Barely a break

Easter has just scurried past with hardly a blink – do you find that the months go past faster and faster?

To kick off the holiday, I threw together rather a wild flower arrangement of curly twigs and decorative eggs picking up all the bright colours of Spring tulips, narcissi and hyacinths.  It seemed a pity to cut them from the garden but worth it when just a few filled the whole house with their fragrance.

With the Schools on holiday, a couple of young students came to cook with me: Sam from Essex and Luke from Fareham – they were keen to get some recipes under their belts. Our main delight was the gift of four dozen quail eggs delivered by Rodney (the builder) from the small-holding of his brother, Terry. Quail eggs and dipping mix

How to do justice to such an abundance of generosity?  The first dozen or so were soft-boiled, marinaded in soy sauce and then charred in a hot pan.  Ready for dipping in toasted sesame seeds and salt, they were perfect with drinks.

Having got the hang of soft-boiling (cover the eggs in a pan with boiling water and then simmer for a minute), nearly two dozen were turned in to quick and easy Scotch eggs.  We just wrapped them in a mix of good sausage meat and black pudding before rolling them in dried breadcrumbs.   A whiff of spray oil and a quick oven bake to produce really excellent little snacks that are best warm.

Penny and Luke in the herb gardenYoung Luke wanted to try his hand at scones (video coming next week).  His sweet version was excellent (although homemade strawberry jam and cream will make almost anything a winner).  And we were very pleased with the savoury scones: the same basic mix but with oregano, chives, rosemary, chopped black olives and sun-dried tomatoes (in place of the sugar and raisins).  They were wonderfully moist and could take a whole range of toppings.

In the midst of all this cooking, I’ve been preparing my plan and budget for the Holman competition – now I’m one of 50 worldwide blind semi-finalists.  The whole adventure has gained momentum and some great media coverage with interviews for Forces TV, several radio stations and a couple of newspaper articles.   Even though the competition is tough, it’s good that interest in my adventure idea is growing.

Please feel free to download any of the recipes from

There are also lots of free downloadable materials about disability topics at

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

You Tube