Deaf Awareness Week
Welcome to Deaf Awareness Week UK (6-12th May) and allow me to take you on a journey through my experiences of living with deafness. I am totally deaf on one side and have some hearing in the other ear, boosted by modern hearing technology. I have been a hearing aid wearer for nearly 20 years but even now my deafness still catches me out.
Day 2: Cooking.
How does hearing loss affect cooking? There are many different sounds that alert you to how well a dish is cooking and which keep you safe whilst preparing a meal. When these sounds are lost through deafness, the cooking of a meal can be a risky business.
Consider a family favourite, pasta with a Bolognese or vegetable sauce. The onions need frying off to develop flavour so add them to a pan with some olive oil. These will sizzle whilst cooking which for most people will signal that they need gentle occasional stirring. If I become distracted by another task these can sizzle away without me noticing they are drying out and burning.
Note to self: do not turn away from the task in hand.
Next requires the cooking of the pasta. A large pan of boiling water bubbles away until it reaches a rolling boil, perfect to keep the pasta moving as it cooks. In goes the pasta and the cooking begins. This can easily boil over, flooding the hob, if not watched over.
Note to self: Keep an eye on the pan as I won’t hear if it boils over.
Sometimes it is useful to use a timer to alert you to the end of a cooking task. This works very well if the ‘ping’of the timer is loud enough to hear with a hearing loss but quite often my timer has finished without me noticing.
Note to self: invest in a very loud, portable timer or set smart phone to vibrate at the end of cooking time.
Washing up after a meal can even be tricky if like me, you get easily drawn into a conversation and forget that the tap is still running and the sink about to overflow! Kitchens are often full of hard surfaces and metallic, china or glass objects to handle, all of which make a lot of noise and these can distract from the sound of water filling into the sink.
Note to self: Try not to clatter about and make too much extra noise.