Looking for a proper tasty BBQ-friendly veggie burger? Of course. And we’re happy to oblige, mind you, but you’ll need to scroll down to the pictures as I’ve got a very happy post to do first!
We did something we never normally do yesterday: we were social! YES. Despite it being an unwritten rule in Chubby Towers that if the sun is in the sky on a Saturday we will still be in bed, we were roused at 8.30am (gasp), put on a minibus with a few lovely colleagues from Paul’s work and dispatched to Northumberland Pride, the very first pride event in our local area. It’s a pride event to celebrate being yourself and inclusivity, not marvelling at dry-stone walls and rolling hills, as the name may suggest if you’re a little bit touched in the head.
One minibus trip later – an unusual experience that, because who knew you could travel thirty miles on a motorway without a forty minute sojourn in a secluded layby – and we were pulling onto the rugby club. We put together a load of goodie bags, congratulated ourselves on having the best stall and then made our way down into Alnwick to get ready to join the march. I’ve never seen more rainbows in my life – it was like (what I imagine) the gayest acid trip ever. We took up position behind a group of drummers and a lady up on stilts because of course.
One thing that struck me, aside from the back of the huge pride banner I was wearing that felt like it had been stitched right into my spine, was the mix of people there. I’d always (through ignorance I suppose) assumed it would be a load of young and beautiful people having a powermince and banging the drum, but no: every age, every gender, every shape. It was genuinely lovely to see so many people in one place just there to have a good time.
Whilst we were waiting for the march to start we were approached by an elderly couple who looked the spit of a couple from our street – the ones who don’t talk to us and walk around with a face like someone’s pissed on their chips. The type of folks who last laughed when Thatcher took milk from the poor kids. I was expecting a stern lecture on the perils of sodomy (tell me about it love, no-one likes a racing stripe) and how we’ll burn in hell, but no: they wanted a sticker for their car as their grandson had just come out and wanted support. D’awww. We primly advised them that this wasn’t a commercial event and sent them on their way but OF COURSE we didn’t, we gave them a sticker.
The march began and people of all shapes, sizes, genders and colours slowly snaked their way through a town that would never have been my first guess for an epicentre of equal rights – how wrong I was. We were cheered and clapped and welcomed by folks young and old and the band literally played on, drumming the way to the rugby club. There, the afternoon was full of people smiling at each other, grabbing as many freebies as they could and just having a bloody good time. Not an ounce of bother. I drank a bit too much lager, we both flirted wildly with everyone within spitting distance and we came away with some mint-flavoured condoms. I might put them in the Slimmer of the Week basket.
All in all, an amazingly positive experience.
Naturally, a quick glance on facebook and the negative nellies were exposed. The local police force round here have changed the battenburg markings on one police car so that they’re pride colours. One car. We’re not talking about the whole fleet, they haven’t stuck a fucking unicorn horn on the police helicopter or changed the sirens for the opening notes of Your Disco Needs You. But this was enough to get the usual suspects in a tizz: ‘WAIST OV POLISS RESAUCES’ and ‘SHUD NOT BE POLITIKAL’ and other ohfuckoffery. It’s not as though Vera Baird is sitting letting out prisoners because the jail budget has been frittered away in Claire’s Accessories. Morons. It’s a wonderful, positive message to push out – that people who have been subject to hate crimes should feel no fear about speaking to the police because they will be treated with the respect and care that everyone deserves. It’s our police force too, you know.
Perhaps I’m a smidge biased because some especially handsome policeman allowed us to try his helmet on for size. In fact, we were even allowed in the back of the van, an experience we treated with the absolute solemnity and respect you expect from us. So much shrieking about being too pretty for prison.
Paul’s teeth look a bit like he could chew an apple through a letterbox in this photo, I’m not sure why – they’re as straight as I am bent. But it’s a great photo that was representative of a lovely day.
Oh and I say the same things every year, but here’s the counters to the most common arguments:
- “you’re just doing it to rub your sexuality in our faces” – pfft, you wish, and no, perhaps we’re holding hands or being close to each other because, you know, love; or
- “it isn’t needed anymore” – the goals have changed absolutely, but the core message of accepting yourself and others for something they can’t change or help remains the same; or
- “why can’t we have a straight parade” – you do, it’s called life, but if you want to walk down the street in your tan chinos and beige jumpers and hold hands with the harridan you regret marrying and celebrate your life, then please do so. I’d sooner be held up waiting for a pride march to pass than a protest.
