For those of you visiting Jesus & My Orange Juice for this first time, this is a serious departure from the typical post. So please join me again Monday when we will return for our regularly scheduled programming. Now onto the fanfare of fan fare...
All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble...
A few notes in I recognize its call. The invitation is one part patriotism, one part dream and one part the impossible. The melody summons me to the opening ceremony. Each year I would pretend I stood among the participants. What little kid doesn't dream of competing in the Olympics?
The most common question I heard asked about the Olympics is the symbol of the rings. The five colors stand for the five major continents. In this configuration the Americas are combined and Antarctica overlooked (maybe the Olympic committee thought residents there couldn't thaw out in time). They symbolize the world drawing together in competition. We want to punctuate our kickoff watch party tonight with the colors of all five rings:
Black - Africa
Green - Australia
Red - the Americas
Gold - Asia
Blue - Europe
This is our evening fan fare (complete with recipes for your convenience).
African Crockpot Chicken (The Black)
5 frozen chicken breast
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's creole seasoning
freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste
Place oil and vinegar in bottom of crockpot. Place chicken breasts on top. Cover with water until almost covered. Shake seasonings on top. Cook on low 8-10 hours.
Aussie American Salad (The Green and the Red)
10 oz fresh spinach
1 quart sliced strawberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon minced onion
Mix all dressing ingredients well. Add to salad just prior to serving.
Asian Fruit (The Gold Ring)
1 fresh pineapple cut into chunks.
The easiest way to cut up a fresh pineapple is to first remove the top and bottom. Then cut four pieces around the core which is too tough to eat. Slice off the remaining skin. Chunk and enjoy!
European Jello (The Blue Ring)
Buy a box of blue raspberry jello. Make it according to the package directions.
For dessert we will make my sister's famous frosted sugar cookie recipe which I am not at liberty to share. We will frost them white and then use sugar crystals in the five colors to make an Olympic colored ring on each cookie.
Tonight we will anticipate and celebrate. True the Olympics only come around once every two years but I'm a big deal of tonight not because of the games. The competition is just an excuse to draw my family close, to paint my table with all the colors of my love and to make this ordinary day an extraordinary reason to celebrate God's goodness.
What's your favorite part of the Olympics? Do you have any special family traditions. Share them with me in a comment!