For a week or so the energy in the air around here has been palpable. My husband is a HUGE soccer fan and The World Cup has been much anticipated. Yesterday we hosted a small group of friends for a viewing of USA v. England. Our little band of die hard fans was as entertaining for me as the featured event. I snapped this photo without warning shortly after USA scored. Moments earlier there was such a loud outburst of celebration I bet folks across the street could hear it, though it's hard to tell from this photo. Instantly, those who were most focused on the game snapped right back into form. The group here is mostly an athletic bunch, and there are some who are VERY competitive. It is very entertaining to be around these wonderful personalities. Regretfully, I didn't catch everyone in this photo as some had gotten up to refuel after the goal. For those of you who didn't watch the game, England scored first, so the energy of my little party was rather subdued for some time until USA made it's tie-making goal. I loved witnessing the emotional shift in the room at that point.
Here's a shot of some of the food we nibbled at our futbol shindig. Our friends and neighbors are always very thoughtful and generous, pitching in to help in times like these. Nobody brought any meat products -- interesting . . . but there were a few dairy-based dips, and one lobster dip. I enjoyed some delicious salt-and pepper potato chips someone brought, but I personally went dipless for those. In the crock pot was what appeared to be a warm cheese dip that my dairy-eating friends enjoyed. I knew folks would be bringing food, so I provided mostly the kind of party food that I eat, but I put out plenty of that for everyone. There was spinach-artichoke hummus with pita chips -- that was a big hit. I refilled the bowl twice over the course of the party. I also put out some olive tapenade, little kosher dill pickles and large spanish olives. I rounded out my party provisions with storebought cookies (I know, I missed an opportunity to make my own delicious vegan cookies, but I was too busy cleaning my house for the party to cook). I did put out a very small plate of sliced cheese with crackers. It feels very strange for me to buy and serve cheese, but buying meat would have been worse. I know that the vegan diet is healthier and more karmically sound than other diets, and it is, without a doubt the right choice for me, but I also honor the fact that food choices are highly personal. All I can do is provide healthier alternatives for everyone and stand by my own choices for myself.