Holiday Baking for People with an Upper Limb Difference
by Amber Henson, on Dec 21, 2021
The holidays are upon us, and with them comes the tempting aroma of pies, cakes and cookies wafting from the kitchen. Whether this is your first holiday season with a limb difference, or you’re a longtime amputee who would appreciate some kitchen tips, we have you covered. Be sure to check out our previous article that focuses on cooking, Kitchen Tips for Upper Limb Amputees - Cutting and Chopping.
First up, the prep. Before you begin to bake, have all your ingredients prepared, measured and lined up on the counter. The Food Network recommends using silicone muffin cups to hold the pre-measured ingredients for your recipe. Having everything you’ll need in front of you makes baking easier. Plus, you will know for sure that you have all the necessary ingredients BEFORE you begin the baking process, avoiding a panicked trip to the grocery store.
Now for the tools. Did you know there are one-handed rolling pins? They come in a variety of materials, but here is an example of a wooden dough roller. If holding onto kitchen tools is a challenge, try wrapping the handles with Dycem or Coban Self-Adherent Wrap or cylindrical foam tubing (even pipe insulation will work!). This makes it easier to get a solid grip with your prosthetic device. Dycem mats are also helpful for stabilizing the bottom of a mixing bowl.
Looking for some cooking inspiration? Stump Kitchen is a YouTube channel hosted by Alexis Hillyard. She has a below elbow congenital limb difference and makes many delightful treats in the kitchen without a prosthetic device, including holiday treats (that happen to be vegan).
Finally, remember to put safety first. Even though it may be tempting to use your prosthesis to grasp a hot oven rack or baking pan, we recommend always using an oven mitt or hot pad. Although some devices, such as an ETD, may be able to withstand the heat, there is a chance that you could burn yourself by accidentally touching your skin with a hot metal hook. As for silicone, it may be heat resistant, but it’s not a good idea to touch hot items with a custom silicone prosthesis because the heat might still transmit through the material and burn your skin. A push/pull tool can help with safely moving hot oven racks and a silicone oven mitt should be worn. Pay close attention to your prosthetic terminal device to be sure you have a secure grip when carrying items in the kitchen. You may even want to consider using a kitchen roll-about to move heavy or hot items along countertops.
What are some baking tips that you have? Be sure to leave them in the comment section below. If you would like to speak with our clinical team about how to improve your kitchen skills with a prosthesis, please contact us. Our clinical therapy specialists excel at making sure our patients learn how to use their device and make their way around their kitchen. Thanks for reading.