Food glorious food

From hording pasta to a black-market in flour, food has been a big part of everyone’s lockdown story.

Cooking and baking is a form of escapism and a great way to shake off the day’s worries. It can be socialable but also it can give you some time on your own in the kitchen with the radio on.

And with a little more time on your hands some of you have started to get adventurous, which has led to some culinary triumphs – and not.

We start with a cautionary tale from Elaine Roberts, from our Private Client Team in Preston.

Elaine says: “During lockdown I have learned that, when a rice pudding recipe tells you to use skimmed milk, you can’t just do a straight swap and use the same amount of whole milk instead. If you do that, then you’d better be a fan of solid rice pudding and the owner of a very sharp knife! It was, nonetheless, still delicious once I sliced it all up.”


Lauren Parker, from our Industrial Disease Team in Chester, has been on a baking frenzy. Although her first attempts at pretzels didn’t quite go as planned.


First attempt at pretzels.


Triumphant second go!


Lauren says: “I had the oven on too high – must remember to read the recipe properly! Second time they turned out much better. I also made a Victoria sponge for the first time in years – probably since food tech in high school – that was delicious and got the seal of approval from Chris’ grandparents.”

High praise indeed and you can see why!

Julie Lee, from our Preston office, says: “I’ve baked chocolate cake and scones, not too many as they are too much of a temptation. It’s been nice cooking ‘proper’ food rather than taking the easy option that sometimes happens in normal times.”


Now this is a chocolate cake of the highest standard!

Meanwhile Jan Garvey, from our National Asbestos Helpline Team, has been transporting herself to the Mediterranean with her cooking. Jan say: “I’ve been going all James Martin with outdoor food prep making bruschetta on a hot Saturday afternoon.”

Jan’s daughter, Pip, has a personal defence against the coronavirus, which is to bake and eat as much lemon drizzle cake as possible – and also mango and vodka sorbet. That sounds like a good plan.



Finally, Stuart Hughes from the Marketing Team, likes to keep things simple, dependable and traditional with Mary Berry’s tea loaf.

He says: “It is so easy to do. Soak your dried fruit overnight in builder-grade tea and then bung sugar, flour and one egg into the same bowl. Dollop the mixture into a loaf tin and slam it in the over for under two hours. The hard part is watching it cool before you stuff slices of it in your face with butter on.”