red pepper or any other vegetables lurking around with some store-cupboard staples and lunch is served!

And this simple salad has enough character to stand up in the supporting role when combined with sea bass to make a starring dinner party dish.  Definitely worth adding this to your classics and ringing the changes with different seasonal vegetables. A frying pan with a little oil on the base is heating on the hot plate with the fish ready to be cooked.


You can support the Holman adventure too: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/penny-melville-brown