There’s a chef in the house… But!

My changing ability to work out not only how to cook, but what to cook, what to shop for, and so on, will ultimately result in the reality that sooner or later, we should be ordering in our weekly evening meals. My dear husband Peter, also known affectionately known as my BUB around the world, has, for those who suggested it, offered to take over the cooking of meals, but as he works more than full time, and already has taken over many other things, I feel it is better to simply go for the easiest option of quick salads or wholesome soups, a roast or a BBQ, as that causes me less guilt and stress!

Yes, I know guilt is wasted emotion, but let me tell you, with dementia, needing more and more support just to function, causes me to feel guilty. Plus, I really dislike needing to ask for help!

On a positive side to having dementia though, I recently gave a presentation to the Maggie Beer Foundation for an event they hosted on 30th August 2017, Food For Thought CEO & Managers Workshop. One of my online friends Paula Wolfert is a rather famous American author of nine books on cooking and the winner of numerous cookbook awards, and also a friend of Maggie’s.

Maggie was rather envious of me meeting with her on Friday mornings at one of the DAI online support groups. I jokingly suggested to Maggie she could attend this wonderful group, but had to be diagnosed with dementia first. Her reply was something like, “so there really are positives to getting dementia”, as Paula has been one of her food heroes her whole life! If you haven’t already, order your own copy of Paula’s biography, Unforgettable; it is one book not to be missed! The cover is picture here today.

23 thoughts on “There’s a chef in the house… But!

  1. It’s funny how decline can be tracked in everything even down to tea and toast, which is actually really difficult to prepare on bad days! I have been a stay at home mum for the last decade
    and prided myself on three course gourmet meals as standard. I loved good and grew up learning how to cook from my mother who was also an excellent cook. Thanks to her tuition I won my first baking competition when I was in fifth grade in the open age sponge cake division at the show, much to the shock of the silver haired ladies who also entered. Ah, the good old days (I’m 45!). Anyhow, I can identify with the perils of cooking with a brain that is itself “baking”. I used to be able to cook anything, adapt recipes, look at what was for sale at the grocers and design a menu in my head. A few years ago, without my even consciously realising it, my repertoire had contacted to chicken curry (from a jar) and rice or salad or platters. My eldest son was repeatedly complaining because he didn’t “do salad” and saying “chicken and rice….. again”. I had sort of devolved into cooking like this. I lost my ability to shop without a planned list and found it very difficult to understand and follow recipes. I’m lucky though that I have others at home who can cook instead of me and my youngest two children 11 and 9 years old have become quite self sufficient and accomplished in the kitchen. They can bake cakes etc and make excellent scrambled eggs all on their own. It’s nice to see they inherited my cooking skills and good qualities are being passed down the generations. But even on the occasions where I have cooked something really awful and inedible, it’s still provided for my family in the form of a great laugh!


    • Oh gosh, to be reminded of a great sponge. My nan taught me to cook them, and they were so light and fluffy! Not a chance now of that happening, but who cares. I don’t eat sugar any more anyway! Keep at it, as will I. If my family want somehting more than I can manage, they are very competent to cook for us all, and often do xx


  2. I have just had a look at your recipe blog and it is fabulous!!!Thankyou so much and very very useful! We have soooo much to talk about when we meet and i will definetly make some of your recipies!!Keep up the amazing work inspirational lady💜


  3. Kate, i absolutely love this post, and if you are ever in Auckland your more than welcome to stay😊I am really impressed that you are cooking and cooking is a wonderful skill and your dishes sound delicious and are make me very hungry😋I too, love cooking and if we ever get to meet we can cook something together☺Keep up the great work Kate and i am really looking forward to hearing what else you can cook!Take care


  4. Are you sure you are unable to cook? Have you been diagnosed as having cooking deficiency deficit? Maureen claims she has forgotten how to cook. I’m sure there is medication for this condition!


  5. Very apt the content of your blog today Jonathon as I have just implemented a positive change at our respite cottage this week. Set menus have gone in the shredder and meal choices will be set by our clients from this day forward not staff choice as had been previous practice, a small setp but providing choice has been well received by our clients. Enthusiasm is now high with clients wanting to participate in meal prep, engagement is high with amazing cooks in the kitchen refiscovering some of their fav recipes, the smiles on their faces are priceless.


  6. I only cook in the microwave or crock pot now. I almost set the house on fire when I put a hamburger on the stove and went into my office and completely forgot that I was cooking! When I opened my office door I was almost completely overwhelmed with smoke and the alarm was sounding. I feared that my neighbors would call the fire department as I opened the windows and smoke billowed out. The microwave and crock pot are my new friends! I am lucky that my husband is retired now. He does all the grocery shopping and helps prepare meals, but I know many do not have that situation and it most be so frustrating! Please be cautious when cooking!


    • Oh dear… I hear you Paulan. I’ve nearly burnt the house down three times. Microwave, crockpot and salads are my new repertoire! Or cooking together. I do feel sorry for those with dementia who live alone, as not only the risks, but eating alone must be a challenge. Kx


    • Paulann and Kate, I rely on Crockpot and microwave almost exclusively as well. Once I welded a new, triple-ply aluminum-clad pot to a burner on the stove top. Fortunately, Alex had the patience to gradually chip away most of it. The Crockpot is so forgiving — I peel and chop and dump all the veggies into a beef stew, “set it and forget it,” until later I realize that I forgot the beef. Crockpots can often take that and not tell my secrets before dinner.


  7. Please change mailing list as I am leaving this job tomorrow.

    Jo Thomson
    Case Manager/social worker
    9495 3538
    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday


    • Hi Jo, for your own privacy, I have removed your new private email. The best way forward is for you to unsubscribe from your work emil, and resubscribe with your new email. I am able to subscribe you, but ha veno idea if I can unsubscribe your work one, so I’ll do that now. Just remember to unsubscribe from the work email. Sorry if that is a clear as mud! 😉


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