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Mum Makes Chocolates For NHS Nurses On The Front-Line

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Hot on the heels of The Chocolate Society donating 1,826 Easter Eggs to NHS staff is this heart-warming story I spotted in a Facebook group of a mum who made chocolates for her son, an NHS nurse, to share at work on the front-line.

Margaret Paterson, a retired civil servant, hand-made batches of delightful-looking chocolates in a variety of flavours. Stephen, her son, usually works as an advance nurse practitioner in a Glasgow hospital, but he is now tasked with helping to fight Coronavirus on the front-line in a dedicated COVID-19 response unit.

Seeing the immense pressure he and his fellow colleagues are under right now, Margaret decided to help in the way she knew best.

Margaret Paterson Raspberry and Vanilla
Raspberry and Vanilla. Photo credit to Margaret Paterson

After 39½ years of continuous service at DHSS and Jobcentre Plus, Margaret initially hated retirement. She told me she "would wake up in the morning crying." She decided to enrol on cake decorating classes at night so as to make tasty treats for friends and family. But clearly Margaret has a flair for chocolate making!

She caught the chocolate making bug a couple of years ago, after attending a class at Shona Sutherland's Taystful. Margaret has since been on several of Shona's courses, is planning to attend another in December. She highly recommends them to anyone looking to start making their own chocolate treats at home.

Many of the chocolates above are tinkered versions Shona Sutherland's recipes. I asked Margaret which of these creations is her favourite, to which she told me it was the Malibu praline, as it evokes memories of her holiday to Hawaii.

Margaret uses Callebaut chocolate - the brand she trained with - bought locally at a cash and carry. She also uses a compact ChocoVision Revolation 2B Automatic Chocolate Tempering Machine. While not a fan of dark chocolate, she recommends Callebaut 823° for milk chocolate work and Callebaut Gold° for making caramel filling.

Margaret makes chocolate for family and friends but does not sell them. Staff at the Glasgow hospital rave about the chocolates, complimenting on the professional look of them. In fact, this isn't the first time she's made chocolates for NHS staff. At Christmas, Stephen commissioned bags of chocolates for 45 of his colleagues.

Thank you to Margaret for allowing me to share this heart-warming story of how she is helping her son and other exhausted COVID-19 nurses with a supply of tasty-sounding chocolates. Thank you to Stephen and his colleagues for their herculean efforts during this pandemic. You can find Margaret on Facebook. You can help Stephen and his colleagues by remembering to play your part: Stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.

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