Baking has never been more popular since programs like Great British Bake off hit our screens. This show has influenced thousands of people across the UK to pick up their whisks put on their aprons and re-discover their passion for baking.
It doesn’t matter whether you see yourself as a Nigella or a Mary Berry or Candice Brown (winner from Great British Bake off)... everyone can and should enjoy baking.
As we get older many people lose their confidence in the kitchen and stop baking as they may not see as well as they used to; but this should not stop you from perfecting your puff pastry or fruit cakes. The key to confidence and success in your kitchen is down to three simple steps;
Lighting is an essential ingredient whilst you are baking; there are simple methods to increase lighting levels in your kitchen. Add extra light by investing in good quality under cupboard lighting, which help to light up dark spaces. Portable lighting like the Z light is great to use in the kitchen as it is battery operated and has no trailing wires which can be a trip hazard, this can be used while you are measuring ingredients or reading recipes.
You don’t need to spend a fortune but make sure the lamp you purchase has enough LED’s to be effective and is bright enough to light up what you want to see and read. Read previous blogs on why lighting makes a difference.
Magnification - A product such as the Eschenbach smartlux DIGITAL can be used to read recipes in a cook book; with up to 12x magnification and a variable eye to lens distance, reading whilst cooking is made so much easier. The built in light is a handy feature too! There are many different magnifiers on the market to choose from and it is important to think about what you want to do and which magnifier is most suited.
Top Tip! Increasing lighting levels and introducing magnification are two key items that you want to add to your shopping list of ingredients. Remember; by increasing lighting and introducing magnification, you increase contrast which makes things much easier to see. Getting a low vision assessment can be arranged through your doctor and you will see someone who can help you determine what type of magnifier would suit your personal requirements.
Reduce Glare - to reduce glare minimise the amount number of shiny surfaces you have in your kitchen. Light shining onto shiny metal can cause glare and discomfort so minimise the amount of shiny stainless steel gadgets you have in your kitchen. You can still be stylish with matt surfaces and there are some fabulous bold colours on the market that are in fashion and can also help to improve contrast.
Contrast- For most people improved contrast means things are easier to see. Think about using different coloured measuring bowls, a white bowl will most likely blend into the background and the ingredients are harder to see. There are some great products on the market that are brightly coloured and offer great contrast like mixing bowls and chopping boards.
Talking kitchen scales are a low cost investment and make measuring ingredients much easier. A ‘Thoughtfully Designed’ set of scales incorporates a measuring jug with big bold numbers which are easier to see and the real icing on the cake is when you pour in your ingredients, the scales will tell you in a friendly voice the weight of the ingredients.
Protection - all responsible bakers need to make sure they can protect themselves against injury and this is no exception. Investing in some extra-long oven gloves will help to protect your arms and hands from accidental burns.
Useful gadgets -There are some great talking timers on the market to help you keep track of cooking times so you don’t end up with a disaster in the kitchen.
With so many gadgets available and great tips, there has never been a better time to carry on baking... Discover more visit www.associatedoptical.com
There are also a range of wider solutions and advice offered by the Disabled Living Foundation to help you keep mobile and independent at home. http://www.dlf.org.uk/living-made-easy
Sandra Taylor, Marketing & Executive Coach. Developed solutions to improve the lives of people living with sight loss for over 20 years.