Whether it's a grade schooler learning to make sandwiches or a teenager learning to wield a skillet, preparing food is an important part of self-sufficiency. That's why cooking is one of the skills stressed in training the visually handicapped.
The Minneapolis Society for the Blind teaches cooking as part of the rehabilitation of blind and nearly blind people."We have three kitchens where a student and a rehab teacher work one-on-one preparing food," said Peggy Moe, one of the society's rehabilitation teachers. Training is individualized, depending on whether the student has quite a bit of vision or no vision. The average training time to teach all kinds of skills is three to six months.
Moe learned years ago that the print in most large-print cookbooks is rarely large enough to be read by legally blind people. So they wrote out recipes in inch-high print for their students.
Last year, Moe and several colleagues decided to publish a cookbook filled with the easy but delicious recipes they had gathered over the years.
Choosing the 47 recipes proved easier than working out a format. They decided on a horizontal page layout, a conversational recipe style with lots of space-saving abbreviations, and bold-face type for ingredients.
Because of the large letters, most of the recipes filled more than one page. An easel was placed at the back of the book to hold it up so the pages can be flipped easily.
The new book, "Simple Yet Elegant, A Jumbo-Print Cookbook," contains a nice range of family-style recipes organized into chapters on Main Dishes, Desserts and Potpourri (salads, vegetables, breads).
Microwave expert Joyce Battcher helped the teachers add microwave directions for many of the foods.
"I use the recipes at home myself," Moe said. She selected the three recipes that follow.
To obtain a copy of the book, send $10.95 plus $3 for shipping and handling and 60 cents Minnesota sales tax to: Minneapolis Society for the Blind, 1936 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403.