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Cooking Reference

Crip Up the Kitchen

Tools, Tips and Recipes for the Disabled Cook

by (author) Jules Sherred

TouchWood Editions
Initial publish date
May 2023
Reference, People with Disabilities, Personal & Practical Guides, Pressure Cooking
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2023
    List Price

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"I've never felt so understood and supported as I did reading Crip Up the Kitchen. Sherred is the kitchen whisperer for chronic pain folks like me who have avoided that room in the house for most of my life." —J. Albert Mann, author of The Degenerates and Fix

A comprehensive guide and recipe collection that brings the economy and satisfaction of home cooking to disabled and neurodivergent cooks.

Cripping / Crip Up: A term used by disabled disability rights advocates and academia to signal taking back power, to lessen stigma, and to disrupt ableism as to ensure disabled voices are included in all aspects of life.

When Jules Sherred discovered the Instant Pot multicooker, he was thrilled. And incensed. How had no one told him what a gamechanger this could be, for any home cook but in particular for those with disabilities and chronic illness? And so the experimenting—and the evangelizing—began.

The kitchen is the most ableist room in the house. With 50 recipes that make use of three key tools—the electric pressure cooker, air fryer, and bread machine—Jules has set out to make the kitchen accessible and enjoyable. The book includes pantry prep, meal planning, shopping guides, kitchen organization plans, and tips for cooking safely when disabled, all taking into account varying physical abilities and energy levels.

Organized from least to greatest effort (or from 1 to “all your spoons,” for spoonies), beginning with spice blends and bases, Jules presents thorough, tested, inclusive recipes for making favourites like butter chicken, Jules’s Effin’ Good Chili, Thai winter squash soup, roast dinners, matzo balls, pho, samosas, borshch, shortbread, lemon pound cake, and many more.

Jules also provides a step-by-step guide to safe canning and a template for prepping your freezer and pantry for post-surgery. With rich accompanying photography and food histories, complete nutritional information and methods developed specifically for the disabled and neurodivergent cook, Crip Up the Kitchen is at once inviting, comprehensive, and accessible. If you’ve craved the economy and satisfaction of cooking at home but been turned off by the ableist approach of most cookbooks—this one’s for you!

About the author

Based in Duncan, BC, Jules Sherred works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, writer, journalist, and outspoken advocate for disability and trans rights. His website Disabled Kitchen and Garden and his cookbook Crip Up the Kitchen were born out of the need to include disabled people in the conversation around food. Visit Jules at

Jules Sherred's profile page

Excerpt: Crip Up the Kitchen: Tools, Tips and Recipes for the Disabled Cook (by (author) Jules Sherred)


Many disabilities share symptoms. If you have mobility issues and/or a pain disorder, if you have an autoimmune disorder, or if you have ADHD or are autistic, these shared symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired executive function, a.k.a. brain fog
  • Insomnia
  • Wildly fluctuating “spoon levels” that make planning ahead difficult
  • Chronic illness

And of course, all these things can affect our mood, especially motivation.

You might be unfamiliar with the spoon theory and talking about energy in terms of “spoons.” Spoons are used as a metaphor to help visualize how much stored energy you have. It’s important to know this because if you use all your “spoons” in one day, the consequence could be days in bed. Most people have entire cups of energy that they can spend during a day. They need to do very little to replenish those cups. Those of us with disabilities that result in chronic fatigue have a few spoonfuls of energy on any given day, if we are lucky. And it requires much more self-care to replenish that energy.

This cookbook is designed to first help you get your kitchen in order. It’s also designed to make sure you don’t lose focus or get overwhelmed when organizing, planning, prepping, cooking, and storing meals. But most importantly, it isn’t prescriptive and allows for a lot of room to change things for your specific needs.

Taking steps to prevent fatigue and store up “spoons” instead of always overspending is important, even before you start organizing, planning, prepping, cooking, and storing. We don’t talk enough about respecting our body cues and how we can be productive without ableism getting in the way. This is thanks to the internalized ableism that can sound like “Stop being lazy. Just push through it. You aren’t trying hard enough!”

I have developed a way to plan my day that is based in mindfulness, as well as respecting and appreciating my disabilities instead of looking at them as something to overcome. I don’t do anything in this cookbook until I have assessed what my body is telling me. I do this at least twice a day.

When it’s the beginning of my working hours, I check in with my body and assess how many “spoons” I have on a scale of 1 to 10. Then I look at the spreadsheet I created that lists tasks I can do based on that number. During lunch, I reassess to see if my “spoons” are higher or lower than the initial number and adjust my daily tasks accordingly. Some days, tasks need to be removed. Other days, tasks get added. By the end of the day, I feel good about the things I’ve accomplished, I feel great mentally, and my pain levels are still manageable instead of screaming at me.

Here is the table with my tasks. I started it at 10 “spoons” for some good cognitive behavioural positive reinforcement. Of course, your tasks will look different because our lives are different. Use my table as a jumping-off point to give you an outline of what your spreadsheet will look like. It’s important to note that it will take some time to get it just right for your situation. I had to adjust mine a few times as I overestimated or underestimated how many “spoons” would be spent on some tasks. This is okay! The whole point is to create something that ends up working for your needs, that respects and appreciates your unique brand of disability.

Editorial Reviews

"I've never felt so understood and supported as I did reading Crip Up the Kitchen. Sherred is the kitchen whisperer for chronic pain folks like me who have avoided that room in the house for most of my life." —J. Albert Mann, author of The Degenerates and Fix

"So much more than a cookbook! It's an empathetic and expert guidebook full of tips, tricks and recipes, that helped this disabled senior safely equip and organize my kitchen, then plan, prep, cook, store, and enjoy tasty meals. Embracing the diversity of food and the diverse energy levels of aging with a disability, it's a must have." —Dorothy Ellen Palmer, author of Falling for Myself

"Sherred’s dishes span a variety of cuisines . . . think pressure cooker tahdig, air fryer Thai winter squash soup, and bread machine roti." —Publishers Weekly

"Plenty of practical content to help all people embrace the creative world that is home cooking." —Eat North

"Well put together with all the details and easy-to-follow steps . . . " —Geek Dad