The Lit Maven

Throwing an Olympic Party

Posted on: July 30, 2012

After all the hype (including those magazine covers featuring an endless bounty of Olympic hopefuls), the Summer Olympics are finally here.  My family treats the Olympics like a treasure – we get emotional, sad, surprised, angered and proud.  We not only cheer for our American athletes, but those from our ancestors’ birthplaces as well.  We remember countries we have visited or have read about, and we cheer them on as well.  We have thrown parties for all kinds of events – babies’ christenings, engagements, the Eagles home opener,  graduations, Halloween, and, these days, for a Phillies win – any Phillies win.  This year, the Olympics has given us a really great excuse to not only celebrate the Olympic athletes, but to celebrate countries of the world.  My husband and I decided, on a whim, to invite a bunch of people over to the house for an Olympic party.  We had 23 people – friends from various paths of our life and some family members.  I asked each person/couple to bring a food dish from a country (other than the US).  This could be a country that was visited and loved; that the ancestors lived in and loved; that has some kind of a special meaning; that you read about, researched or have wanted to visit.  We offered the American fare – hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork bbq – along with wines from Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina.  The Margueritas were representative of Mexico. The cheeses?  Denmark, Switzerland, France, England and Greece.  What did people bring?  Italy – a magnificent Antipasta; Greece – cucumber and feta dip to die for; Germany – potato salad that was dreamed about by all, I’m sure; France – eclair pudding; Ancient Rome – Caesar Salad (is that stretching it a bit?  Were the Romans even invited to the Ancient Greek games?  Who cares?); US – apple pie; England – blueberry muffin cake – yum!  To add some Olympic clout, I made small flags attached to toothpicks and laid them around the tables.  Not every one of the 200 countries participating in the Olympics had flags in my house, but I tried to get as close as I could.  There was a slight downside:  some people could not decide what to bring – so many countries, so much delicious food, so much interesting culture – and only one dish!  Everyone made an effort, though, and it was well worth it.  There is another Olympic weekend coming up:  instead of following the Olympics by yourself on your SmartPhone, invite some friends over and watch with them.  You will be warmed by a lot of happy faces!

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