Sti Sti Sti Stick Up a Penguin

Came across this great story from Australia recently and it centres around Australia’s oldest person, Alfie Date, 109 years old who has been knitting since the 1930’s. At the home where he lives, one of the girls (nurses) heard about his knitting and suggested that he help out The Penguin Foundation, by knitting tiny little jumpers to protect baby penguins from oil spills and it works a treat.



To date more than 96% of the penguins who live on Phillip Island, southeast of Melbourne have been saved by Alfie’s jumpers. In honour of Amazing Alfie here is my edible homage to the penguin.

Black Olive Penguins

You will need:

  • 1 can of small, pitted black olives
  • 1 can of extra large, pitted black olives
  • 2 thin carrots
  • 1 pack smooth cream cheese
  • cocktail sticks

For penguins tummy, simply drain the large olives and slit down the centre from top to toe, fill the gap with cream cheese and set aside. (wipe and clean off the olive after filling)

Thinly slice 1 round of carrot and cut a little triangle (slice) out of it by cutting into the centre, this is the penguins nose, the remaining circle of carrot are his feet.

Take one small olive and cut a little hole just big enough so you can stick the carrot nose through, place this on top of your olive body then place on top of carrot feet and secure with a cocktail stick and hey presto one penguin.

Me and Harry had a great time making these little guys,  you could make a whole colony of them as appetisers for parties.



Happy Story from North Carolina US of A

Yaovi Mawuli Amaglo, a high school student from outside Greensboro, North Carolina, warmed hearts this week when he gave a pair of Jordans to a classmate with worn-down shoes.

Yaovi noticed a classmate of his was getting made fun of for having shoes that were falling apart, so he went on Facebook and asked a group of local sneaker fans the best way to give him a pair of shoes without embarrassing him.

What an amazing Happy Story from North Carolina US of A Yaovi noticed a classmate of his was getting made fun of for having shoes that were falling apart, so he went on Facebook and asked a group of local sneaker fans the best way to give him a pair of shoes without embarrassing him.

“I could not leave with the fact that such a cool guy would be made fun of in this way,” Yaovi told NiceKicks. “I remember I got made fun of for wearing some shoes that had 2006 on them while we were in years 2008. But nobody knew what I did to get that pair of shoes. I would cut my neighbors lawn and take out her trash and she would give me $20 which I save to buy in order to buy that pair of shoes. So I understand not everyone if fortunate enough to afford new pairs of sneakers.” Yaovi, who refurbs and sells on trainers, had a spare pair in the right size and gave them to his classmate, who judging by the picture was very happy to receive them.


Happy Food from North Carolina for these cold winter months

Brunswick Stew by Jamie Deen (with some additions by moi) stand by for amazing smells in your house!

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter or 2 if you are feeling healthy!
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes and juice
  • 1 ltr chicken stock or ½ ltr of juice from your pulled pork mixed in with stock (see below)
  • 325ml good quality BBQ smokey sauce ( I use Roadhouse)
  • 2 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp medium chilli powder
  • Pinch of smoked paprika
  • 350g pulled pork (see below)
  • 350g pulled beef (see below)
  • 400g can baby corn
  • 400g can lima beans, (I use butter beans if you can’t get lima)
  • 400g can flageolet beans

(muddy trainers are optional)


Melt the butter gently and as soon as it starts to foam add onions and garlic, saute until soft, add all your other ingredients, stirring to combine with shredded pork and beef last, bring to boil then slow simmer with lid off for around 1 ½ hours, check for seasoning and serve. As with most stews, it tastes even better if left overnight.


You should end up with a thick, robust stew with a sweet, smokey, barbecue taste that will drive you and your family insane with the smell and taste.

Serve with crusty bread and a nice hot chilli sauce of your own choice on the side.


Make your own slow cooked pork and beef then shred it, to add to this recipe:

Slow cooked Pork & Beef

  • 350g pork shoulder trimmed
  • 350g beef shin
  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200ml chicken stock

Combine the sugar, chilli, salt, cumin, cinnamon and rub the meat all over, making sure it’s fully coated and leave overnight in fridge for around 8 hours, next day place onions and garlic  into a slow cooker, sit meat on top and add stock, cover and cook on low for 10 hours or in a fan oven cover with 350 ml stock and cook on 150c for around 5 hrs, check that it doesn’t go dry. Either way, after cooking time has elapsed reserve juice for above recipe, shred meat to bite size chunks and add to pot.

Get it into the pot quickly or you’ll eat the lot on it’s own as it tastes that good, can also be added to burgers for a delicious topping with a dash of bbq sauce on top.


No one’s offside at the Homeless World Cup

I read this story with great joy the other day, another great example of what we can achieve if we work together.

Playing for a better life. In the Chilean capital of Santiago this October, that was the goal of 432 footballers who have experienced homelessness.

The Homeless World Cup uses the power of football to energise homeless people so they can change their own lives. Through a network of grassroots football programmes in 70 countries, weekly street soccer sessions are delivered to tens of thousands of socially excluded people. Once a year, a national team from each country competes in the World Cup.

Co-founder Mel Young emphasised the continuing need for the annual event during his opening speech to players: “The world today for many, many people is not a good place. We have created a cruel world where many people are excluded. This is not sustainable. Too many people live frightened lives trying to scratch a living in the dark. We have to move these people to the light.”

“Too many people live frightened lives trying to scratch a living in the dark. We have to move these people to the light.”

One of these people was Marvin Dulder. He was 15 years old when he moved with his mother and sister from the former Dutch colony of Suriname to Bijlmer in the Netherlands, which at the time was dubbed Holland’s first and only ghetto. “You used to see addicts at the ATMs and there was crime everywhere,” he recalls.

The street had too many temptations for Marvin. He turned to crime and his life became a downward spiral. “You get introduced to boys who make money quickly. You steal something from a shop and then you shift your boundaries,” he says. When he was 24, disaster struck. He was violently attacked on the street because he had stolen “from the wrong guys”. In hospital with serious injuries, he realised things could have ended very differently, and he knew he had to make a choice. “I had to get away from that world. I wanted to do something with my life and find a new focus,” he says.

Football became a way to relieve tension. Together with neighbourhood friends he had a kickaround in a school playground, and one day he was spotted by the coach of the local street soccer team. He started going along for training sessions and slowly learned to manage his anger and build confidence. Taking part in the Homeless World Cup in Chile showed him, he says, “a different world”, and he is now determined to study youth work, and volunteer at next year’s Homeless World Cup in his home town of Amsterdam.

I hadn’t made any Chilean recipes before so decided to experiment with a new dish inspired by this good news story.

This recipe I found will fill your friends as you watch the beautiful game……

Empanada de horno


  • 7 to 8 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) good quality lard or 4 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening plus 4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon salt dissolved in 2 cups warm water
  • Filling Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium white onions,  finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ½  tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 ½  teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 lb. beef for stewing, cut into ¼ inch cubes, or ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, shelled and quartered
  • Raisins
  • Ripe whole black olives, pitted
  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze

Preparation for the Dough

On a clean wood surface, sift the flour. Make a well in the centre, add the lard and some of the salted water, add more of the water as needed. Using a wooden spoon, combine all the ingredients as quickly as possible; knead very well for about five minutes until a soft dough is formed. Do not overwork the dough, it will result in a tough pasty. Wrap the dough in a clean kitchen towel and keep it warm and workable, let it rest for 30 minutes.

Dough ball

Filling Preparation

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened around 10 mins. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Add the meat and cook, stirring occasionally for around 5 minutes. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over the meat mixture and stir well. Pour over stock and cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the juices have evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should be moist but not runny. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Leave to cool.

Now set up your filling station for the empanadas. Have all the ingredients ready, the cold meat mixture, eggs, raisins, olives and glaze.

Preheat oven to 400 F (205 C)

Shape dough into a large sausage, and slice into 12 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered. Roll out each piece of dough into an 8-inch round about ¼ inch thick. Spoon about ¼ cup of filling onto each circle, leaving a ¾ edge margin.

Adding the filling

Top each one with 1 egg quarter, 3 raisins and 2 olives. Brush the margins all around with water and fold circles in half. To enclose the filling securely, fold each half circle into a square, place the straight edge of the half-circle towards you, then fold in left edge, then right edge, and lastly the top one to make a square. Seal the corners with your thumb by making a deep imprint in each one, or you could make lots of mini ones for canapes. Brush each ready empanada with the egg yolk mixture. With a toothpick, prick 3 to 4 holes in each one to prevent it from opening up while baking.


