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Rosedale funeral director launches cooking book for bereaved

The last time Simon Beckett-Allen saw his sister Sarah alive was in a kitchen, the day before she died.

Known for her chocolate brownie recipe, the sudden death of the 49-year-old chef inspired her brother to launch a recipe book.

Cooking for One is aimed at helping those people who are newly-bereaved and will offer recipes along with advice on self-help and wellbeing.

Simon Beckett-Allen is launching the book Cooking for One in memory of his sister, Sarah, a chef. Picture: Contributed
Simon Beckett-Allen is launching the book Cooking for One in memory of his sister, Sarah, a chef. Picture: Contributed

“When Sarah died, I made a kitchen up at home and called it Sarah’s Kitchen,” said Mr Beckett-Allen, from Scole.

“I thought it would be a nice thing to put this book together so I can get stories from other people about how they’ve gone through their bereavement.”

The book will feature anecdotes, stories and recipes from people who have lost a loved one and all profits from the venture will be donated to a bereavement charity, which will be chosen shortly.

“When someone loses a husband, wife or partner, their whole world is turned upside down,” said Mr Beckett-Allen, who is a director at Rosedale Funeral Home in Diss.

“There are many adjustments that need to be made and new skills to be learned. Cooking a meal is often the furthest thing on their mind and, if someone has lost the person who was the main cook in the household, they may struggle to fend for themselves.”

A passionate cook himself, Mr Beckett-Allen learned the art from his younger sister.

“Our mother left when we were quite young, so Sarah learned to cook as almost the mother of the house, if you like,” said the 57-year-old.

“Although I am older than her, she taught me how to cook. I carried on that passion and it’s nice to use her equipment and her kitchen. Doing so, I feel closer to her.”

Cooking for One is planned for publication next summer and Mr Beckett-Allen hopes that by asking for public contributions, it will give people a chance to celebrate their loved ones.

He said: “I am happiest talking about my sister, it brings her alive. I find it difficult if people avoid talking about her.

“With this book, I want to inspire people to actually go into the kitchen and think ‘right, I can do this’.”

The publisher would like to hear from anyone willing to share their experiences of bereavement as well as recipe ideas.

For more information and a link to the submission form, visit rosedalefuneralhome.co.uk.

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