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“My daughter took on the role of cooking for our family”

“My daughter took on the role of cooking for our family”

During lockdown, a typical day for me would be a quick breakfast at home and then arriving at the hospital at 7am where I’d check my emails and respond to any enquiries from patients. My role is centred on patients’ symptoms and medication needs, with continued monitoring and reassessment of their condition. Inflammatory bowel disease is a long-term condition, therefore it is important to work as a team with the patient to give them care, education and support. During the peak stage of the pandemic, some patients were more vulnerable due to medications they were taking and had to shield, which meant I had to adapt to more telephone and email communication and reduced face to face interactions. During lockdown, I very rarely left work on time – I’d often get texts from the girl at 6:30 saying my dinner was getting cold! We tried to plan as much as we could.

One of the biggest changes for us is that my eldest daughter, Issy, started doing a lot of the cooking because I was working such long hours. I’d text to let them know I was coming home, and we would sit in the kitchen as a family to chat about my day while both girls finished preparing the meal and did the washing up – leaving me with nothing to do! It was great not having to worry about starting dinner when I got home as Issy and Anna had it all covered. I feel like it made us grow so much closer as a family because the girls are so much more independent now. Before, they didn’t do much of the housework or cooking but now they’ll go do the food shopping, prepare the meals and clean-up which is fantastic to come home to. They have really stepped up.
“We started planning all our meals based on how long the products lasted in the fridge”

“We started planning all our meals based on how long the products lasted in the fridge”

During lockdown, we started only going shopping once a week so we would make a meal plan together on the weekend and stick it on the fridge. We’d make sure we ate all our fresh foods first so they didn’t go to waste and then towards the end of the week it would be more of what was left in the freezer and using up the food in cupboards. We’d always have something different every day. One of my favourite meals was Issy’s chicken stir fry which we got into the habit of having on a Monday. She’s very adventurous in her cooking and always blends spices really well.

We also discovered the concept of having breakfast for dinner! One day, we weren’t sure what to have and Issy suggested this so sometimes I’ll come home to bacon, sausages and eggs which is a nice surprise. Although Issy and Anna took on the majority of cooking in the house, I still really loved cooking so sometimes I’d prep a meal like a chicken with bacon and leek pie the night before.

“We want to try and keep up with our new routine”
“We want to try and keep up with our new routine”

Our whole family’s love of cooking has increased. The girls are now baking bread and cake and actively looking for new recipes to try which I have been testing out and taking for my lunch at work. Even though lockdown has started lifting slightly my hours are still as long as ever so the girls are still cooking and cleaning for me.

Anna is about to go off to university, but Issy will continue preparing evening meals for us. She’s great with experimenting and using flavours like chilli. We’ve also said we want to try out more vegetarian recipes which will be something new for the both of us, and very exciting.

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