Help! I broke my elbow!

As the post states I broke my dominant side elbow & now am in a long arm cast for at least 8 weeks. My husband can only make 3 things : hamburgers, steak & steamed shrimp. I also have 3.5 year old to feed. ANY ideas would be helpful. I don’t want to live on roterssie chicken for 8 weeks. On top of that the pain meds make me dizzy & I don’t to fall again.

Good opportunity for your husband to learn new things to cook - under your supervision and guidance.


Agree. If he can read and/or follow directions, he can cook.

Hi, sorry for your troubles.

How is your 3 year old with finger foods and cheese? I think I’d be loading up on grapes, baby carrots, strawberries, nuts, cherry tomatoes … etc. Anything that doesn’t need cutting up or can be cut with one hand. Frozen precut vegetables can be cooked in bouillon and then blended to make a soup. Cook a bit of pasta or rice in a pan you can manage with one hand, then add it to the soup.

Can you crack eggs one handed and scramble them (or flip or fold them) in a pan?

I assume your husband works and now has a semi-disabled wife and small child, so time is probably short.

Roasting a chicken or beef doesn’t require much cooking skill–season it, pop it in the oven and, since your husband isn’t experienced, take its temperature after an hour and every 10-15 mins until desired temp is achieved. Serve it with roasted or baked potatoes and a frozen vegetable of your liking (boiling water and following the package instructions is also non-cooking cooking). Also, if he can grill steak and burgers, grilling boneless chicken breasts (using a thermometer if unsure) shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. This can be eaten on its own, or combined with salads or pasta. Fish en Papillote sounds intimidating, but it’s really easy, can be done in minutes in the microwave and incorporates the veggies and protein in one easy package–there are literally thousands of recipes on line.

Now for you and your child? My mom broke her dominant elbow badly about 10 years ago (she lived, actually still lives, with me). Before I left for work I would cut up fruit and cheese, prepare a salad, ensure she had cottage cheese or yogurt easily available (i.e., in a bowl, not those hard-to-open packages), maybe shred some chicken from the previous night to throw in the salad (no not all of these every day :blush: You can’t live on dinner alone.

Sorry to hear about your elbow. Hope you have a quick recovery.

Here’s a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast that your husband can easily do.

This is a hard one. Of course, it would be great if your husband would be willing to increase his cooking repertoire, but I suspect you know that. He will now have to do all the shopping, large parts of the laundry, maybe do all the driving… so, I will leave it up to others to give you suggestions for recipes. I would echo other thoughts… buy string cheese, cut up fruit, regular cheese, smoked fish, anything that doesn’t require real cooking.

If you have a support system, consider signing up at to let your community give you a hand. It would give your whole family some nights when worrying about food is a non-issue.

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If your husband doesn’t have enough time to cook when he gets home from work (assuming he has a typical work schedule), your family can operate on a schedule where, AFTER dinner (takeout to get the ball rolling), he cooks the next day’s dinner and preps breakfast/lunch items. Subsequent dinners get reheated. He can also learn to cook large batches on days off, like chili, spaghetti sauce, and soups.

You will probably have quite a few pizza meals during your recuperation. This isn’t bad as long as you have vegetables on and with them. Unless there are other people to help you, some things will have to be put on the back burner. If your budget can take the hit, use the supermarket salad bar as your prep cook, instead of chopping up produce. Use the carcass and some of the skin and meat from that rotisserie chicken to make soup once a week. Otherwise, canned and frozen vegetables and entrees will have to suffice. Hot dogs with canned baked beans is a reasonable meal, for example. Also, if you’re on opioid pain medication, you’ll need extra fiber as in legumes, since constipation is a side-effect. And be sure to drink extra water.

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Excellent point re cooking night (and weekends).

Just out of curiosity do they set that straight or bent at a 90 degree angle? I’ve broken many many many bones but never an elbow, good luck.

Look don’t let your hubby kid you, if he can steam and grill there are dozens of things that can be made outside the limited few you mentioned. If you can “steam” you can boil, which leads you to pastas. Don’t let him fool you!! Good luck!

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Another thought is that if you adopt some after dinner task that only requires one good arm (like loading the dishwasher) and ask your husband to spend 5 minutes or so opening up cans or tuna or beans or soup, or tubs of cheese, yogurt, or slicing some melon or bagels, you can put the opened foods in the fridge overnight – don’t bother reclosing them – and be a long way toward assembling breakfast and lunch one-handed.

Also, ask your husband to cook larger portions of steak. It keeps well, and makes an excellent cold supper sliced.

My husband doesn’t cook and he’s not “fooling” me. He doesn’t like to cook, so he never learned. I know many women who don’t cook, and they aren’t fooling anybody either. When I have been ill (and not well enough to take on teaching duties), my husband has made sure I got fed all the nutrients I needed, and sufficient hot foods, but they were from cans. He’s wonderful and I don’t care that he doesn’t cook.


Not sure all elbow fractures are the same or set the same way. When I broke my right elbow skateboarding, it was set bent in the cast, and my arm stayed in a sling.

“Cooking” is a broad term and you describe it well.

Elbows can be set both straight and at 90 degree angle. Mine is at 90 degrees including the wrist with a pin coming out of the bone. I work in an OR and knew exactly what happened when I tripped over one of my daughter’s pillows and hit the floor.

Ugghhh double fracture, wrist too? I’m so sorry! I had a pin in my heal when I broke my foot one time, I hated that. Good luck, I pray for a speedy recovery. I’m thinking this deserves dinner out 2-3x’s per week at least! All he had to do then is cut your food, he can use a knife right!?!?!

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No not a double fracture my cast includes the wrist. All I can move are 4 fingers. Sorry about the confusion. And yes Hubby can use a knife but trying to get dressed to go out will be a feat.

Yikes! I hope you heal without complications.

I broke my right arm just above the elbow when I was in college. I was thrown by a crabby horse (should have known better than to ride a mare named Maurice). I was given what was called a hanging cast, with a 45 degree angle. It was made with a loop at the wrist, from which a gauze strip hung around my neck. The cast came almost to my knuckles but if I rested it on a table or desk, I was able to use my fingers just a bit. The fracture healed in 6 weeks rather than the predicted 8. After the cast was off, I lost patience with the PT stretches and took to carrying a bucket of books, which did the trick without detriment (I’m not suggesting others be that rash).

I feel for you . Trying to take a shower keeping the cast dry or bathe is harder than cooking . You’re husband can cook .

I understand about the horse (I grew up on a ranch). I’m a RN and anyone can tell you most of us are the most non compliant patients there are. But my hubby is threatening to take away my foodie trip to NYC later this year if I don’t behave myself. So I’m trying to be good.

Could you use your husband as a bit of a “sous chef”. He could do all of the chopping etc. you could give him direction.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo