#DailyWritingChallenge Day 15: Opportunity – a blog by Debra Rutley

The opportunity to nurture through food.

At first, I thought I’d opt out of this writing challenge. All I could think about was missed opportunities to travel and do. But I’m not letting the opportunity to write slip by and with more thought I realised that during this crisis I’ve been given a major opportunity to fulfil my primary drive (read overactive) to nurture others.

Food is the way I nurture others.

Sunday afternoon tea was my job at home. After a Sunday dinner at 1pm with lots of Yorkshires to fill us up we still needed something by tea time but it couldn’t be a real meal, as that would be wasteful. We didn’t have food to waste. As the eldest of 5 I was given the responsibility of coming up with something out of nothing. I loved this challenged and was always proud of my ‘spread’. Whatever I could find and make from nothing became our tea for 7. I learnt how to make pastry with lard and would often make a plate pie, usually cheese and onion or if I was lucky corn beef. Jelly was another highlight on the table, served with tinned peaches and carnation cream. In the summer we had fantastic salads from the garden. I did all of this, every week, in secret in our tiny kitchen and would present the food on the dining table when it was all ready to a fanfare of ‘Oh that’s impressive Debra’. My Dad would say “lovely spread”.

It became my thing, to make an impressive ‘spread’ out of nothing and it still is. I love to show my love through what I can give people to eat and it needs to be impressive, not ordinary.

Covid 19 has given me the opportunity to share my love via food again. To my son, who is isolating at home after travelling and to my students. We deliver five-star hot meals three times a week to our students’ courtesy of Waddesdon Manor chefs. Recipe bags are delivered to families each week so that our young people have the opportunity to cook a meal for their family and be proud of that achievement.

My first response to Covid 19 as a strategic leader was to connect and nurture through food. It’s instinctive and every day I will take the opportunity to share my love in this way, hopefully widening the scope as we move through this crisis and opportunity.

Published by Ethical Leader

Leadership Development Consultant, Facilitator, Coach, Speaker and Writer. Experience of teaching schools, initial teacher education, mentoring & coaching, diversity and equality. Passionate about integrity, ethics and values.

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