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Stock Kitchen's takeaway dinner kit: Just heat and eat for really top quality food at home

Stock Kitchen and Restaurant, St George's Market, Belfast. www.paymentsense.com/stock-kitchen

Instructions are kept to the minimum with Stock Home's dinner kit, meaning you spend more time enjoying the meal instead of cooking

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Stock Home's offering

Stock Home's offering

Stock Home’s dinner really delivers

Stock Home’s dinner really delivers

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Stock Home's offering

It's amazing how people adapt to new circumstances. In post-Batista Cuba, citizens no longer able to import cars from the US prolonged the life of existing Lincolns, Fords and Buicks by fitting Lada engines; during the Troubles, businesses here were up and running minutes after town-centre bomb explosions with fire and smoke damage sales; and when the BSE crisis crippled GB's export markets, a lot of mid-Antrim farmers boldly rebranded their meat Irish.

Now in Covid-strangling 2020, restaurants and cafes have transformed themselves. Whereas before they were geared up to welcome you in, to make you comfortable, provide great food, drink and craic they have very quickly realigned themselves to specialist catering and distribution companies creating idiot-proof dinner kits for the great untrained public. (As it happens, I am a five-star idiot as I managed to screw up the easiest component of a three-course dinner last week and burned the garlic bread).

The logistics involved in this exercise cannot be underestimated. Containers and tubs for starters and mains, liquid-safe cartons, plastic holders and square miles of plastic sheeting for vacuum packed goods, are a concern to anyone with even the vaguest sense of the environmental impact of this packaging. Nonetheless, it is essential to the survival of these restaurants and the byzantine systems they have put in place to make sure I get my mushroom risotto and not somebody else's lasagne.


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