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When Perry came to visit

If you follow The Gingerbread Mum on Instagram or Twitter, you might have noticed that for the past three days we’ve been having adventures with a gingerbread biscuit. Yes, a gingerbread biscuit. A biscuit that goes by the name of Perry the Penguin.

Perry the Penguin, Costa Coffee’s newest gingerbread offering, comes all the way from the Antarctic so he’s perfectly suited for our chilly weather. (Actually he’s made and hand-iced in a small independent Cheshire bakery, but that’s just between you and me.)

Costa Coffee challenged us and nine other bloggers to take Perry on tour for three days and share our adventures with him. You can see his other adventures by searching for #perryontour on your favourite social networks.

I don’t know why, but when we were first invited to take part in the challenge I thought we’d get a toy Perry to bring with us. Later it dawned on me, no, we’d be entertaining a biscuit for three days.
Perry the Penguin #perryontour

So yes, I did indeed spend three days carrying Perry wherever we went (along with Perry’s stand-in and Perry’s stunt double). I did indeed make boardshorts for a biscuit. And I did indeed make bungee and rock-climbing harnesses for a piece of gingerbread. Ah, the varied life of a mummy to an adopted gingerbread! But we, all three of us, actually had a lot of fun with Perry, thinking up new things for him to do, incorporating him into our family life, and sneaking nibbles of him when we thought no one was looking.

I was happily surprised by all the love and comments our photos got during our challenge, which showed me that it wasn’t just us enjoying Perry’s adventures. It was great that a gingerbread penguin doing silly things could brighten up other people’s day too πŸ™‚

So, without any further ado, drum roll please (or maybe a heart-stirring piece of instrumental music would be more appropriate to set the tone?!), here is what we got up to with Perry.

Friday – a safari, an evening cruise and a touch of homesickness

We awoke to find Perry had arrived by train, ready and eager to have lots of fun.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourAfter a quick breakfast (Perry prefers a ristretto to start the day which immediately put him in hubby’s good books although also meant hubby was late to work as he enjoyed having another coffee connoisseur in the house), we kitted Perry out with binoculars and went to our local safari park to see what we could spot.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourWe were very lucky to see various wild animals in a grassy glade, all happily together. Although looking at the photos now, the lions do seem to be crouching ready to pounce in the background (thankfully we left before any animals were eaten).

Trekking back through the woods made us all hungry and before I could stop it, Nicholas had chomped off Perry’s head! Thank goodness Perry has more than one life or our adventures would have been over on the first day.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourPerry had been telling us what he normally gets up to in the Antartic and sounded a bit homesick describing his wife Paula and their two baby penguins, Paige and Perry Jr., so I made him a special lunch to help him cheer up.
Perry and his special lunchPerry finished his day with a relaxing bath cruise followed by Nicholas reading him Pinocchio (I hid ‘The Gingerbread Man’ book).
Perry the Penguin #perryontour
Then Perry was tucked up in bed with his teddy bear.
Perry the Penguin #perryontour

Saturday – false hopes, a toe dip, a surfing dude and bungee-jumping

We woke up on Saturday to find Perry had already made himself breakfast and had discovered Ruby the Reindeer. I tried not to eavesdrop, but I did hear Ruby enthusiastically reassuring Perry that gingerbread was indeed safe in our house as she was still uneaten after Christmas (ah…).
Perry the Penguin #perryontourPerry came with us to Nicholas’ swimming lesson and was very excited to join him while we were in the changing room, but then chickened out when he tested the warm water with his toe which quickly proceeded to dissolve.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourWe took him out for lunch to try to take his mind off his missing toe and then a walk along the Thames. He was a little sacred when we held him over the edge to see the very large geese and swans, so Nicholas gave him his favourite toy (a rabbit called Barch) to hug.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourTo make up for Perry missing out on the swimming fun earlier, when we got home we made him some boardshorts and tried to teach him how to surf, which he was quite good at.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourWith his adrenaline pumping, Perry wanted more fun so he bungee-jumped off our stairs!

