Baking with Braille

By Katherine Corbett

 

My first cookbook was a gift from a woman who had me and a few other local blind kids over to her house every few months to teach us adaptive cooking techniques. One of those techniques was getting us comfortable with braille recipes.

 

Sometimes she would put the recipes on thermoform paper, which is made of plastic. If the recipe got wet, or if one of us spilled flour on the page, we could just wipe it off without ruining the paper or making the recipe unreadable.

 

When I decided to copy recipes down at home, I didn’t have access to thermoform paper. I figured out, however, that by copying the recipe down on 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper and then slipping that paper into a plastic sleeve, the effect was the same. I could read the recipe through the sleeve, and if my hands were wet or dirty, I could wipe it off.

 

I also use braille to label my oven and microwave. My favorite kitchen timer is a windup device that has dots to indicate the numbers. I like using this timer because then I can tell how much time is left during the cooking process, which is impossible with a microwave or oven timer since I can’t see the display.

 

Braille is also prevalent on many cooking aids. I have a set of measuring cups, for instance, that are labeled in braille. This is helpful in the event that they get separated from each other and I can’t distinguish them by size.

 

Braille measuring spoons and the timer mentioned above can be purchased from The Sharper Vision Store at the Council, or online at http://wcblind.org/shop. National Braille Press (www.nbp.org) has a plethora of braille cookbooks.

 

I made this sugar cookie recipe and put the cookies into gift boxes for family and friends. I got 6 dozen small cookies from the recipe, and everyone loved them. Enjoy!

 

 

Sugar Cookies

 

Ingredients:

4 eggs, beaten lightly

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 pound (1 stick) melted butter

1 heaping teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 pinch salt

Approximately 4 cups flour

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients in given order.
  3. Roll a segment of the dough and cut with cookie cutter.
  4. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, checking periodically.

 

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