The third and final MiniMoFo challenge is all about welcoming the autumn. There hasn’t been much of a seasonal transition here in the Czech Republic: one week it was too hot for a cardigan, the next I was bundled up in scarf, hat and winter coat. But I’m quite glad about the change anyway – as all my students tell me, it’s British weather and it makes me excited about snuggling in of an evening and making hearty meals.
Although the shops here are full of different varieties of pumpkin and squash, I decided to forego the obvious cooking choices and for this challenge I have just bought something autumnal. And what could be more appropriate for October than accidentally-vegan Halloween treats?! I’ve been relying on Marks and Spencer to provide some seasonal treats, and they haven’t let me down.
I enjoyed the shape of the crisps. Yes, the starfish is meant to be a ghost. I love that both the ghost and the bat have shocked expressions. The crisps were very thin, but also very salty and delicious. They’d be fun for a snack at a Halloween party, or just for eating at home with a film.
I recently found out that quite a lot of the jellies at M&S are vegan. Good news! These cola and blackcurrant spiders were good, but very big, which made them a bit too chewy. The flavour and fizziness were excellent, though.
And this one isn’t technically Halloweeny, but with that black and orange packaging I think I can just about get away with it! I became hooked on these Blackfriars flapjacks when I was just a nipper. Every Friday and Saturday evening, my brother and I were given the princely sum of 50p to spend in the corner shop, and I always picked up one of these flapjacks (and a penny chew with the change), trying just about every flavour. I was delighted when I saw them again in Aldi a couple of years ago, a few of them with the green vegan sticker. I hadn’t seen the ginger choc chip one since I was a child though…until this week! There’s a little vegetarian shop in Prague that usually stocks a couple of Blackfriars varieties, and this one was nestled amongst them.
What a lovely and unexpected throwback to my childhood – it was just as I remembered. If only the price had stayed the same!
And finally, the true mark of autumn in Prague: Signal Festival. This is an annual video-mapping extravaganza, with impressive light shows dotted around the city. There’s no shortage of beautiful buildings in Prague, so any excuse to stand and gape at them for a few minutes is welcome. We’re fortunate to live quite close to one of the best installations: this church looks amazing on a normal day, so seeing it all lit up was quite something.
So, I am firmly settled into autumn now and ready for the most important part of the season: Vegan MoFo! This was the last of the warm up challenges, so now I’m just counting down to the main event.