Hi! I’m Anne. Welcome to my kitchen!
When I started Inhabited Kitchen, I lived in Manhattan, in an apartment with the smallest kitchen I’ve ever had even in New York City, with Rich, who eats and washes up, and two cats, who get underfoot (because that’s the Cat Job…) Now, though, in January 2018, we pulled up stakes and moved to North Carolina to live with (and assist) his parents – Barbara and Don – who are both in their nineties. So my cooking changes yet again, to feed four and accommodate their tastes – but the essentials remain the same.
While I have tried to write recipes that anyone can use and enjoy, Inhabited Kitchen has always been fundamentally about cooking through my own medical issues. I have chronic migraine (improving, thank you) and after I’d written for a while discovered that I am gluten intolerant. So I shared methods I developed to get good food on the table even when I was dealing with a migraine or its aftermath, and then the workarounds I found to avoid gluten.
Those are both still issues, but now I also need to cook for the parents. Like many their age, they have some issues with food – loss of taste, loss of appetite, some difficulties with either chewing or swallowing… And they have medical conditions that affect what foods they ideally should emphasize or limit. And of course they simply have their own tastes, which are not identical to mine.
I have learned that providing good food is one of the most important – and difficult – aspects of caregiving, whether you are in our circumstances, caring for a younger person (child, spouse, or friend) with permanent or temporary medical issues, or caring for someone at a distance. Or caring for yourself, as I did in the kitchen (though Rich both helped and covered other needs) with my health problems!
For me, the most challenging part is dealing with the parents’ needs and preferences three times a day – for others, the challenge is coordinating food from hundreds of miles away. Still others travel a few hours every week or two to spend an afternoon replenishing groceries, planning menus, and perhaps cooking for the freezer. And there are many variations! I hope to find and provide information that helps in many circumstances, as we do not all have the same problems.
And, finally, there is nothing like putting a delicious, homemade meal on the table, that meets everyone’s needs, and that the whole family enjoys. And I want you to know that experience, despite any apparent obstacles.
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I’d be happy to answer any questions – and I would love to hear how a recipe turned out!
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