Victoria Brownworth Profile picture
Jan 7, 2018 24 tweets 12 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Today I am going to try and cook for the first time since I was paralyzed.

I used to cook most nights for me and The Wife. After Mass on Sundays, I would make brunch.

I made every holiday meal for 17 of our 18yrs together. I did the #Christmas baking.
I started cooking as a child. I grew up in a chaotic household. Great politics but a chronically ill mother. I was the oldest sibling & the maternal stand-in.

I became a vegetarian for political reasons at 14, so I had to learn how cook that diet cheaply since we were poor.

In college I cooked for everyone. I knew how to stretch $.When I was in the domestic Peace Corps I taught people how to cook with next to no money.

I love feeding people.
I think food is an evocation of love for many folks.

I haven't been able to cook since I was paralyzed.
The Wife misses me cooking.
I miss me cooking.
I've been working with the physical therapist on ways to adapt my environment so I can cook paralyzed.

I get exhausted quickly because I also can't breathe(thanks #cancer).
But I have been thinking about this for a while.Months.
The Wife bought me one of those #Christmas gifts women hate to get from husbands: a fancy pressure cooker/crockpot thing--Instant Pot.


So I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and found this great Asian woman who uses this contraption.

So: #CookingWhileParalyzed
So my plan is to make us General Tso's tofu with steamed rice & vegetables.I figured out that I can put my small quilt rack across the wheelchair with a cutting board on top. If I position the wheelchair parallel to the sink, I can reach the faucet (gratitude for being tall).
Now #CookingWhileParalyzed is going to be quite different from my previous cooking life, so this may be too ambitious for my first foray.

My back up is a spinach/potato/leek frittata with braised baby carrots w/grilled tangerine. That's something I can make in my sleep.
I was always a fearless person, but being paralyzed has made me far less so. I feel vulnerable all the time. Apparently this is "normal" for people suddenly paralyzed. :/

So I am trying not to be afraid of the logistics and the stove and fire.

But I have to try this.
And I have to accept that it might not work this first time.

#CookingWhileParalyzed is probably going to be a process.
And there's always that Instant Pot with no fire. But I'd love to make a meal for The Wife. 🍽🍾🥂
So: make a #NewYearsResolution to do something REALLY hard, that pushes you out of your comfort zone, that makes you re-imagine something in your life.

I will be attempting a logistical feat: #CookingWhileParalyzed.

(Promise to post pics tonight, successful or not.)
#CookingWhileParalyzed begins!
Prep may take me down, but we are doing this!

The ingredients are: onion, russet potatoes, yellow squash, baby spinach, brown cage-free locally sourced eggs, butter, cheeses--parmesan ends and sharp cheddar. Large skillet with lid.

Slice up everything very thin: onion, potatoes, squash.

Melt 2tbs butter in pan.
Add oinion.
Saute the onion.

Add the sliced potatoes.
Slice up the squash.
Be sure It's very thin.

Taste your potatoes to make sure they are nearly soft. Add the squash.
This serves four so, you want 4 potatoes, 2 small squash, 8 eggs, two handfuls of baby spinach wilted and torn up.
So I just started to cry, because I am really exhausted and it's hard to breathe. The Wife offered to finish this, but I am doing it.

Add the spinach to the pan. Lightly pepper the top.
Add the eggs, which you have lightly beaten with a touch of Tabasco, because you lived in Louisiana for a while. Do this hotter or less hot according to taste.
The cheese I am using is a Mexican blend of mild cheddar, Monterey Jack, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero. It has a little bite.

After the cheese is in, cover it till the whole thing sets with the cheese melted.
Finished it should look like this with the sides looking just a touch brown and coming away from the pan.

Well, not 100%, but a solid B+.
It should be more browned on the bottom--I didn't use enough butter. But The Wife just tasted it and declared it delicious.

So---yay! I did this. First time cooking since I was paralyzed.
Much harder than I expected.

In future I will need to space out the prep from the cooking.

But it's really good, so even though the final slice isn't gorgeous like I'd hoped, it tastes fabulous. Serve with a glass of chilled white or some zinfandel and some bread.
For those counting calories, this is 4 servings. Each serving is 390 cals.

Also, I don't use salt because of my lungs, so salt to taste.

Thanks for taking this journey with me today, friends.

One #NewYearsResolution down and it's only #Epiphany.
Now to watch the #GoldenGlobes with The Wife.
Sshh--no spoilers.

