Monday, 25 May 2015

The Fun and Food of Eurovision 2015!

N.B.: Photo credits for all of the photos in this post go to Husband,
who took them using his iPad.

The Eurovision Song Contest has been a source of excitement in my house every May as far back as I can remember. Husband loves it as much as I do, and every year our festivities have become more and more elaborate. As has the Contest itself, blowing out to a three-night affair with an opening ceremony. This year, the 60th anniversary year, the contestants even came out marching behind their national flags, just like the Olympics! I haven't blogged about our activities before, but I just couldn't let it pass by this year, as Australia was allowed to compete for the very first time! To be honest, I had mixed feelings about this. Normally only countries that broadcast the Eurovision TV station are eligible to compete, and we are about as far away from Europe as you can get. But on the other hand, I was incredibly excited! So let me share how we celebrated Eurovision 2015 -- with food and drink!

Husband decided to go all-out with the drinks this year, and he decided to purchase this tabletop Kegerator, which holds a 5-litre keg of drink, cools it and keeps it fizzy. So we were able to pour drinks quickly and easily without having to get bottles of soft drink out of the fridge, mix them and all that mucking around. I highly recommend it if you're having a big party.
(Sorry this photo is a little fuzzy.)

We broke out the Shot Glass Roulette drinking game this year, which is basically what it says on the box. I'm not a huge drinker, so we alternated the shot glasses with mini chocolate bars. There were bottles of water on hand too, though I have to admit I forgot to alternate with water in the frenzy of spinning and drinking!
The second night, we set up the board again, but just worked our way through it from left to right. I couldn't eat very many of the chocolates though!
After all that, on the third night we just decided to drink at our own pace from the Kegerator.

Oh, I should probably mention that every third shot glass had non-alcoholic iced tea in it. Gone are the days of my youth when I could drink .... well, let's just say: more than I can these days!

As for the foods, we went with an all-Austrian menu for the whole weekend. I think this is the part we both enjoy the most -- researching national dishes, planning the menu, sourcing the ingredients, and of course cooking and eating!

On nights one and two, we ate Gulasch with cheese and herb Semmelknödel. Here is the Gulasch in the slow cooker before cooking:

Here it is with the Semmelknödel (dumplings) cooking on top:

Here it is, served up with some leftover chips that we had. Not entirely Austrian, but we don't like to throw anything away, and potatoes are a traditional accompaniment. They came up very well reheated in the oven:

We kept on the Austrian theme during the day as well, with Danishes (which Wikipedia assures me are actually Viennese).
I have to say, it was very satisfying walking into my local bakery and saying to the lady behind the counter, "I'd like all the Danishes, please!" Happily, they were all different flavours, so we got to try a variety.

This is breakfast on Day 3 -- a selection of cold meats and cheeses, with savoury pancakes. The condiments are fruit chutney and redcurrant jam. Breakfasts like these keep you full for the whole day! Husband and I found we only wanted a small snack mid-afternoon and we were set until dinnertime.

For the final, we tried a different dish for dinner -- a variety of sausages with a crusty roll, sauerkraut and pickled vegetables.

Obligatory glow stick wand:

Although eating a traditional Austrian diet for 3 days was fun, I certainly couldn't do it long term! I broke out in pimples for the first time in nearly a year, and the pickles and meats gave me recurring reflux. Though I admit, the alcohol probably had something to do with it...

Now, why were we doing all of this again? Oh yes, the Eurovision Song Contest! Well, Australia came 5th, which I think is an achievement to be proud of. I'm grateful that the people of Europe voted for our little song. Most of the other songs I like did well, so I'm happy with that. And next year we're off to Sweden again, for the second time in 4 years! Looks like a trip to the Ikea grocery store is in my future.

What to do now that the party is over? I think I might listen to all of the songs on YouTube again!

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