My parents are coming to visit us today for a few days. It’s the first time they will visit me in Bristol (although they do know Bristol quite well) and it’s the first time they will see our new house, which is exciting and a bit anxiety inducing also given they are both architects! I will certainly appreciate their take on our roof situation, which I have decided to leave until they have had a chance to take a look.
As a result, I’ve been knee deep in cleaning, planning, shopping and cooking this week. They are not vegan, but they aren’t (and never have been) massive carnivores either so I am fairly confident that they won’t have an issue with eating 100% plant-based for a few days. The only thing I need to be mindful of is that my mum cannot handle any level of spice at all and, as I like my chilli, I need to hide it somewhere so I don’t end up putting it into stuff just out of habit. They are also not really into tofu and stuff like that (especially my dad) so I will keep the food pretty Europe-centric with some Middle Eastern influence.
For their arrival, I am making my moussaka with a giant green salad and my healthy carrot cake for dessert. The day after, it will be this pasta for dinner – they both love garlic and mushrooms so I am hoping it will be a hit (I will hold off with the chilli, obvs) and a selection of dips (baba ganoush, hummus, muhamara), olives, pickles, some grilled Turkish bread and a salad for lunch. That’s two days taken care of and I will improvise the rest depending on the feedback I get.
These (naturally vegan) Italian biscuits are another thing I am making for their arrival. They are addictive and go really well with wine so I am sure we will get through quite a few of them 😛 , especially that they are coming in their camper van via France!!
Taralli are savoury (although can also be sweet sometimes) biscuits traditionally made in the region of Puglia, in Italy. Funnily enough my gran used to make them too when I was a kid, so although I am no Italian, their taste is a bit of a food memory for me and I am hoping it will also be for my dad. Instead of bows, she used to make them into little loops and then hang them on a string in the kitchen. They never stayed on that string for very long…cos me and my family are a greedy bunch 😛
Taralli are not difficult to make and if you have kids who like cooking with you, rope their little hands in to help! They are a touch time consuming as, similarly to bagels and pretzels, they need to be simmered in water before baking, but the process is dead simple and anyone can follow it. Traditionally, they are flavoured with either black pepper or chilli or fennel seeds. As the first two will be too spicy for my mum, I have gone for a combination of garlic and fennel and I am hoping they will go down well.
PS: If you make my taralli, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
SEASONINGS (I recommend choosing one to begin with!)
**Check the label to make sure your wine is vegan.