Sunday, August 14, 2016

Olympics KickOff Party!

olympics party
woooooot wooooot!
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! 

olympics party
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. 


olympics party
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. 


vegan, cantaloupe, aguafresca
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!

Olympic-level doggies! 


vegan, mango, jicama
Guatamala: Jicama, Mango & Mint Salad

Mr. VE&T's friend M. (representing Guatamala) brought a lovely mango & jicama salad. This was extra cool because M. isn't even a vegan, but he knows I am, so he brought a dish that he learned about when he took a "Vegetarian Cooking from Latin America" class. Isn't that neat? I loved this salad a lot!


vegan, teff love, ethiopian, injera
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! 


vegan brazilian, plantains
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. 


vegan, napolitanke
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. 

19 comments:

  1. Hey Amey - lovely post, as always. And, regarding Guinness - it might actually be vegan! I'm not sure if the transition has taken place, but in November Guinness announced it was going to do away with the isinglass finings as a clarifying agent, making the beer vegan... http://www.npr.org/2015/11/02/453885649/guinness-irelands-famous-stout-to-go-vegan

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    1. It looks like I jumped the gun a little early, but that's cool that they are changing it!

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  2. Sounds like so much fun. Loved it the last time I got to come! Maybe next time. ;-)

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    1. I wish you could have been there!!!

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  3. Yet another fantastic party chez VE&T! You're truly the best at putting up fun events. Thank you for sharing your always inspiring recaps!

    Like Erin, I'd seen the news last fall about Guinness intending to go vegan, but didn't know if it had happened already. I got curious and looked it up: as expected, Barnivore had the answer (http://www.barnivore.com/beer/26/Guinness) and it's still negative for most of their beers. They add, however, that «according to [Guinness] as of March 2016, "the plan is for the production of Guinness Draught to be vegan by the end of 2016, but there is no set date as of yet."» So you'll have to pass those bottles on to a non-vegan, but you might be able to get vegan Guinness for your next Olympics Opening Ceremony Party!

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    1. I'll have to find someone to claim all those beers - maybe I'll list them on Freecycle. Ha ha. Thanks for the kind words, I certainly do love a good party!

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  4. This sounds like so much fun! What a creative, imaginative celebration!

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    1. You are always welcome!! Just time one of your SC visits with an opening ceremony!

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  5. YES! All of your themed events throughout the year make me so happy. I LOVE THIS IDEA!! I'm glad someone brought those red lentils from Teff Love. That's my fave recipe from the book. I think it's even better than the same version of the dish that I get at our local Ethiopian joints!

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    1. ha ha, yay! Thanks for the enthusiasm. I agree, those lentils from Teff Love are totally great. It was pretty cool how so many of Musty's non-vegan pals asked about that recipe. Yeah!!

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  6. This is such a great idea for a party! I love it! That photo of people trying to get their lime through the zig-zag course made me laugh. And it sounds like you had a great time and many wonderful food selections. How fun!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth! The zigzag lime game was perfect. We always try to come up with "sports" that are funny, and fun, and where no one will get hurt, but still in some way maintain the competitve spirit. :)

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  7. Aaah Amey, this looks like so much fun! This is actually the first year that I've watched any Olympics ever and it's actually kinda fun! I'm not really into sports but I've definitely been digging gymnastics and white water rafting. Those Napolitanke wafers remind me of last years summer road trip, we found them all over the place and ate many, many packs.

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    1. I'm not really into sports either, but for whatever reason, I am a total NUT for the Olympics. I just love them so much. So many people from all over the world, working so hard... I love it.

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  8. aw I am so jealous of your fun theme parties! Whoever picked Ethiopia is a genius because Ethiopian food is the best of all! I also wondered, since you had Brazil, if you ever made the portobello feijoada from Viva Vegan? I've had my eye on it for a while and wondered if you liked it or not. Also I heard Guinness is going vegan, so don't beat yourself up! With Guinness you were representing Ireland too!! <333

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    1. hi kz! yeah, I"ve made the Portobello Feijoada from Viva Vegan. I liked it, but thought it was a little bland. I think it could just use a little more *kick* somehow. I almost made it for this party until I remembered this recipe instead. If you try it, let me know your thoughts!

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  9. You make the Olympics actually sound like fun!

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  10. I love this, so much fun! One of my friend's friends used to have annual olympics in their yard - you had to go in teams which were a little more loosely defined - we were team Denimark and all wore as much denim as we could, with a pair of jeans on a stick as our flag. It was great! Love to see some good old Bundaberg ginger beer there ;)

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  11. You guys are completely adorable! I love this idea =) It's so great that everyone represented a different country and brought food to honour it. And the games!! So fun. All of the food looks so delicious. I always super appreciate it when a non-vegan makes something vegan =)

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