Make-ahead Christmas treat: candied peel.

Watch me make them on YouTube

Delicious for gifts and better than the bland commercial version.

Seville oranges are much more flavoursome than usual dessert oranges.

This recipe also works for lemons, grapefruits etc.

The strips can be packed in cellophane bags at Christmas for gifts (dipping some in chocolate) or can be chopped and added to cakes and other baking.


Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Picture of Penny's Christmas cakes ready to go


Government’s proposals to “halve the disability employment gap” raise more questions than answers.

There are only just a few more days to respond to the Government’s Green Paper which is all about supporting many more disabled people to work  My comments have just gone in and the core questions concerning me are:

  1. Is there sufficient long-term cross-Government political will, financial commitment and official capacity to make all of this a reality?
  2. Are disabled people themselves sufficiently embedded in the design, delivery, commissioning and governance of all this change?
  3. Have success and the risks of failure been measured more realistically?
  4. Has the high level of antipathy and mistrust been sufficiently calibrated?
  5. Should employment support force the reluctant rather than welcome the willing?
  6. Will employers’ attitudes be changed?
  7. Are successful employment support programmes described?
  8. Does local partnership delivery feature strongly?
  9. Is self-employment getting enough attention?
  10. Is the health sector ready, willing and able to contribute?
  11. Is the evidence, data, information and resources available to all?
  12. Is this strategy going in the right direction?

To every question, the answer is a resounding “No, not yet!”  While the minds that put all of this together are willing, the body of proposals and solutions are not.

You can see my thinking about each of these questions here  You might agree or not but tell the Government what you think of their proposals – deadline is 17 February 2017 to

Happy reading!

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

You Tube

Easy low fat lunch.

Watch me make them on You Tube and you can find the recipe here.

Just a posh version of chicken nuggets and chips.

Oven-cooking is much safer than frying – and keeps the amount of oil to a minimum.

Make your own breadcrumbs from dry stale bread and store in the freezer.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Posh chicken nuggets and chips

Posh chicken nuggets and chips


Pot up hot marmalade with your eyes closed!

Watch me do this on YouTube

The finished article

The finished article

Seville oranges may only be available in January.

A talking thermometer, preserving funnel and jug the same capacity as the jars make this possible.

I always simmer the fruit the night before so that they are cool enough to handle.  The fruit has to be fully cooked and softened before adding the sugar.

By keeping the amount of water to a minimum, you don’t have to boil the marmalade so long to achieve the setting temperature.

I test for the set on the stainless steel sink as it cools the marmalade quickly and is easy to clean.  The marmalade will set well when the surface of the test blob wrinkles when pushed by your finger.

You can add some liqueur or whisky to the pan before it goes in to the jars.

I get jars from the Jam Jar Shop ( a quick wash and then place in a roasting tray in a very low oven – this dries, sterilises and warms the jars so that they are less likely to crack when hot marmalade is poured in.

Stock up early with these fabulous oranges – you can freeze them whole.


Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000


You can find my recipe here (

Don’t forget to remove the shell!

A comforting hearty soup for cold winter days – you can watch me make this on You Tube

Put the crab shell in to this chowder after adding all the flesh to get maximum flavour.

I get bacon from Greenfield pork ( – they also did a fabulous hog roast for a big party I gave.

I didn’t have any milk so added 2 heaped tablespoons of skimmed milk powder.

If you prefer a chunkier soup, put aside some drained spoonfuls of the cooked mix while liquidising and then return and stir through.

A dash of cream can make this soup even more luxurious – but certainly isn’t essential.

These quantities made over 3 pints/nearly 2 litres of soup

You can find the bread recipe at:

And the Chowder recipe is at:


Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Chowder and mini loaves for 2

Chowder and mini loaves for 2


Fancy fish eggs on toast?

Delicious Mediterranean savoury dip – watch me make it on You Tube

In Athens years ago, they mixed taramasalata with mashed potato to make it go further.

If you can’t see, weighing on talking scales can be easiest and cuts down on washing up and other equipment: half a pint of oil weighs 8 ounces

To prevent the taste of the oil being too strong, I used half sunflower and half olive oil.

Smoked cod’s roe can be difficult to find depending on the season.  I ordered from my local fishmonger ( and it arrived within a couple of days.

Cod’s roe come in pairs – each is about 8 ounces weight so you could use one  with half the ingredients and freeze the rest for another day.

Smoked cod’s roe is not cheap but this mix made nearly 3 lbs weight at a cost very close to the supermarket version and, hopefully, better in terms of taste, texture and no other added ingredients.  If you would like to see my recipe, please follow this link:

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000


This is just a posh way of using up potatoes.

Watch me make them on You Tube

Imperial Metric Ingredient
1 dessert spoon   Olive oil
1   Onion and/or
3   Rashers smoked bacon
2 handfuls   Cooked potatoes (roast, boiled, chips)
3   Eggs (beaten)
1 heaped teaspoon   Chopped soft herb leaves (thyme, parsley etc)
    Salt and pepper


Heat the oil in an oven-proof frying pan.

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (350 Fahrenheit; 180 Celsius)

Finely chop the peeled onion and sweat in the oil over a medium heat.

If using bacon, remove the rind and slice in to small pieces and add to the pan to lightly cook.

Chop potatoes to pieces and add to pan.

Beat eggs, herbs and salt and pepper.

Turn over the onions/bacon and potatoes in the pan.

Pour the egg mixture around the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes until frittata feels firm but not solid.

Remove pan from oven and ease around edges to loosen.

Place plate over pan and turn upside down so that, with luck, frittata drops out on to plate for sharing between two.

My tips:

The potatoes could have been plain boiled, cooked new potatoes, roast or even chips from yesterday’s take-away.  They just need to be cut in to pieces about 1 cm thick so that they cook quickly in the pan.

You can vary the other ingredients with anything that is handy – as long as it will go well with the eggs and potatoes.

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000