Last night we had a party to celebrate the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.
We had an international potluck - everyone was meant to bring an international dish. A "Potluck of Nations," if you will! Then, you were meant to pick a country to represent and wear your national colors. It was pretty fun, my grandpa even showed up in his Ghanaian shirt from when he was in the Peace Corp.
We had our own Olympic Competitions, complete with medals ceremonies:
Staring Contest, Thumb Wrestling, and Rock-Paper-Scissors.
The medals were Dutch Spice Cookies, edible of course!
I made Mujaddarah, following the recipe from "Healthy Hedonist." A simple, and delicious way to prepare lentils. I'll definitely make this again. It's basically brown basmati and brown lentils cooked together, with caramelized onions. YUM.
Jane & JP & Bella represented Italy and brought a giant platter of their **amazing** Cherokee tomatoes with pesto. They were quickly devoured.
The Italian delegates also brought a lovely pesto salad with broad beans and tomatoes from their farm. Note to self: invite Jane & JP & Bella to all future potlucks.
Here's the table as it was starting to fill up. We ended up really busting at the seams - food was on every flat surface! You can see my mom's Mexican Bean Salad in the foreground - I love that salad! Also, on the orange platter in the background, you see the little fried Yuca Cakes with Mango-Chipotle Sauce that I made from "Healthy Hedonist." DAMN those babies were good! And they disappeared before I could get a proper photo! The red-orange dip in the middle is Ajvar from Musty, representing Croatia.
With all successes, there are bound to be a few failures. I veganized a recipe for Kabbu Bamia, an Iraqi dumpling dish with okra. Everything seemed like it was going to turn out great, I was very optimistic! But the recipe was quite imprecise, so I knew from the beginning that it was a leap of faith. In the end, the dumplings were hideously gummy, so I fished them out and served the okra with the thick tomato sauce. Not the worst thing anyone's ever eaten, but I surely won't bother trying again either. Oddly though, my dad loved it.
Suzanne (an authentic Australian) and Greg brought cucumber sandwiches and Vegemite sandwiches. Whoa!
Aunt Sara was representing India, and brought a delicious pot of Red Lentil Dal.
I made a delicious batch of Chinese Almond-Sesame Cookies. Mmmmm.
These are the "Chickpeas with Charmoula" from "Healthy Hedonist" - really powerful flavors. Garlic, paprika, cilantro, parsley, cumin... smoky, pungent, and with a touch of heat. Very nice!
Yer basic Middle Eastern Salad.
One more stunning recipe from "Healthy Hedonist" - Turkish Tomato Salad. I'll definitely make this again, it was superb. Walnuts, olives, scallions, cherry toms, jalepeno, toasted walnuts, and a few other goodies - with a lovely pomegranate molasses dressing. Wow, what a decadent combination of flavors.
I know there are all sorts of political concerns about China and such, but I am a serious sucker for the Olympics. I completely love the Parade of Nations, and watching the tiny teams come from small countries in their beautiful native outfits... it's just such a lovely display of humanity and good will. And our party was lots of fun too!