Brush egg yolk

Folding empanada

Folding empanada

Folding empanada

Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is nicely browned and the filling is piping hot. Serve at once. Baked empanadas can be easily reheated.




To go boldly……

The incredible story of the Rosetta mission to land on a comet travelling at 40,000mph began 25 years ago when the idea was first tabled at a meeting of space scientists. The Rosetta craft itself blasted off from earth 10 years ago for it’s 6.6 billion km journey to carry the little craft called “Philae”, named after  an island in the Nile region of Egypt. An obelisk found on Philae provided the French historian Jean-Francois Champollion with the final clues for deciphering the hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone – thus the mission name.

Philae  landed on Comet 67P on Wednesday 12th November and the world watched in amazement as it bounced a couple of times, as it’s anchors didn’t work, (I always seem to have a tent peg left over, so I know the feeling at space control), but it eventually settled on it’s side and sent some amazing pictures back to earth of the comet’s surface and, should send back telemetry which will go a long way to explain the origins of the Solar System.  Harry watched and exclaimed “ Daddy, one day I might pay that comet a visit”

When we humans set our mind to achieving a distant dream and do it, who knows what we can do if we just set aside our differences, and work together for the future of our children. We’ve put people on the moon, we’ve explored the deepest oceans and climbed the highest mountains, why can’t we stop this self-destructive path we always seem to end up on?

I was telling my son Harry this incredible news story over the weekend and he decided to recreate the story in a our very own ‘edible’ style…..

Harry's space food
Harry’s News in Food

Harry the Sous Chef

Harry making his edible news

Happy bat story from Australia

Tolga Bat Hospital is a community group in Australia working for the conservation of bats and their habitat through partnerships in education, research, advocacy, and rescue work.

The bat pups are brought in when they are afflicted by tick paralysis or when their mothers have died or become too ill to feed them. Their day starts early around 6am and doesn’t end until the last bubs are fed around 11pm.

The pups are fed every 4 hours with feeds currently taking around three hours to complete and the hospital currently has over 50 bats in care.

more bat dudes

bat dude

Poppy Pasta

My lovely mother-in-law Sally was one of the lucky ones who was chosen to be a volunteer in planting the ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, it was such a great story I asked her to recount it for edible news.

“It is brilliantly organised, H&S talk and film, red Vol T shirt, glasses (so we didn’t poke our eyes out and gardening gloves. Fully briefed but nice young men we were sectioned off into groups and told to follow our  ‘leader’. Collected vast boxes of poles, ceramic petals and all the bits and bobs to make them…..yes you have to put them together before you whack them with a mallet into the ground. We came up from the moat area and walked through the visitors to get to the part of the mote that we were planting, which was by the waterfall by the entrance. We were like celebrities, kids taking pictures of us with the boxes for ‘show and tell’ at school! Some handed out the poles and the other pieces that went to secure the petals in place and others, myself and my friend Ros, then put them together and ‘planted them’. Easier said than done as some of the holes were too small for the metal poles (stems) to go in and then a ceramic poppy might not actually fit, so you would start all over again! I planted mine in a battalion, they really did take on personalities, small and fat, especially shiny and lovely, a little chipped, just like the men who fell, all individual. There was a couple who were on their way on holiday and their daughter had given them a night in a nice hotel and dinner as a present. The only trouble was it had cost them £100 to park their car for 24 hours! Another couple lived in Burnham Market, he had sold his business in the docks a few years previously and moved up there. They were having Christmas breakfast in Byfords……I shall look out for them! Another older chap had been in the Navy and then became a fireman, this was his third stint volunteering. We were all late middle aged (old) but maybe that was because we had gravitated to each other! Everybody, helped everyone else and it was a lovely atmosphere, with plenty of picture taking. the people in charge were relaxed and helpful and in the end we took all our empty boxes and the discarded unusable poppies back to where we had come in. Ros, had come up from Devon and was going back that day! But totally worth it, one of the proudest days in my life, I can truly say. Just so pleased that when I thought of volunteering I actually did it. Not sure if those men we were commemorating would have agreed that their volunteering had such a feel good factor.”

My mother in law Sally (on the left) planting poppies
My mother-in-law Sally (on the right) planting poppies at the Tower of London

Poppies at the Tower of London