Friday, February 21, 2014

Olympic Brunch

This post will be our final post as relates to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. It's been a fun run and I'm a little sad (and a little happy too) that the games are coming to a close.

As I explained previously, each member of our family chose a team other than the U.S.A. to root for during the games.  Jonathan chose Norway, I chose Canada, Bookworm1 chose China, Bookworm2 chose Great Britain and Bookworm3 chose S. Korea.

I drew each country's flag and the kids colored them in. We made score cards and put them on our kitchen wall. This picture is about a week old. The current standings (for our family) are:

1. Norway who is in 1st place.
2. Canada is in 5th place.
3. China is in 11th place.
4. S. Korea is in 15th place.
5. Great Britain is in 19th place.

Winner gets to chose the restaurant for our family to eat out at in the coming week. Canada needs to get their game on in these final days and that's all I have to say about that!

We also invited several other friends and family to chose countries to compete against us with. Each person made their own flag and we've placed them on a different wall.

Then, because I think every activity such as this one is more fun if you include lots of other people, I asked a friend to host an Around the World in 80 Minutes (at the Kitchen Table) Olympic Lunch with me. She was all for it, so we made a plan and invited a crew of friends over to share a meal. Each person was responsible to bring an ethnic dish from the country they are/were supporting during the games. The kids colored pictures of the world with different peoples represented, one friend brought over her collection of world currency and, of course, there was FOOD!

The menu included:

  • Korea - Chop Chey, Kimchi, Korean sweet potatoes, Mondu (potstickers), Bracken Fern (and an assortment of other things)
  • Norway - Cheeses
  • Italy - Pasta dish with basil and garlic, biscotti
  • Thailand - Panang Curry, Yellow Curry and rice
  • Czech Republic - Meringue cookies, rye bread
  • France - Croissants 
  • Ireland - Colcannon
  • England - Twinnings peppermint tea, Bangers and Mash

Here are some pictures of the deliciousness:

The Olympics really proved an excellent excuse to throw a party. I know I wasn't alone in enjoying the opportunity to try dishes from other countries (that I didn't have to make). Since everyone chipped in with a different dish, the work was nicely spread around and we all got to try something different. I love that my kids are being exposed to different sorts of foods, as already they are way less picky eaters than I was as a child. They really got into the idea of the party and were happy to try any number of odd-ish looking things.

Then, simply, fellowship over food is just a blessing any which way you look at it. Did throwing such a party involve work? Well, I suppose you could say so. But anything worth doing requires a little effort and the rewards in this case are actually quite priceless.

My friend who hosted with me prepared a True/False quiz for our guests to participate in. She hunted down facts about each of the countries being represented in the meal and we had to guess whether the information was true or otherwise. That proved a fun and entertaining way to learn about the different countries.

For our second game we scored each of the dishes which we tasted (giving each dish a score between 1-10, with the highest score being declared the winner). The winning dish was brought by our friends who made all of the Korean food from scratch. The Mondu (Potstickers) won a total of 144 points and were off the charts delicious.

We had such a fun time that I think we're going to have to make this an annual Olympic event for our friends and family. However, I've got to agree with the other guests who said that we shouldn't wait for the Olympics to try something like this again.

I really do love the Olympic games! And you know what? I have my mom to thank for that. When I was growing up she always made a big deal out of the Olympics. She had each member of our family chose countries to root for and we also kept track of medals growing up. I'm definite proof that the things you chose to celebrate with your family will make an impression and have an impact!

Life is exciting! Celebrations should be a regular part of it. Should you grow weary at the thought of putting a little effort into making something memorable, just think to yourself that your efforts will have lasting effect . . . on any number of generations.

I'm pleased beyond words to say that my mom was at this Olympic Brunch, representing the Czech Republic, for the love of celebration and competition with her grandkids! How fun is that?! As I say - priceless!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

This is just wonderful, Carrie! Thanks for the inspiration!

*carrie* said...

Great ideas, Carrie. Nathan's been really into watching the games, and I wish I'd been more proactive in augmenting it with some of these kinds of activities. Noted for summer 2016!

Mark Baker said...

Sounds like it has been a blast. Like you, I'm a little sad to think of the Olympics being over yet relieved at the same time.

Monica said...

You should be into party planning or something like that. Between your Anne party and this, you have done a super job! Fun times!

Shonya said...

Love, love, love everything about this! It's great that this is something you can share in your relationship with your mom and continue a family tradition with her. Wishing we lived closer to one another so we could have come too! :)

Cassandra said...

That looks like a LOT of fun! I'm all over the idea of trying foods from all over the world. I love potstickers! And I really, really want to learn how to make kimchi. We buy it from the Asian market but I want to make my own.

BerlinerinPoet said...

Oh I bet this was SO fun! That's really fun that your mom did this and you're doing it now. I love memories like this being passed on.

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