Image Credit: Marco Verch https://foto.wuestenigel.com/strawberries-with-whipped-cream-in-a-womans-hand/
For all of us this year, Roses will be a slightly different experience to that remembered by older York students. What would normally be a weekend of beers, sideline snacks and on-campus offerings will instead be a more restrained affair, with no in-person matches to go cheer on. In classic Covid fashion, most Roses viewing will be held online, live streamed on our laptops and across campus. However, this does not mean there is no opportunity to make the most of the Roses weekend. There’s still plenty of options to hold the ultimate Roses feast, legally, for your household or 5 friends outside, and ensure it is a weekend to remember.
Of course, Roses are white, so it is only right to ensure the celebratory drinks match this theme too. Although it might not feel particularly tropical in York at the end of April, this is the perfect time to bring out the Pina Colada, to truly impress your friends with your endless dedication to York. If that pineapple goodness doesn’t quite take your fancy, or if that Puerto Rican holiday taste seems like too much of a stretch for when you’re hiding in the kitchen from the rain, any lemon juice/lemonade drink can bring a touch of white to the affairs. A particular one to note is the White Lady cocktail- just whack some gin, Cointreau and lemon juice into a glass to heighten the classiness of any proceedings.
However, for any good celebratory event, punch should at least make an appearance on the brainstorming list, even if it means sporting the enemy red. Popularised recently by TikTok, people across the globe are experimenting with this drink as old as time. Grab a massive bucket (or empty plastic box if you want the full TikTok experience) and fill it with whichever drinks you fancy. A few bottles of Vodka, Sourz, Smirnoff Ice and lemonade should all make an appearance. Perhaps you could keep with a certain theme, adding pink lemonade, pink gin, and even some pink Hooch. One great tip is to add some frozen fruit to your concoction – not only do you get the health and taste benefits of adding some berries, but it will keep the punch cooler for longer!
If Roses is a more restrained affair this year, it just gives more time to prepare the perfect feast to enjoy after watching a tense live streamed fixture of INSERT ONLINE FIXTURE HERE. Of course, YUSU venues will be streaming as many live across campus whilst serving their food and drink like always, but if you decide to stay at home or in the garden, this is a perfect opportunity to go all out.
The essential ingredient for any sports-watching delicacy is ease – anything you can rustle up quickly in between fixtures is perfect for the occasion.
One of my recent favourite discoveries is that of baguette pizzas. They’re super quick and easy to make – all you need is a cheap baguette from the supermarket, some tomato puree (and passata if it’s lying around) and whichever toppings you fancy. Just bake the baguettes for about 12 mins, half them lengthways and give them another 5 mins before topping them with the tomato puree and the different toppings. Once the masterpiece is created, whack them in the oven for another 6 minutes or so, until the cheese is golden. Easily done in the half time, this is a great one for all the party-goers to get involved with.
A great way of continuing the red/white colour theme into the food is to try some snacks on a stick! It might not be appearing on any Michelin star menus, but nothing beats a quick and easy mix of flavours. A timeless classic, tomato and mozzarella are perfect together, and are great little appetizers bound to impress. If you fancy adding some fruit to the mix, why not make some melons on a stick? Try watermelon and cantaloupe melons for the perfect York/Lancaster display.
And for dessert, in keeping with our red and white spectacle, it would be wrong to forget about the endless opportunities that strawberries and cream can bring. Popularised by Wimbledon, this summer snack will fit perfectly into our Roses menu. If you are feeling especially extravagant, why not go for some strawberry meringues? They only require egg whites and caster sugar to make, but meringue nests can be found in most supermarkets if you’re strapped for time or meringue-making expertise. Top them with whipped cream and strawberries or raspberries, and you have a perfect little dessert. I, for one, shall be indulging in them this Roses.
Of course, the main thing for this Roses is to spend it (safely) with good friends, and make the most of a slightly unusual year! Happy feasting.