the end of an era (or weekend)

My brother only comes to town once a year (or so), so we have to make it a big deal when he does.

On Saturday night, my dad busted out his mad kitchen skills and put together a vegan meal worth of a king.

Any desire I have to cook is to the credit (or fault, I guess) of this man.

Yes, I did make him pose like he was chopping an onion. I missed the actual onion chopping and I felt it was necessary for the story.

My mom and brother and I snacked on watermelon and cantaloupe while my dad slaved away. The wine was Cline Pinot Noir (2009). In the summer, I mostly avoid red wine, but my mom really likes it. Pinot is a good compromise, and this was particularly delicious and especially suited for the sweet fruit we ate before dinner.

The results of his hard work? Not as pretty as they were tasty, I can assure you. The gorgeous thing above is a bean ball sandwich. The recipe came from Veganomicon, which I bought for Sam a few years ago after hearing great thing about it. I don’t have the recipe, because I don’t have the book – it’s a combination of kidney beans, nutritional yeast (I think), and all of the other things you would expect to find in meatballs, minus milk and eggs and cheese. The bean balls, despite having an unfortunate name, are ridiculously good.

The sauce is my dad’s secret recipe and is not available for sharing unless I’m willing to take my life in my hands. The bread is an Udi’s baguette – flour, salt, yeast, and water. Naturally vegan, y’all.

Clearly I hated everything about the meal.

On Sunday my little brother had a criterium (a specific kind of bike race, whose details aren’t important – mostly because I don’t understand them).

How good a friend is Star, coming out with us to cheer on my brother?

My mom and I staked out quite the excellent viewing location for the start.

And they’re off!

The best part of a crit is that it’s usually through a town or city. The blue and yellow house is actually a Denver restaurant called Cuba Cuba. I tried to convince my co-watchers to stop for a mojito, but they insisted that we actually focus on the race.

Happily, afterwards everyone came back to my house and a few of my brother’s high school friends came by. We had margaritas. And watched Birdemic (again). And had more margaritas.

And then I got three hours of sleep and then got in a car then on a bus then in a big airplane then in a little airplane, and then vacation started and my brother-in-town weekend ended.


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