My kitchen is the hub of our home. It is the place where everyone gathers anytime a good smell is either comming from, or about to come from it. My kitchen is also not suited to my abilities, and renovation is so expensive that it is out of the question, it is my responsibility to figure out ways to work in it safely, not only for myself but also the 2 year old "helper" under wheels.

Plan ahead is always the beginning of any of my cooking projects, I ask someone to reach down any ingredients that I know I will need, since my kitchen is small it is easier to have everything sitting on the counter within reach than having to call for each thing, bumping around the chair or worse, when I am cooking alone and missing something vital to the dish.

Protection is next. If you are going to be working with hot liquids and are using a wheelchair, a thick towel on your lap, topped by an apron will save you from most scald injuries to the lap. If you do have a spill, snatch that towel out as fast as you can before the liquid has a chance to soak in too far. Oven mitts are another "must have". I use them on both hands when working in the oven and also for moving hot pots on the stove, I don't recommend the kind for both hands that are one long strip with pockets on both ends for most stovetop projects for the simple reason that the middle part can snag on other pots on the stove and drag them down onto you. While we are on the subject of protection, I want to touch for a sec, on the subject of clothing, mostly about what is covering your arms. Loose sleeves and those made from materials that melt easily are OUT! I am reminded of this because of the large, burn hole on the sleeve of my newest robe where I brushed against the heating element in the oven and I had to slap out the sparks that were making the hole bigger and threatening to burn my arm. Thick cotton (like denim) is a good choice. Keep pot handles turned away from the front of the stove. I won't say more, that one says all there is to say about it.

Use what works... For a lot of prep. work I use our dining table because the counter tops are just high enough to be uncomfortable, at the table, I can chop, grate, pound, roll, ect. much easier.

Cleanup... Bleah!  Washing dishes by hand is not fun but is a chore that must be done. When I first started washing from a chair, I took the awkward, sidways approach, I found that way to be really hard on my back and hips. What is kind of working for me is to get rid of my footrests, (watch out for those feet, I've had some pretty icky injuries, running over my own feet) then open the cabinet doors under the sink. This gives you a bit of room for your knees and gets you quite a bit closer.

Ask for help... Know your limitations and ask for help when you need it. I use my oven a lot because it is operated by push buttons and I can turn it off, on and set the temperature with my stick or a long wooden spoon quite easily. The stove controlls however are at the back of the stove on dials and that is when I ask for help.

Don't be afraid to try... The last thing I have to tell you here. I've said it before and I'll say it again. You never know what you can do until you try.

Whats for dinner? Salisbury Steak, mashed taters and peas