This weekend was one of massive sporting disappointments. Not only for the likes of Roger Federer, Mark Cavendish and the Colombians, but also for me and my thwarted plans.
Manchester is home to an outdoor World Cup fan park which shows all the matches in a Brazilian-beach-style venue. Despite the decor, the weather remains strictly Mancunian: we had planned to watch both Friday evening games there, but were driven indoors by the incessant rain. The fresh air and lively atmosphere would have most likely kept me awake, whereas in the comfort of my own home I managed to nod off and completely miss the Colombian penalty. I fared little better on Saturday night, when my boyfriend roused me from my initial slumber with the exciting news that a penalty shoot-out awaited, with a change of goalkeeper no less! I promptly fell back asleep and missed all the drama. Curse these late kick-offs.
But those disappointments were nothing compared to our Saturday attempt to get to the Tour de France finish line in Harrogate. My beau is a die-hard Tour fan (Tourette?), and I had spent hours (or a while, at least) reading articles about it and listening to his enthusiastic and patient explanations of how it all worked. We set off on Saturday, buzzing with excitement. Our train from Manchester was delayed, but we remained optimistic. That optimism died a swift death when we arrived at Leeds to change trains and were told to join a three hour queue in order to get to Harrogate. Three hours!
After a brief look around the colourful, Tour-themed phone boxes, we tracked down a vegan cafe and had a freezing cold slice of cake and a warm milkshake (it seemed like we weren’t the only ones having a bad day), and began our journey back to Manchester, defeated. Our spirits rose again in the evening when we watched the excitement of the Tour highlights and my fellow was delighted to see a rider from his fantasy team take the yellow jersey. Making up for the poor cake and shake, we also rebounded with an absolute feast of a Chinese takeaway. All, apparently, was not lost. It was a frustrating day, but sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Speaking of cookies…
Giant Choc Peanut Cookies
Slightly adapted from Vegan With A Vengeance
250g plain flour
200g rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
175ml rapeseed oil
127g chocolate peanut butter
200g brown sugar
125ml soya milk
3 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
2. Mix together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, peanut butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until everything is well combined.
5. Roll handfuls of the dough into balls, place them on the prepared baking tray and flatten. Leave plenty of room for spreading.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
7. Stand on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.