[CnD] Learning to boil water

Jeanne Fike jfike636 at charter.net
Mon Jan 30 08:31:34 EST 2017

National Braille Press has some George Foreman cookbooks. A lot of their publications are available in a word download for those who don't read braille.
Also directionsforme.org has product directions for many items.

-----Original Message-----
From: Nicole Massey via Cookinginthedark [mailto:cookinginthedark at acbradio.org] 
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2017 9:07 AM
To: cookinginthedark at acbradio.org
Cc: Nicole Massey
Subject: Re: [CnD] Learning to boil water

If you're one of the 80% of blind folks these days who don't read Braille then a set of measuring cups and spoons on a ring are the best option. That way it's easy to know which one you're using.
Note also that the ACB and AFB tend to provide instruction on these issues, so there are more options than going to the NFB if their philosophy and approach aren't comfortable to you. New cooks have options that don't involve them getting forced into certain blind orthodoxy patterns of thought.
And the advice she gives on the use of a George Foreman is also useful -- get someone to find the model of yours and get the specifics on using it, including cleaning. George Foremans vary a lot, and there are ones that have no controls at all and no removable parts on one end all the way to ones with multiple cooking plates and a range of temperatures. This advice goes for all your devices in the kitchen -- find out the specifics.
One more thing -- there are websites that will provide you with the instructions, ingredients, and nutrition information. All you need is the brand and specific name of what you want to look up. These sites will tend to have the information for national brands over store brands though, so keep that in mind.

-----Original Message-----
From: Janet Acheson via Cookinginthedark [mailto:cookinginthedark at acbradio.org] 
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2017 8:39 AM
To: cookinginthedark at acbradio.org
Cc: Janet Acheson <vineeds at aol.com>
Subject: Re: [CnD] Learning to boil water

Warning � this is long.

I have a few suggestions for you.
1. Getting started with your George Foreman grill. 
A. First, do you know how it actually operates? To clarify, do you understand how to use the controls? I will assume the answer is no and the following comments. Access the operating instructions. Make certain you know how to take it apart and put its parts back together. Become familiar with the temperature/settings control so that you have an idea and are comfortable with how much the control needs to be turned to be at different temperatures or different cook levels. Practice this with the unit off then practice this with the unit on.
B. Purchase a package of preformed, premade hamburgers. These will be a standard size such as 1/3 pound 1/4 pound or 1/2 pound. You will also be able to become familiar with the thickness of the patties. 
C. Find a recipe for seasoning hamburger. If you just don't have anything in mind, sprinkle some salt and pepper and garlic powder on the preformed meet Patty and place it in the center of the George Foreman grill. 
D. No here's the tricky part. Your George Foreman grill directions may have a chart indicating the length of time to cook a specific size hamburger or piece of meat. You may also find this information online for your model. Using this information, go ahead and cook your burger. When the indicated amount of time is up, remove your burger, and slice it in half and eat it. Why did I say slice it in half you may ask? Well, this is only an option. If you bite him to the cut side of a half a burger you will immediately know if it is cooked to your particular satisfaction level. Yes, there is some waste factor in this learning process. However, I am assuming you do not have anybody to assist you with this. If it is not cooked enough put it back in the George Foreman grill and cook it for another minute at a time. It may become monotonous, but you can learn how to at least cook a hamburger on your George Foreman grill by doing this several times. 

2. Bake a cake or brownies from a box mix. This suggestion is not in line with how I would normally teach a beginning cook, however, it is something you can do relatively easy and independently. 
A. Buy a box mix, cake or brownie, which ever you prefer. Scan and then read the directions on your computer or have somebody help you get the directions and have them written out. Be sure that you have the right size pan for what you have decided to bake. Having somebody read you this information in the store before you finalize your purchase would be helpful. Most stores offer assistance and you can take along a recording device to have your shopping assistant read all of the directions for you before you even make your final purchase. Leave the store with your mix, the extra ingredients you will need which are likely to be oil and eggs and the proper size pan in which to bake. 
B. Let's imagine that your recipe calls for a quarter cup of oil, half cup of water, and one egg. Place the powdered mix into a mixing bowl. Have a second "garbage" bowl handy. Get out your braille measuring cups. Measure the oil needed for your recipe over your "garbage" bowl which is sitting right next to your mixing bowl. Once you have the amount of oil you need measured into your braille measuring cup and pour this into your mix. Repeat this process for the water you need. Now the one egg. Do you know how to crack an egg? Crack the egg on the edge of a glass or plastic measuring cup or another small bowl or coffee cup. With the cracked egg now in a cup, use a fork to scramble or mix the egg. This can be done with a back and forth motion in which you bounce the fourth off of the sides of a cup. Do this vigorously for about 30 seconds. No pour the egg into the powder mix already containing the water and oil. Using a spoon or a small spatula mix the recipe ingredients according to the box instructions. Be sure you scrape your spoon or small spatula along the sides of the ball and across the bottom of the bowl every 20 to 30 strokes. 
C. Follow the package directions for preparing your baking pan. If it says to grease the pan I recommend using either a spray cooking oil or butter (not margarine). You can use your fingers to easily and sure there is a smooth coating of oil/butter on the bottom corners and sides of the pan. It should not be sloppy wet, only slippery.
D. Using your spoon or spatula hover you're mixing bowl over the pan and get its contents into your baking dish. 
E. If you have followed the package directions, your oven is already preheated to the necessary temperature. Use your phone or other device for timing the baking in the oven. 
F. Follow the package directions plus perhaps another 30 minutes for the cooling process.
G. Cut yourself a slice of an iced cake or brownie out of that pan and enjoy. 
H. If you chose to bake a cake and just cannot eat it without icing then I suggest buying a premade icing that you can put on top of the cake. These tend to be overly sweet so keep this in mind. 

Yes this is a very long message.

Along with others on the list, I would suggest seeking out the support of an NFB center if you can find one near you or take the time off to receive the services. They offer you an opportunity to cook on a variety of cooking appliances and expose you to many different techniques. Along with the other services offered you may find the experience to be invaluable.

Best regards. 

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