A man is cooking and preparing to chop carrots as he asks a question of a woman in a wheelchair who answers, her speech bubble forms hands that guide his

Cooking Without Hands

Have you ever had a desire to cook an amazing meal for someone but had a thought, “how would I do that? With my spinal muscular atrophy, I can’t lift anything, I can’t cut or prep there’s no way I’d be able to cook!” Well I had those thoughts too and I can tell you that I am the best chef in our house!

Wanting to cook without hands

At the age of 22 I got married and one of the first challenges I faced with the desire to be the wife that prepared the home, made it a wonderful space when he was “home from work” and had dinner on the table. I remember having this deep desire to fulfill the housewife duties but knew that I was unable to do so without his assistance.

I have home aids, however none of them worked past 3 o’clock every day, so dinner time was just me and my husband. I wanted to figure out how to put together meals that still felt like my own creation whether I could do it completely independent or not.

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Interabled couple meal preparation

What was I capable of?

I remember pulling recipes, writing down my grocery list and telling my husband “we are going to have a great dinner tonight!” knowing good and well he was the one preparing it.

We finally found a beautiful rhythm that I would encourage any interabled couple to do.

Each know whose role is whose

He truly steps aside and allows me to cook even without ever touching a pan or spatula. He doesn’t try to take over, or read the recipes, he simply asks “what do I do next?”

Fun in the kitchen

It has been such a fun process to learn to do this together. I can honestly say that we have grown extremely close and I’ve had some of the most fun in home date nights just cooking meals together. I had to learn to not be shy to ask for what I need or not be shy to say exactly how I wanted it to be done. Cooking, in my opinion, is preference and creative. 

The way that we communicate how we prefer to do something is very important but he truly allowed me to feel like I was the chef. He was simply there to be my hands.

We learned that I liked to have control over the way things were prepped such as how things were chopped the order in which things were cooked and especially the flavors. He would often let me taste things and ask me, “what do you think it needs more of?”

Creativity together

The plating was all him. I happened to be married to a creative as well and he’ll always tell you that he is not the cook, that I am. However he makes it look beautiful because “you eat with your eyes first."

I would encourage anyone who has a significant other to try cooking together! It’s so fun cooking in the kitchen together, each taking our own special rules and feeling important in the process.

How Have You Adapted Daily Living to Your SMA?

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