Sunday – Australia Day disappointment, a hangover? (surely not), rock-climbing and karaoke

Very late last night on hearing a strange sound, I went to check on Nicholas and Perry. Nicholas was fast asleep, but I found Perry in a hoodie, trying to sneak out! I put him back to bed. But when I came downstairs the next morning I found Perry looking rather queasy and about to take some painkillers. (What on earth did he get up to last night?)
Perry the Penguin #perryontourTo make his tummy feel better I made him some fun pancakes, which he scoffed very quickly.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourPerry found our Australian toys celebrating and they told him all about their culture. Perry was more than a little disappointed that we didn’t have a barbecue all day, and pointing out the pouring rain didn’t seem to make any difference.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourHe did, however, do a spot of rock-climbing (where does he get all his energy from?)…
Perry the Penguin #perryontourfollowed by some karaoke before bed (and I’m not making any comment on Perry’s singing ability).
Perry the Penguin #perryontourMonday

We were woken at the crack of dawn by the sounds of bugle-playing. Perry was afraid we’d miss his departure.
Perry the Penguin #perryontourAfter lots of hugs, a few tears and promises to keep in touch, Perry left to go back to his family in the Antartic. I did spy his boardshorts and his rock-climbing harness in his bag which made me wonder if he was going to make a detour on his way home πŸ˜‰

Disclaimer: some Perry the Penguins were harmed and/or eaten during our adventures. Thankfully Costa Coffee sent us 10 Perrys.

A couple of outtakes from our three days:

Perry the Penguin #perryontour

Perry’s stand-in (or was it his stunt double?) gets nibbled during our safari shoot

Perry the Penguin #perryontour

Nicholas wasn’t impressed with Perry’s singing

If you’d like to have your own adventure with Perry, Costa Coffee are giving away gift cards to their favourites. Check them out on Facebook or Twitter for more details.

Costa Coffee are choosing their two favourite blogger adventures tomorrow and then you can vote on Wednesday and Thursday for your favourite via their Facebook page.

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Cute Lunches: Perry the Penguin

Costa Coffee challenged us to take their newest gingerbread offering, Perry the Penguin, on lots of adventures for the next three days. Feel free to follow all the fun we’re having with Perry on Twitter and Instagram, as well as the adventures he’s having with other bloggers (just search for #perryontour). We’ll do a round-up of all the fun we’ve had on Monday.

Inspired by our new penguin house guest, I made Nicholas a cute penguin lunch. It was the perfect opportunity to finally try making the adorable penguins I often see in the bento boxes on my Instagram feed.

bento, cute food

To make the bigger penguin, I followed Ming’s from Bento, Monsters very easy instructions.

I used a normal boiled chicken egg, a sheet of nori and corn kernels. Ming suggests sticking the nori to the egg with a little mayonnaise; I just lightly wet the egg and it stuck well (using the nori was actually much easier than I’d anticipated). I used some mashed up egg (from the hard-boiled egg I didn’t manage to peel very well!) to stick the corn kernel feet on.

The smaller penguins are made from black grapes. There are lots of little penguins, especially on Pinterest, made from black olives, but I thought Nicholas would prefer grapes to olives.

I cut a thin slice off the fronts of the two larger grapes for the penguins’ tummies. I threaded the two smaller grapes on top for the heads using cut lollypop sticks. You could also use toothpicks, but be very careful of these with little ones. The feet and beaks are small triangles cut from a clementine/mandarine segment. Then I added some yogurt to make their tummies white and tiny dots of yogurt for their eyes.

Thank you to Eats Amazing for the tortilla snowflake inspiration. We actually had two more smaller filled snowflake tortillas on the side.

I’m linking up to Fun Food Friday, a weekly round-up of fun and creative food by the lovely Grace of Eats Amazing.

Eats-Amazing-Fun-Food-Friday