Tom Marsden decided to cook and deliver a huge batch of chicken curry, along with a spinach, potato and chickpea version for the local veggies and vegans, rustling up 80 portions of the stuff and leaving it on their doorsteps during COVID-19 lockdown. He wanted to come up with a good deed after a friend of his left Prosecco and some flowers on his doorstep.
This made him realise how small and simple gesture can help lift spirits during the pandemic.
After heading to Macro, where he splashed out £150 on all the ingredients, takeaway trays and brown paper bags, it took Tom just under two days to get everything cooked and portioned up in time for Friday night – when he knew families might be missing their favourite takeaway meals.
He said: “It all stemmed from a friend of ours. A couple of weeks ago she dropped a miniature bottle of Prosecco and a bunch of flowers off at our front door. She did it for about 10 of our friends, so it was just a random act of kindness when everyone’s a bit down and gloomy.
“I do actually really enjoy cooking, and I thought about how on a Friday night everyone’s struggling to get a takeaway.
“I went to Macro and bought trays and brown paper bags to deliver it in. I put rice in and naans, and I just dropped them at the doors and left them a text saying, ‘you’ve got a little pressie’!
“I made enough curry for 80 people – 20 families in total. I did a basic chicken curry and a spinach, potato and chickpea curry for the vegetarians and vegans.”
Tom, who runs a teaching supply agency, also managed to make it happen while still working full-time, as he’s not being furloughed until next week.
He continued: “I didn’t realise quite what a mammoth undertaking it would be. I started cooking on Wednesday night – I made the base curry sauce on Wednesday night, and then I was still going on Friday lunchtime.
“But we got them all out in the end!“
Tom delivered the curry to their neighbours with his wife Katy just in time for a Friday night feast.
He added: “In total, what with buying all the trays and the bags and stuff, it probably cost about £150. But then you’ve fed 80 people, when each family would have probably spent £20, so it was a bargain really.”
“It was just dead nice really, it was a really nice thing to do,” Tom said.
“I got so many nice texts and my wife got loads of texts yesterday, just people thanking us.
“It was well worth doing – it’s nice to be nice at times, isn’t it?”