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More from @VABVOX

Oct 9, 2018
I don't think men really understand how different it is to be a woman out in the world and how quickly things can turn dangerous.
When I was living in New Orleans, I was walking home from work one night. It was fall--dark early & foggy.
A man came out of the fog toward me.
He said hi, I said hi.
As he started to pass me, he asked me if I had the time.
I looked at my watch, looked up, he had a gun pointed at me.
He hit me so fast I wasn't able to steel myself.
I fell to the ground.
He said, "I could rape you right now, but I don't have time."
He wanted my money.
I had the grocery money for the entire house (I lived with 3 other people) in my purse.
He took it and disappeared into the fog.
The whole thing was maybe ten minutes, start to finish.
I was shaking so hard I could hardly get up.
My head was bleeding.
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Oct 4, 2018
The majority of the working class in America is women and POC.
And white men as a group haven't voted majority Democrat since 1964--they stopped after LBJ signed the the #VRA.
Flip the narrative and start listening to the ACTUAL working class--the rest of us.
Stop centering white men for everything.
Stop claiming only white men can save us from the damage white men did to us.
Women are the working class--my investigation here:…
.@matthewstoller is very worried about white men, but it's really women of all races who are facing the worst effects of economic and social stresses.
My investigation here:…
Read 5 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
The relentlessness of passing over superb women with strong credentials & election histories in favor of whatever man is a headline at a moment is exhausting.

Two months ago it was Avenatti. Now it's O'Rourke.

Bypassing the majority of Americans--women--is a national disgrace.
O'Rourke is fine. He is not, Harris, Gillibrand or Klobuchar.

▪Gillibrand is Congress' leader on women's rights & sexual assault victims.
▪Harris set NN2018 on fire with her speeches reclaiming identity politics.
▪ Klobuchar highlighted #Kavanaugh's unfitness for SCOTUS.
Americans MUST stop looking past women to find some man, any man to supplant them.

It took THIRTY YEARS of incredibly hard work for @HillaryClinton to get to run for POTUS. The rules for women are so different. No one sees a woman give a single speech and says "president!"
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Oct 1, 2018
I lived in NOLA right after college.
I drank most every day, as did everyone I knew.
We were all in the domestic Peace Corps, all in our early 20s, all hardworking activists with stressful work.
We drank too much at Mardi Gras, New Year's.
It's absurd to claim #Kavanaugh didn't.
Those of us who've had alcoholics in our lives--like Klobuchar--tend to be careful about alcohol because we've been damaged by the drunks in our lives. I'm a control freak, so never liked being drunk, but lots of my friends did. What IS true, is most 20somethings drink to excess.
This new tack from the #GOP to dismiss #Kavanaugh's alcoholic drinking--& I am not saying he was/is an alcoholic, but he certainly drank like one--is just wrong. It undermines their own credibility and ignores reality: statistically the vast majority of teens/20s get drunk OFTEN.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
Let's talk about sex, #Kavanaugh & Venn diagram overlap of male entitlement.

I've written a lot about sex in various contexts. In the late 80s/early 90s I also gave safe sex workshops back when folks my age were dying 24/7 from #AIDS. My 1st book was on juvenile prostitution.
Most of us know consensual and non-consensual sex differ. The entirety of #Kavanaugh's defense and his defenders' outrage is predicated on the presumption that no teenaged boy knows what consent is.


Some, like their adult counterparts, don't care.

This is key.
Since #MeToo we've seen egregious serial rapists like #BillCosby and #HarveyWeinstein exposed & attempts made to prosecute them.

But there are "lesser" sexual assaults we've given a lighter hand to: Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Mark Halperin, Louis CK--too many to list.
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Sep 27, 2018
I gotta tell you, folks, I have been so sick for the past 2wks, I have really been scared.

Sept 22 House GOP passed their new cuts to Social Security Medicaid and Medicare out of committee. $1.2T in cuts.

That's the safety net.

I've always hoped I could fall there. No more.
I had to call my bestie today to have her come up and stay with me while The Wife is teaching.

Even with the oxygen, hard to breathe.

I had to cancel interviews for tomorrow, a radio appearance for Friday.

Chronic illness like #cancer is incapacitating at times.
We need to do better for sick and #disabled Americans.

It is so hard to work and be sick.

Never getting better sick.
Read 4 tweets

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