Keeping with the English theme, our menu includes:
– Classic whiskey sausage appetizers with Union jack flag toothpicks
1 1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup grated onion (approx 1/2 medium onion)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 pounds smoked sausage (two 16 oz. packages)
1. Combine the ketchup, whiskey, brown sugar, onion, and oregano in medium saucepan. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the sausages into 3/8-inch rounds. Brown sausage in large frying pan. Use slotted spoon to transfer browned sausage into roasting pan or baking dish, straining off the grease.
3. Pour the sauce on the sausages in the roasting pan or baking dish. Stir to combine. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until sausages reach internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
Makes about 21 servings; one serving is 4 sausage rounds with sauce.
– A fish and chips entree with a twist of lemon and tartar sauce
– A collection of freshly brewed teas is a nod to British roots and goes great with homemade raisin crumpets
– Why not honor two great sporting events and serve the signature dish of the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament? Strawberries and sweet cream is a light summery dessert.
Serving up a selection of British drinks adds to the themed festivities:
– Pimm’s No. 1 liqueur
– Mix for cocktails such as Pimm’s cup with fresh watermelon or cucumber
– Ginger ale or beer is classically British
– Cider is a non-alcoholic option
Decorations and Activities
Decorative nods to the games include colorful Olympic rings bunting and British flag accessories. Coordinate serving ware in red, white and blue to show support for Team U.S.A. International accents around the house such as national banners and the national anthem playing are also festive additions.
For younger guests, host a medal ceremony for best British costume, MVP athlete, and most dedicated fan. Plastic gold medal ribbons are sold at local stores and such a ceremony is a fun activity to “honor” your guests!
Who to Watch
Continue the festivities throughout the games, which last until August 12, by tuning in to watch the most anticipated sporting events. After Men’s Swimmer Michael Phelps’ record shattering appearance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the swimming events have gained popularity and will no doubt be a highlight of the games. Phelps is set to return in multiple events, but the 200 IM is the race to watch. On August 1, Phelps will compete against fellow American Ryan Lochte who is already a 2004 and 2008 Olympian medalist.
Although decorated Olympian Shaun Johnson recently announced her retirement from Women’s Gymnastics due to a knee injury, the sport remains one of the most watched events of the Olympics. Tune in to see Team U.S.A. go up against China and Russia in the medal count.
Track and Field
Jamaica’s Men’s Track and Field team member Usain Bolt was a three-time gold medalist in Beijing and currently holds the world record in the 100-meter race. He will be back competing in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4 x 100-meter relay race.
While it may be the biggest international sporting event, there are many local connections to the London Olympic games. North Shore natives will proudly represent Team U.S.A. in their respective events. Be sure to tune in and cheer on your fellow Chicagoans:
– Men’s Swimmer Matt Grevers is a Lake Forest native, a 2003 graduate of Lake Forest High School and a 2007 graduate of Northwestern University. Watch him in the 100-meter backstroke on July 29.
– Men’s Swimmer Conor Dwyer is from Winnetka and graduated from Loyola Academy in 2007. He went on to earn a degree from the University of Florida last year. Watch him compete in the 400-meter freestyle preliminaries on July 28. He is also a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay team with Phelps, Lochte, and Ricky Berens, who are set to swim on July 31.