Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Olympic Party Fun!

Last weekend we had a really super fun party to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. I am a huge Olympics fan. I'm not all into the nationalism-ra-ra bit so much, but I am very moved by getting to see people from all over the world cooperating and trying hard. I have a special soft spot for odd-ball countries and odd-ball sports, and there's nothing quite like an underdog athlete from a country I know almost nothing about, competing in a sport I never watch on TV. The whole thing just thrills me!

So, for a few years now, we've been having Opening Ceremonies parties, and this one was our best one yet! 

I invited a bunch of my friends & family and Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats invited a bunch of his tennis buddies too. The Party Rules are as follows: 
1) Each guest must decide in advance which country they will represent at the party
2) Each guest must bring a national dish from that country 
3) Bonus points for wearing national colors or national dress.

It wasn't all vegan - but I didn't photograph the non-vegan contributions! I was representing one of my favorite countries, my home-away-from-home, Italy! So, I made stuffed shells - stuffed with sauteed spinach, sauteed mushrooms, and tofu ricotta. YumTown.

I also made Bruschetta, because Bruschetta is always perfect and good at parties. 

My friend Jane was representing Jamaica, and made some Jerk Tofu and sauce, and then made little lettuce cups with tofu and veggies. They were so super good!

Max, representing France, arrived with two - still warm - loaves of amazingly glorious French Bread.  If I didn't love Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats so much already, I might run off with a man who could make bread like this. 

Kendra and Katie came in embroidered Mexican blouses and brought a big bowl of this wonderful Mango-Avocado salsa. I never make mango salsa, but I was gobbling this stuff like it was going out of style. I will have to ask her for the recipe. I loved it. ...

They also brought Jicama slices sprinkled with spices and lime juice. Such an easy and delicious snack!

Those Mexican gals were really busy, and brought this corn-pepper-tomato combo that was very summery.

My aunt came representing Peru, wearing an authentic Peruvian hat, the national colors, AND brought this great dish of Quinoa and Black Beans!

Sophia came from Senegal (where she actually lived for a semester in college!) and brought this really super Peanut Vegetable Stew. I loved this dish - the veggies made it feel light, but the peanutty sauce made it feel hearty. I went back for seconds!

Believe it or not, my dad made something! He was representing Ireland and brought mashed potatoes that he made all by himself! 

My mom was representing Ukraine (after our recent trip there), and made some very very delicious Compote, using a dry fruit mixture that our friend Olga gave us when we were leaving Ukraine. It was really, really delicious and a total hit!

I had a bag of special fruit and veggie chips from Vietnam in my pantry, so this party was a great chance to try them out and share them around. Jackfruit chips!

We were wondering if anyone would represent the good ol' US of A, and luckily Karen showed up with a beautiful Green Salad - which is always a great thing to bring to potluck dinner. Plus, I loved her little Hawaiian salad servers.

Here's my first plate... loaded up with deliciousness. Of course I went back for more. Also, I forgot to photograph Mr VE&T's delicious Croatian wafer cookies that he brought. Mmmm.

After dinner, the Games Began! We had a few different games, including a staring contest (check out the intensity!)...

... and a very goofy heel-toe race. We competed in heats, with winners advancing...

... And of course Medals were awarded. I printed out images of the actual medals and adorned them with long ribbons. It was so fun!

After all that, we settled into the living room to watch the opening ceremonies (which we had started recording, so that we could fast forward through all the commercials!). It was a really super fun party!

What country would you represent? And what dish would you bring?


9 comments:

  1. how fun!!! oh my gosh that looks like a blast! i love the lettuce cups! so delicious!

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  2. what a fun idea! all of the food looks amazing! i wish i thought of a fun idea like this. well..now i know what kind of party i'm throwing in 4 years!

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  3. How I would love to go to a party like this. I may just have to have one, too, with all credit to you! You know how to party!

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  4. What a great party! That looks like a wonderful spread of dishes, I'd love to try them all. Now I'm trying to think of the dishes I would bring if I were to represent my own country (the Netherlands). Most of the things I would consider national dishes aren't really things I like to eat this time of year, (mostly thick, heavy soups and mashed potatoes) so I'd probably go with desserts! Maybe speculaas or poffertjes or apple pie.

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  5. I feel EXACTLY the same way about the Olympics! I was enthralled when I saw an Iraqi woman competing in one of the track & field events. I wonder if that's a first?

    I'd probably represent France with a ratatouille or maybe India with a kitchari.

    I wonder if Max is single and willing to relocate to LA? ;)

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  6. This looks like such a fun time! Great idea! I like the little menu cards, so that everyone can immediately know if something is vegan or not. It saves missing out on a yummy dish because it was assumed it had animal products in it. It would be hard to choose, but I think I'd be Ethiopia, India, or Greece. Yummy food options abound! I'm sure Mr. VE&T is breathing a big sigh of relief that you aren't going to leave him for a man who can bake bread. :)

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  7. I wish I had thought of such a fun idea for the Olympics. Maybe in 2 or 4 years! :) Well, the vegans sure did a good job because that all looks great. I haven't had a chance to watch any this year, beyond seeing bits in waiting rooms and restaurants.

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  8. This is brilliant! I don't entertain as often as I'd like, but this is always the kind of party I envision having, with games and everything. What a fun group of people you are!

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  9. Oooo I had those dried fruits while I was in Vietnam, the packaging stating 'contains some kinds of fruits and vegetable oil' mmm Jack Fruit. great post about the Olympics party!

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