Strategies for Fun and Accessible Cooking: Lighting the Way to Kitchen Independence

By Mike Morris

When I was 12, I precisely prepared my first meal for my family: French toast with homemade syrup. I meticulously followed the recipe, reading all the words and executing every detail on the recipe card.

As I aged, Myopic Macular Degeneration interfered with my abilities in the kitchen. Reading recipe cards, locating cooking utensils in the back of a cupboard or finding ingredients in the pantry became frustrating. Every time I asked for help to read a label or find something, it seemed like a little layer of independence was stripped away. There had to be a solution, and one day the light bulb above my head turned on.

Light! I, like most, find everything easier to see when there is an abundance of quality light. Throughout the kitchen, and subsequently the house, incandescent light bulbs were replaced with full-spectrum, high-watt lights. This change provided lighting more closely associated with outdoor sunlight, instead of the dull light traditional bulbs provide.

This helped in the center of the kitchen or at the table, but came at a cost. When working at the stove or counter, shadows were cast from the overhead light. To correct this, under-cabinet lights were installed. Using super-bright LED lighting, work surfaces were illuminated, eliminating the shadows.

The final area to attack was the pantry. Motion-activated super-bright LED lighting was installed in the pantry. Now, open the door and the pantry is illuminated like a sunny summer day. All these modifications, plus a flashlight to use under cabinets, increased the ease of working in and around the kitchen.

My favorite recipe is smoked salmon. Here is the recipe I use for smoking salmon, with the recipe for cooking on a grill if you don’t have a smoker at the end.


Smoked Salmon


  • Salmon fillet, skin on
  • Sea salt
  • Dark brown sugar


  • Combine 5 parts dark brown sugar to 1-part sea salt in a mixing bowl. This is the curing mixture. You need enough mixture to completely cover the salmon.
  • Place 1/3 of the curing mixture on the bottom of a glass cooking dish.
  • Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, on top of the curing mixture.
  • Place remaining curing mixture on top of salmon, ensuring to completely cover salmon.
  • Cover with lid or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hours, remove salmon from dish and rinse thoroughly.
  • Place salmon filet, skin side down on cooking rack to dry for 2 hours.


  • Grilling method:
    • As salmon is drying, heat grill to 250 degrees.
    • Place smoking chips into grill’s smoke box or create your own smoke box by placing smoking chips into foil pouch and poke top of pouch with fork.
    • After salmon has dried for 2 hours, place salmon on grill, skin side down, using indirect heat.
    • Smoke salmon for 1 hour or until flesh begins to separate.
  • Smoking method:
    • Using apple or cherry wood, bring smoker to 225 degrees.
    • Place salmon filet in smoker skin side down for 1½-2 hours or until flesh begins to separate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s