Blind Chef Sue advises on everything from breadmakers and microwave ovens, to talking gadgets for the kitchen.
I wouldn’t be without my talking microwave, both LG and Cobolt Systems sell models that are brailled or talk. Sharp make a
model with a manual dial that can be marked easily with bump-ons or Hi-marks. Microwaves come in various capacities, there
features and controls vary, its up to you to choose a particular model that
fits your needs, remember that products are always changing, what was available
yesterday may not be here tomorrow, we can only hope that they do not become
too electronic and high-tech to use through touch.
Talking kitchen products
There are a number of talking products available from Cobolt Systems, a measuring jug and talking kitchen scales being
just two, they are a Company well worth contacting regularly for product
Toasters are, as far as I have experienced, either very good at making toast or absolutely dreadful and burn it
regularly, the browning controls vary in shape, size and adjustability, as far as temperature are concerned! What I would say is keep the control on low
to start with and go for a model with wide slots and a cool wall exterior. They will even bleep, giggle or baaah at you
when they pop up, if you want them too!
A good jug-shape kettle that sits securely in to or on to its base that swivels, so it can be turned round for us left-handed
users too, is really good. Watch the spout, try to buy one that extends out a
fair distance, that way you will be able to fill it from the tap without
removing the lid. There will be less chance of spillages, when you aim for
the teapot or mug too. If you want them
to, when boiling point is reached, they will whistle, giggle or talk to you.
but you can still buy models that don’t say anything at all!!!
If you have always wanted to make bread but
find the idea of kneading and baking it far too time consuming, have a look at
bread makers. They range in price from around 50 pounds to over 100 pounds for larger capacity fan assisted models. Some are very electronic which makes their controls confusing to
fathom out, but don’t despair, a few of these do have variously shaped buttons
which bleep when pressed, making them quite easy to operate. The smell of freshly baked bread is
wonderful and homely, it has to be experienced often!
Liquidizers and blenders
A jug blender with blades in the base that stands on top of a motor is great for making breadcrumbs, crushing biscuits,
making soup and many other culinary tasks.
Be sure that it has a cut out switch and a firmly fitting lid. They usually work on pressure, when you stop
adding food they cut out immediately, with an on-off control for extra
safety. Most leading electrical manufacturers sell their own brand, check that the features suit your needs.
I love my Kenwood hand-held mixer with its
push in whisks and click through speed control. Its so versatile and portable for both cake and pastry making, whipping eggs and cream to name but a few
things. I much prefer it to a full size food processor but please do take a look at some of them if you want to batch
bake or slice and chop in large quantities.
Bare in mind that the integral blade used for chopping and cake making
is extremely extra sharp.
Deep Fat Fryers
If you are planning to buy a deep fat fryer, make sure that the controls are
easy to mark with bump-ons and that you know where the markings are for the
half and full measure for pouring in the fat.
Don’t buy those that are too small or awkwardly shaped. They are thermostatically controlled, of
course, but that doesn’t stop them popping and clicking when you lower the
basket of food down into the fat or when the lid is lifted or lowered, just
bear this in mind, and please get sighted assistance when marking one before use,
or during its first run through, if you are at all concerned about safety!
There are hundreds of other electrical items for steaming food, pressure cooking, hand blending, making ice-cream,
yoghurt making, pop corn makers that are good fun and really healthy too! etc.