As the 2014 Sochi Olympics come to an end, it's wonderful to reflect on the triumphs and disappointments of the last 2 weeks, and to realize that no matter what part of the world we live, or come from, we are all human! We ALL have dreams, goals, and aspirations; and there's nothing more important than giving children the support and resources necessary to help them become these future Olympians, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, parents, etc.
Today, I was blessed to celebrate "World Thinking Day" with my girl scouts, and fellow "sisters" who are some very amazing women I have come to know over the last few years! The Northern MI University Campus Girl Scouts organized a wonderful event for the troops. To coincide with the Olympics, each troop was to represent a different country, (and yes- there was even an "opening ceremony"!), in providing a booth with information, ethnic food to sample, and to do a song or skit....so much fun!! At the turn of the 19th century, a man by the name of Lord Robert Baden-Powell & his wife Olave Baden-Powell founded "Boy Scouts" in Great Britain, (which is the couple responsible for today's scouting movement!), and 2/22 was both their birthdays! So to honor them, their birthday has become known as "World Thinking Day"- a day celebrated by scouts around the world to "think" about our brothers and sisters worldwide, and to focus on solving the humanitarian needs and problems in our own communities, countries, and other parts of the world!
So, what does this have to do with food you ask? Well, as I mentioned, each troop had to bring food for tasting to represent their chosen country, and as picky as kids can be, this is such a great opportunity to open their minds, (and taste buds), to foods they may not normally eat! The girls tried food/beverages from Russia, China, Mexico, Norway, Greece, Great Britain, and Jamaica!! Our booth was "Mexico", so I made sopapillas for the girls to try, (and ran out!) And there were things they really liked, and some things they didn't, and that's what it's all about- the EXPERIENCE!! 2 years ago, the girls voted to learn about Japan, so we got some crab sushi from the "Temaki & Tea", and surprisingly....almost ALL of the girls liked it! Last year, they voted to learn about Malawi, Africa. We had potato wedges & salsa with iced tea, and learned about the poverty levels there and how using our "Rice Bowls" to collect change during Lent- goes to fund such hunger efforts worldwide. The sky is the limit when it comes to the educational opportunities for this type of event. Not everyone is adventurous in trying cultural or regional cuisines as a family, (and may not have the funds to do so), so that's why it's so important as volunteers, teachers, etc., to give children these opportunities to try something new outside of the home. (Just be aware of food allergies of course!)
So, whether you are a scout or not, celebrate your heritage or ancestry by trying an old family recipe, don't be afraid to try something new at the next party you attend, venture to the new ethnic restaurant in town.......you just might discover your next favorite food! Cheers to new adventures, and happy "World Thinking Day"!