Saturday, July 28, 2012

caring and the culinary arts III

Trying to be as scientific as the culinary arts and caregiving can be I expanded my experiments with finger food fruit bowl dinning to include those notorious chicken tenders and even boneless buffalo wings.

Whereas fried chicken tenders had caused chipmunking when eaten as an entrée they had no such effect when mixed into a finger food fruit bowl of cut up peaches, cut up strawberries, and grapes. Likewise when I cut up boneless buffalo wings again no chipmunking.

Yes, peaches have been the foundation of all these bowls. That is because peaches are Patti’s favorite, and when sliced up into bite sized pieces create a wonderful variety of shapes.

My vigilance in monitoring Patti’s eating, if anything, is increasing with these experiments; however what is extraordinary is that finger food fruit bowl dinning is dramatically reducing the need for verbal cuing.

Conventional wisdom and people with alphabet soup after their names would advise you with cookie cutter solutions of “minced food”, “feed the patient” or “puree”. I myself previously would never leave Patti with such freedom to self feed. … but for some reason it is working to extend this ability just a little bit longer.

I can only conclude:
  1. To hell with table manners - finger food gives Patti’s one remaining able hand a sense of ability vs struggling with a utensil 
  2. The combination of senses empower, touch and taste compliment sight which is impaired. 
  3. Fruit has built in liquid improving swallow-ability 
  4. Somehow the brain recognizing and processing the variety of shapes and textures in addition to the changing tastes must affect dysphagia in a positive way, almost as if putting it on hold.
At this point it’s time to enjoy what works. Pull up a bowl and get out your fingers. Welcome to Chef Patrick’s finger lickin’ good 'Multiple Sclerosis friendly' summer kitchen!
fried chicken tenders cut up in bowl of cut up peaches, cut up strawberries, and white grapes
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by Patrick Leer
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

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  1. Again it looks delicious! I would add a #5 to your list of conclusions; the company and the love shared over this food is a delightful experience.

    you continue to be very creative in these culinary delights!


  2. I'm glad you found a way to keep Patti's ability to enjoy food. The dishes sound delicious, too. I find that I'm using finger foods more often, as well. It just doesn't require as much work for me. And right now Jersey produce is easy to get!

  3. Enjoy what works is the best advice I have heard in a very long time. ~Mary

  4. Such insight,Patrick! Thanks for sharing these tips with us all. Dan

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