Meals and recipes are needed for different times in your life as well. Singles want different meals to the elderly, the empty nesters or the young families. Food is needed for the busy times and the slow times, the times when it’s an indulgence and the times when you want fresh healthy foods.
With so many reasons for why and when people eat I should have realized that a topic such as one-armed dinners was not really such a strange idea after all. A loyal reader wrote to me this week in need and I was eager to help, despite my first impressions of what I then thought was an odd topic. Her boyfriend had injured his shoulder and for the next month has become a one-armed chef and eater. Could I help?
It suddenly occurred to me that there may be more one-armed diners out there than I initially realized. There are many who could be suffering injuries to vital body areas needed for cooking (think fingers, hands, arms, eyes). And what about those who don’t have injuries but have health issues like arthritis? What about those who may have use of only one arm such as the disabled?
In 2008 I met a Paralympian runner. He was the nicest guy I ever met, being patient and encouraging while in front of school kids and being a lovely friend and roommate to a friend of mine. He had lost his arm in a farming accident as a teenager and therefore really only had the use of one arm. But he also needed to eat healthy meals to keep up his fitness for his running, and he wasn’t living at home with family, so he must have been able to cook for himself as well.
So, if you add to the injured, those with illnesses and the disabled, there are quite a few people who need meals for one arm. Add to that those busy people who eat on the run , juggling folders, children and commitments or those eating behind the wheel and all of a sudden the number of people I need to help increases exponentially.
Okay, so, once I realized that not only the one-armed boyfriend needed help, I set about brainstorming this new topic. I thought about soft foods at first like omelettes, pancakes, vegetable or fish patties and rice or noodle and pasta dishes, but I wasn’t sure that these were going to cut it. After all, is it really possible to twirl spaghetti with one hand?
Then I thought about foods like hot dogs, sausage rolls and pizza. These could be eaten in one hand. Small sandwiches would work too if you didn’t fill them with too many ingredients, but burgers would be a miss because if you don’t use two hands everything just falls out.
With visions of the one-armed boyfriend dropping fried egg, tomato sauce and soggy lettuce down his work clothes, and melted cheese stuck to his tie, I moved on. I didn’t want to kill the poor guy either by giving him high cholesterol or a heart attack from a month of takeaways. I‘d seen Morgan Spurlock’s movie “Supersize Me” and I’m sure this is not what my reader had in mind when she wrote in for help. What now?
At this point I was stuck. How do I give one-armed people healthy food that they can eat? I decided to split my problem two ways; the first being foods they could eat with one hand, and the second being foods they could prepare themselves. I hit the cookbooks for a few hours, studying like my life depended upon it. I didn’t want to disappoint my loyal reader after all, and I just happened to find some inspiration.
|Spanish Chicken Casserole
(with lettuce instead of rocket)