TASTE

Paula Wolfert, Cookbook Author, Describes Living (And Cooking) With Alzheimer's (VIDEO)

12/03/2013 08:39 am ET

Paula Wolfert has authored nine cookbooks and won five James Beard awards. She's a foremost authority on Moroccan and Mediterranean cooking. She also has Alzheimer's disease. In a moving segment on PBS NewsHour, Wolfert describes how the diagnosis and disease has affected how she eats and cooks.

Wolfert acknowledged that these days, she's eating more for health than taste, as is the case with the daily smoothie she makes with vitamins, supplements, kale, avocado, blueberries and coconut.

"I didn't make this to be delicious. I make this to be nutritious," she said. "My grandmother told me during the Second World War -- we were sitting in the vegetable garden [and] she said, if you want to win a war, you have got to be willing to fight. This is how I fight."

Wolfert now relies on reading her own cookbooks in order to remember how to make certain dishes.

"I know what the dish is supposed to taste like. I just don't remember the amounts. I have to check the proportions, and I can't -- I can't remember. I can't remember from going there to here and back again," she explained.

Once known for her complicated dishes, now Wolfert has simplified what she cooks, and tries to cook every few days, she tells The Washington Post.

Wolfert's long-term memory is still intact, and her doctors say they haven't seen signs of any further cognitive decline in the past six months. She's currently volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Watch Paula Wolfert's story above.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS