Funny things happen when you mingle at the church coffee hour. My friend Martha Thompson, the chief church supper organizer and cook, mentioned that she wanted to give me a copy of the large print cookbook that her sister Ellen had assisted in compiling. I took it home and read the introductory letter in amazement. The author, Nancy Rezendes, was stricken with Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and knew what it was like to develop an eye condition and not know what to do. But she doesn’t dwell on herself; instead, she gives a roadmap for people like her and the things they could do to help get back to a normal life. And of course cooking is a big part of that. Using her own advice, she used ZoomText on her computer and started typing recipes in bold 30-point font. She handpicked recipes that would fit on an 8 ½ X 11 inch paper in the extra large font because she knew firsthand what it was like to be overwhelmed by an excessively long ingredient list. Thank you Nancy!
You can order Nancy’s cookbook for $30 plus $10 shipping in the continental U.S. by giving her a ring at 508-228-1623. This would make a thoughtful gift for anyone who is tired of straining their eyes while flipping through that cookbook on the counter. And here is Nancy’s cookbook introduction that I mentioned:
My name is Nancy. I have been “Legally Blind” since 2004 from Macular Degeneration.
Two things I miss most are driving and reading. The driving issue cannot be resolved, but the reading issue can. There are many solutions for this situation: magnifying glasses, books on compact disks, and, if you have a computer, you can download books to disks and/or MP3 players (many libraries have the capability for you to download books). Also, the National Library Service will give you, at no cost to you, a digital player for listening to audio books and music. If you are interested in obtaining more information and you live in Massachusetts, you can call Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library at 800-852-3133. The staff is very helpful and there are over 70,000 talking books available. If you live in another state, you can call information for your states National Library Service number.
In January 2006 I attended the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts. The administrators, instructors, and staff were wonderful and I learned how to use the functional vision I have, to my advantage. I had a hard time reading recipes, so I decided to try recording recipes onto cassette tapes. After doing a few, I realized it was more trouble than it was worth, because it was difficult to find the recipe I wanted. That’s when I started typing recipes in large print on my computer with a program called Zoomtext and inserting them into a plastic protector sheet and a three-ring binder. I then decided to publish a cookbook in large print. Because there are varying degrees of vision loss, it was difficult to choose which recipes to include in the book. So I decided to compromise and use some recipes with only a few ingredients and some with several.
The following pages include recipes from family, friends, and the backs and sides of boxes, jars, and packages. And for the “kid” in all of us I have included some poems I have really enjoyed reading, some from children’s author Shel Silverstein, as well as some interesting quotes.
I hope this book helps you as much as my binder has helped me.