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Second Sense - Beyond Vision Loss

A Recipe for Kitchen Success this Summer: Three Parts Vision Rehab Strategy to One Part Planning

August 15, 2016 | 2 Comments

by Polly Abbott, CVRT

Tags: , ,

A mixing bowl, measuring spoons and seasonings on a tray


Most people would like to eat a healthy, made from scratch, natural diet, wouldn’t you say? However, vision loss in the kitchen can feel like it is adding extra layers of difficulty to the 7-layer bean salad you wanted to make.

Do you:

  • Get frustrated spending 20 minutes looking for ingredients and kitchen tools in your own kitchen? Maybe you can’t find everything you need and decide to reach for the phone for take-out instead?
  • Have every intention of eating the vegetables and fruit you bought, but have to throw some of them out because “out of sight, out of mind” caused you to forget you had them until you smell them rotting?
  • Get nervous about trying to measure tablespoon and teaspoon amounts by pouring out of a large bottle? Are you unsure you measured the correct amount because you know you wasted a lot judging by the puddle on the counter?

Please don’t give up!

It’s summer and that means salads are an easy option for healthy eating.  The key to getting started is organization. Here’s how!


Use a cafeteria-sized tray

Carry items on the tray as you walk around the kitchen gathering up what you need.  You can place items on or around the tray near specific sides or corners to help you find them when you need them.  Working on the tray will contain any mess or spills and make clean-up quick and efficient.


Garbage container

Keep a bowl or garbage handy to keep seeds, peels, and anything garbage not food off your workspace and away from your salad bowl as you work.


Ingredient identification

Label the ingredients you want to use or look for tactual details in the packaging or bottle to help you tell the oil from the vinegar.

Group like items together to save time.  For example, keep vinegars and oils that you use for salad dressing near each other in the pantry


Your own space

If you share the kitchen with others, you might want to have a special drawer or Tupperware container in the fridge to keep the items you use frequently. This also helps you remember those items you don’t want to forget about like the half tomato that needs to be eaten up.


For more labeling tips for the kitchen and home, check out these resources:

VisionAware’s Room-by-Room Modifications: Kitchen

Where Did I Put It?  A webinar I presented for Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired


Here are 4 ways to master measuring to make your own salad dressing:

Pouring oil into a measuring spoon over a measuring cupDipping a measuring spoon into a small jar full of oil


  • Use dry measuring cups to measure liquids.  Place them in a shallow bowl or deep saucer before pouring.  They will be level and the bowl or saucer will catch any overflow. Measuring spoons can also be held over a bowl or even a 1 cup measuring cup while pouring.  Resting the spoon handle against the side of the bowl will help you determine when the spoon is level.
  • Alternatively, keep a small amount of oil or vinegar in a wide-mouth jar and dip a very clean spoon in to get a small amount.
  • Less accurate, but even easier, keep your oil in a squeeze bottle.  One squeeze is usually about a table spoon.
  • Chilling oil and vinegar before pouring will make them easier to feel with your finger when checking to see how full the measuring cup or measuring spoon is.

Tip: Most salad dressings are 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon.  Check out this blog about making your own salad dressing for information from a certified holistic nutritionist as to why you might want to take the time to make your own and some ideas for inspiration!

If you have a favorite recipe for salad dressing, please share!

Polly Abbott is the Director of Rehabilitation at Second Sense.

2 comments on “A Recipe for Kitchen Success this Summer: Three Parts Vision Rehab Strategy to One Part Planning”

  1. Jackie Janicek says:

    Polly, Love the tips you and all others at Second Sense share. Please keep them coming

  2. Stella De Genova says:

    Good post and great tips!

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