The author, Beverly Worth Palomba, worked in the computer industry as a product manager for a well-known computer company. She moved from New England and has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for the past 25 years.
When she moved to California, she turned to her real love — education. She has been a teacher of grades Pre-K through high school for more than 20 years. In the past 11 years, she has worked exclusively in special education.
She created a life skills cooking class five years ago at the local high school geared to the needs and abilities of her students. In addition, she provides cooking workshops at local community centers.
From this curriculum has come Special Day Cooking, a life skills cookbook, which uses a unique instructional method that people with developmental challenges have responded to and enjoyed. Special Day Cooking is a collection of delicious everyday recipes, with safe, easy to follow step-by-step directions that can be completed in less than one hour.
Special Day Cooking was written to help people with developmental challenges become independent in the kitchen. Whether you are living at home, in a group home or on your own.
Special Day Cooking provides the tools to be independent or part of a team. Special Day Cooking chefs have the ability to prepare dinner, pack their own lunch, and bring a goodie to a social event. Cooking involves many aspects of life; it is creative, builds social skills, fosters teamwork, encourages self-confidence and is a fun activity to do with family and friends.
The book follows a process the author developed while teaching life skills cooking classes.
It is a repetitive, consistent, step-by-step approach that has proven successful with many students she has taught over the years. Each recipe is on one two-page format with large print. There are no small recipe cards to try to figure out. Beginner recipes include: pudding, scrambled eggs, salads, sandwiches and many more with more involved recipes expanding on these basics.
All the recipes in Special Day Cooking are adapted to a microwave, blender, or toaster to avoid open flames.
Plastic knives are used in place of sharper alternatives. In the front of the book you will find helpful hints and a nutritional guide.