my homemade Olympic medals
Last weekend we had our biannual Olympics Opening Ceremony Party. It's always a super fun party, and it even comes with rules. The rules are: each guest has to select a country to represent and then bring a dish from that country to the potluck. Also, you get bonus points if you wear the national colors. Then we have silly games and have actual awards ceremonies complete with the winner's chosen national anthem. The whole thing is excellently goofy.
Yummers loves the Olympics because it means extra snuggle time on the couch for him.
He is an Olympic snuggler!
fun and games
This year we added an exciting new element -- a relay up and down the street with a tiki torch! Of course we handed it off from one country to the next, and then after a good prance-about in the street, we ran into the backyard and lit a second tiki torch... let the party begin!
competitive rubber band shooting
We kicked off with a couple excellent sporting events: long-distance rubber band shooting in the driveway, followed by speed racing while using a golf club to propel an unripe lime down a zig-zag course. ha ha ha. Of course medals were awarded, anthems were played, podiums (aka step stool and bucket) were stood upon. It was excellent! Then it was time to eat and start watching the Opening Ceremonies & Parade of Nations.
International Selection of Drinks!
Of course you even need international drinks! I went to BevMo to look for a good selection of drinks. The thing is, I don't really drink alcohol, so I know truly nothing. I had to ask for help. Luckily I got a super helpful employee who was pretty awesome. The only dumb thing I did was that I bought Guinness beer (you can see it has been censored in the photo) - what a dummy! I just totally forgot that Guinness isn't vegan. I feel like a dope. And then no one at the party even drank it. ha ha. So, now I have 6 bottles of Guinness to get rid of.
Other than my vegan failure, the other things I got were fun and good:
Jamaican Grapefruit Soda, Aussie Ginger Beer (actually soda), Italian fizzy water, French lemonade, Belgian raspberry beer, Tahitian light beer, and some California wine.
Mexico: Cantaloupe Aguafresca
Representing Mexico, my pal K brought a super lovely Cantaloupe Agua Fresca -- it was just cantaloupe, water, a little bit of agave, and a little bit of lime juice. So delicious and refreshing!
Guatamala: Jicama, Mango & Mint Salad
Ethiopia: Spicy Red Lentils & Injera
Representing Ethiopia, my friend S. brought a huge beautiful pot of Red Lentils in a Spicy Sauce and some Quick Injera (both recipes from Teff Love!). These were both SO delicious and they were big hits at the party! Three people asked me who made this and where was the recipe from! woooot!
India: Southern Indian Curry
Great Britain: vegan Sausages
My two beloved aunties came to our party, which was great. Auntie L and her partner brought along a huge pot of a super delicious and veggieful South Indian-inspired stew with sweet potatoes, chickpeas, carrots, and more. Plus a giant bowl of cilantro for enthusiastic garnishing potential.
My Auntie S has some personal connections to Great Britain, and brought a long a big plate of Field Roast Sausages, to reflect the British appreciation for "bangers." YUM! There were just a few bits left over at the end of the night and since my auntie was heading out of town the next day, I inherited the leftovers. Lucky me!
Brazil: Black Bean Soup with toasted pepitas and baked plantains
As the party hostess, I also usually represent the Host Nation for the Olympics -- so this year that gave me Brazil! I made the Brazilian Black Bean Soup from 30 Minute Vegan's Soup's On... I've made this recipe several times before and it is really, really good. I don't usually make the special extras that the recipe suggests, but since this was a potluck and I felt like making the extra effort, this time I did: I made a double batch of baked plantain slices and a whole batch of spicy pepitas. Oh man. I'm not sure I'll skip these in the future -- especially the pepitas! -- since they really added a lot!
mom and dad's treats, in lieu of a photo
Not Pictured: My mom and dad came too -- but they had to be a little late and I forgot to snap pictures of their offerings. Bad daughter! My dad also chose to represent India and brought an excellent selection of frozen samosas and other Indian treats from Trader Joes. Good idea, dad! Those little samosas were very good! My mom was representing Greece (the original home of the Olympics!) and made a lovely platter of olives and dolmas and veggies -- it was a perfect compliment to the other dishes on offer.
America: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Croatia: ample supply of Napolitanke cookies
Happily - we had two visiting nations that elected to bring desserts, which was just perfect. Representing the good ol' USofA, my friend M. brought along a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. I'm not sure if I've actually ever had Strawberry Rhubarb Pie before, even though I've certainly heard all about it forever. It was so good! I loved the tanginess of the rhubarb and the super crumb topping!
Mr VE&T chose to represent Croatia, which is where his ancestry is from. So, he went to the Croatian market and picked up 3 boxes of Napolitanke wafer cookies. When we were in Croatia we ate SO MANY of these. Ha ha. Also **important** -- only the hazelnut cookies in the red box are vegan. The other two have milk or lactose or something like that. We actually had some non-vegans at our party (whaaa??!) but I didn't take pictures of their food for obvious reasons. Anyway, don't be sad that the other two flavors aren't vegan, Mr. VE&T said the hazelnut ones were the best ones anyway. Duh.
I'm already making plans for 2018
Bellies full, medals awarded, we watched the Opening Ceremonies and got started with the Parade of Nations... I just love the Parade of Nations, but it also goes on until about 2 in the morning... so at some point around the C's or E's, people started bowing out. It was great fun and I'm already looking forward to our next Olympics party 2 years from now.