Another thing that was fun was having people who knew of us through the website / facebook group / Crimewatch repeats come up and say hello. It’s super awkward because we’ve got all the social finesse of a bout of hot diarrhoea at a wake but we try our best not to offend and at least get off one witty bon-mot before their eyes glaze over and they start with the ‘really must get on, things to do’ comments. Actually, everyone we met yesterday was an absolute delight and it really does make our hearts and ankles swell when people tell us how much they enjoy our food, support groups and ability to shoehorn a reference to wolfbagging (don’t, just don’t) into a recipe for houmous. Mmm, bacon. But please, remember the rules. The deal is that you must tell everyone afterwards that we were 6ft 3″, could pass for Jason Mamoa in a dark room and that I had trouble walking as it looked as though I was smuggling a foot-long hot-dog in my jeans pockets. Be reasonable.
We’re booked up to help with Newcastle Pride in July. Apparently it’s a bit more seedy and sexy, which you can only imagine how devastated I am to hear. One side of me wants to help dish out the condoms and positive health messages, the other side of me wants to try and find some strapping, leather-clad cigar-smoking brute of a man to adopt us two Cubs and make us his own. We’ll see which side wins out.
Right, shall we do the recipe then?
proper tasty BBQ veggie burger
Yield 4 burgers
We were going to call these millennial burgers because ho-ho avocado but then we realised we weren't that insufferably tedious, so these are veggie burgers you can do on the BBQ or under the grill. We're not fussed! They look a little dry and to be fair, they are - that's why you use avocado, to grease the wheels and add a different layer of taste! So don't skimp on it - the syns are there to be used AND think of this way, nothing with eyelashes has died to make your burger. You swine!
- 400g button mushrooms, chopped small
- 2 tins of butterbeans, drained
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 wholemeal rolls (4x HeB)
- few handfuls of rocket or lettuce
- 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 avocado, mashed (14 syns)
- few drops of lime
- few tbsp of our proper tasty coleslaw
- spray a large saucepan with a little oil and cook the chopped mushrooms until soft and all of the liquid has evaporated
- add the butterbeans to the pan and cook for an extra minute or two, stirring frequently
- remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher until well mixed
- add the garlic and give another mash
- divide the mixture into four, roll into balls and then flatten into burger shapes
- carefully slide the burgers onto the barbecue and cook for 3-4 minutes each side - avoid turning them more than once as they're quite fragile
- if cooking on the hob, do the same but on a large frying pan over a high heat
- assemble the burger by layering cherry tomatoes, salad leaves and coleslaw, then the burger, and then topping with the mashed avocado - add a pinch of salt and some lime juice onto that avocado and then shove it in your big, gaping gob!
- Fry Light is gonna knacker your pans - get one of these instead!
- don't shit yourself at the syn value for the avocado - they're really tasty and really good for you!
- looking for coleslaw recipe - but natch - click here
- chuck whatever else you like in the burger - cheese, fried onions, etc - whatever you want!
- mince the garlic in seconds with one of these excellent Microplane graters - no fiddly bits, easy to wash and you can use it for all sorts!
Yum, right? I know, we’re fabulous.
If you’re a vegetarian seeking more recipes from us, then by god can we help – just look at some of the suggested beauties below:
- perfect slimming world chips (0 – 1.5 syns)
- stuffed greek wraps (less than half a syn)
- leek, potato and cheddar soup (less than 1 syn)
- gallo pinto (0.5 syns)
- sundried tomato and cheesy spinach pasta (0.5 syns)
- radish and pea salad (1.5 syns)
- cheesy baked broccoli bombs (0.5 syns)
- cheesy baked boozy basil rigatoni (0.5 syns)
- minted pea crush (1.5 syns)
- garlic puy lentils with roasted tomatoes and horseradish cottage cheese (1 syn)
- peanut broccoli salad (3 syns)
- creamy parsnip and apple soup (0.5 syns)
Country roads, take me home.