By Günes Ertas, a Rotary Public Image Coordinator
Rotary members in Turkey partnered with Türkiye Görme Özürlüler Kitaplığı (TÜRGÖK), a library for the blind, to produce the first cookbook for the visually impaired in both Braille and audio CD.
A commission of food engineers, dietitians, members of TÜRGÖK, Rotary members and their spouses, and those who are visually impaired helped select 100 recipes for the book using various criteria paying special attention that the recipes were healthy and included ingredients that are easily available and could be cooked by the visually impaired without difficulty. Each recipe was tried at least once by the commission.
After selecting the recipes, Chef Omur Akkor from Bursa tried to cook the recipes with his eyes closed, then professionally edited each one of them and made them ready for publishing. He used standard measurements and explained each recipe by its timing and scent instead of visual presentations.
The recipes were classified in different categories (soups, salads, olive-oil dishes, appetizers, red/white meat-fish dishes, rice-pasta, breads-patties-pastry, and cakes-cookies-desert) and were reviewed again and Braille-printed after further editing.
While Braille-printing the cookbooks, spouses of the District 2440 Rotarians voice-recorded the recipes, detailed food information, nutrition, and practical ways of cooking for the audio CD format of the book. The recordings were done in a studio at the library.
Four different cooking courses were held in Izmir and Bursa for visually impaired at the library so they could practice the recipes. Practical kitchen sets (such as vegetable and fruit peeler, egg white and yolk separator) were given as a gift to the participants of these courses in order to make their lives easier in the kitchen.
These cookbooks were sent to the members of TÜRGÖK free of charge. The cost of the cookbooks was covered by sponsors.