I know I've promised recipes but I can't let another day of summer pass before posting some of the photos from last weekend's trip home, AKA when the Tour de France circus arrived in Yorkshire for 48 hours of ultimate cycling excitement. I very aware of how lucky I am that my parents make such an effort to cook me vegan food alongside their own vegetarian creations, and somehow, last weekend, they managed to top all previous attempts with two days of nearly non-stop vegan feasting.
As the Grand Depart came to York on Sunday morning, Saturday slipped by in a state of furtive excitement for the next day, everyone trying unusually hard to pace themselves for the comparatively v v early start on Sunday.
Unlike other countries with 4th of July celebrations, Labour Day, Cinco de Mayo or Scandinavia's Midsommar, the UK doesn't really have any big summertime traditions that involve food, unless you count sand-crusted sandwiches under a coastal shelter somewhere in Scarborough or a glut of strawberries every time Wimbledon's on the telly. So without a focus on meat or fish, my parents decided to do their own take on summer eating for vegetarians and vegans- and I really hope there's a reason to do exactly the same thing next year.
Here's a few shots of the Mexican-themed barbecue we had on Saturday night, with corn taco fillings and homemade guacamole getting prepared alongside some basically lethal Cuba Libres.
As well as with tacos my parents made a chipotle marinade for some vegetable kebabs, and baba ganoush-filled flat mushrooms for the grill. And on top of that, we also tucked into homemade salsa and grilled flour wraps used as dippers. It was honestly some of the best summer food I've ever eaten. I am biased but as far as vegan barbecues go, this is how to do it.
The next day, after the Tour de France circus had passed by the end of our road, flags, coffee, my Mum handing out tiny chunks of homemade tiffin, everything gone in a flash, we came back for lunch and a pizza marathon in the kitchen. My parents made a vegan asparagus, leek, tomato and red onion pizza on a crispy thin ciabatta base for me, mixing in a few other non-vegan ingredients and combinations for everyone else in need of some melted cheese for their hangovers.
For pudding, my Mum went all out with a summer berry extravaganza. I don't like sweet things very much at all, but summer pudding I think is the only exception- how white bread and berries can taste so good, I don't know, but I love the magic of constructing it out of cheap sliced white (which always works best), setting it with weights, tipping it over and hoping it stays together long enough to get to the table. My Mum served hers with a trail of berry juice from the kitchen to the garden table, the heat working against her, the pudding slowly sinking, but it looked brilliant and tasted sublime.
Finally, at half five, we caught the train back to London wishing there were more hours between Friday night and Sunday afternoon, and barely able to move in our seats from a weekend of gluttony and cycling, which is how they all should be really.