Aging cooks need kitchen hacks. Let me share a couple of my own kitchen tricks: a cheap casserole dish with a heat diffuser, and nail polish markings on stove knobs.
Kitchen hack #1: a light-weight 2-handled steel casserole
First, a cheap metal casserole. Why would I change utensils when for years I’ve used a cast iron casserole for stews, soups, tagines and casseroles? The old blue iron wonder has done great service for a couple of decades, going from stove top to oven.
Problem A: my hands aren’t as strong as they were and one of these days I’m going to find cast iron casserole too heavy. When it’s full of hot food, that’ll be a double problem.
Solution: a cheap stainless steel casserole dish that is lighter than the lid of the old dish. This kind of utensil brings its own problems, and I’ll see how I go.
Problem A: Food cooked on the stove top tends to stick and burn. Solution, easy: a heat diffuser, which is working brilliantly so far.
Problem B: Cleaning is more difficult! I forgot this problem when I bought it. I’ll see how I go. If cleaning this pot proves too annoying, there’s another option: upgrade to a better stainless steel casserole. But so far, so good.
Kitchen hack No. 2: mark stove knobs with nail polish
Do you have stove knobs that are steel on steel? Too cool for school but hard for older people to read when eyesight is fading. Shameless, I paint the OFF mark with red nail polish.