Cooking it’s said, is the new rock and roll.
You can barely switch on the television or flick through a magazine without being bombarded with suggestions for mouth-watering dishes.
Creating them can be a challenge at the best of times, but imagine how hard it must be for those with sight loss.
One remarkable woman, who herself suffers from sight loss, is doing her bit to make life easier – and tastier for those in a similar position.
Maxine Turkington was diagnosed with Stargardts dystrophy in her 40s.
The condition has progressed and now Maxine, 81, has lost most of her sight, but she’s full of energy and has an endless lust for life.
She works tirelessly with RNIB teaching cooking to groups with sight loss, from young children to seniors, and even found time to write a cookbook, Cookery for VIPs
(that’s visually impaired people), which is a large print book of simple and easy to follow but delicious recipes.
“I lived in the States for 32 years and was lucky enough to have a wonderful social life where my husband and I attended a lot of ‘pot luck’ dinner parties,” said Maxine.
“Over the years I collected a lot of recipes from these occasions.
“As my sight deteriorated I looked for a cookbook for those with sight loss and realised there was nothing along those lines, so set about creating one using more than 200 tried and tested recipes from my collection but I changed them to make them more user friendly and healthy, and rated them from easy to difficult.
”I then wrote the preface based on my own experience and included lots of tips to make life as easy as possible for those with visual impairment.
“RNIB then approached asking if they could publish the book in a variety of formats including CD and braille.
“The feedback has been wonderful.
“I often do cookery demonstrations now and the last one was with children aged six to 18 who made a three course lunch with rock cakes which they could show their parents which was a great feeling.”
RNIB Scotland works on behalf of 180,000 people in Scotland with sight loss, delivering services its members need and campaigning for their civil and welfare rights.
It supports children, young people and adults with sight loss to live full and independent lives, and works with others to help minimise preventable sight loss.
RNIB aims to help everyone affected by sight loss, and also offers practical and emotional support to help people face the future with confidence.
“It’s a wonderful service for people to have,” said Maxine.
“You know anything that somebody needs seems to be covered, either directly or indirectly though RNIB and that’s one of the many reasons I think that what they do is absolutely superb.
“The charity gets no Government funding, and the good work it does is only possible thanks to people who remember to leave a legacy to RNIB in their will.”
Legacy gifts change lives and with more than two million people in the UK living with sight loss, a legacy gift will mean they, and future generations, can be helped for years to come.