Lockdown Diary: Recipe for disaster?
2x Pancakes: Guilt
100g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 small eggs
25g melted butter, plus extra for cooking
Vegetable oil for cooking
Melt the butter and beat the eggs, slowly sifting in the dry ingredients while stirring. Add the milk
and continue to stir until the mixture has the consistency of double cream. Feel free to add
blueberries of cinnamon into the batter, it should make 6 small pancakes.
Pancakes are a guilty pleasure, so I wanted to start by talking about covid-19 guilt. This is not only
the obvious “am I a carrier?” guilt but also the great abyss of social media. Everywhere I looked
people were learning to code; or doing a handstand or pressuring for donations and this could be
demoralising. I hate posting on social media because I want validation from myself and not likes so I
decided to blanket not participate in the random challenges circulating Instagram. I applied to be a
volunteer but had no response of buddying from the council, which made me feel like I was not
doing my bit.
I have always had the problem of being stressed when unproductive, doing a very hours intensive
course meant I would turn down social events and berate myself at weekends. Once again, I found it
incredibly hard to relax even though I felt exhausted when I left the house. As a positive, I have tried
to keep busy by setting myself personal goals and using free fitness and yoga apps. I think guidelines
should be given to Freshers by the University on how long to spend on a piece of work such as
tutorials, as term will begin online.
2x Mackerel eggs: Money
4 medium eggs
100g fresh mackerel
Handful of grated cheese
1 tbsp butter
Large splash of milk
Handful of chopped parsley
Add the butter and fish to the pan followed by the egg, cheese and milk. Stir vigorously and add the
chopped parsley when the eggs are light and creamy. Put the scrambled egg on toast and garnish
As someone who is lightly germophobic at the best of times, I already frequently washed my hands
and avoided coughing people. However, shopping especially in the first week of lockdown was
incredibly stressful. I had planned to go home over Easter so had used up all my pasta and rice at the
end of term when coronavirus was just something that happened to older people in Italy. Careful
budgeting and freezing batch cooked meals meant my usual food budget was about £15 per week,
but this rose to £40 in the first lockdown shop as beans were £1.50 not 30p anymore. It felt like the
apocalypse and one of the worst parts was the constant fear and judgement from other people as
we could all be carriers.
Thankfully, my boyfriend moved in with me (for what I thought would be 3 weeks) at the start of
lockdown and it gave us the chance to experiment with unusual ingredients from recipe books. Thus,
our favourite protein packed breakfast was born - mackerel I have saved money from nights out so
am trying to make the best of cooking, but I cannot wait until shopping is back to normal.
6 x Chilli: Exams
500g quorn mince
100g tinned sweetcorn
2 tins chopped tomatoes
250ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp gravy granules
1 tin kidney beans
1 tbsp ground chilli
Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and leave on high for 4.5 hours. Serve with lettuce and
cheese in wraps or with nachos or with rice.
Revising took up most of my day, so having a slow cooker was super useful to batch cook. Chilli was
just before exams, when normally I would be cramming every note in sight. Even though the exams
were open book, we were not told this until midway through the Easter break and I had been
making notes over Christmas, so it felt like a lot of work had been wasted. Safety net grades were
only released after exams, although I understand the logic of getting people to try as hard as
possible in the exams.
From this perspective, open book exams were a lot less stressful than normal as I could focus on
practise questions and understanding the material rather than learning 100s of reactions. I hope that
the department can adapt for my year in industry at the other end of the country to allow for our
single exam to be open book 24hrs as they clearly have the capacity to do so for other exams, saving
travel across the country. I appreciated the 24hr open book format because I could take a short
break to get over the panic of the exam and check my work. In my opinion the questions remained
difficult enough to still be challenging, as many were based on freshly published papers.
More stressful: exams, money, year in industry, not being able to see people or “get away from
revision”, lack of sports team training, shopping, hygiene anxiety
Less stressful: exams themselves (to an extent), making food, exercising consistently, having time to
work on my CV, feeling less pressured to socialise when I should be revising, feeling less selfish when
relaxing, taking up new hobbies such as yoga