Around The World Feast

We celebrated our homeschool year coming to an end with an Around the World Feast this year.  My plan was to try foods from each of the seven continents and play some geography games too.  We always have a Start of Term Feast and an End of Term Feast to celebrate school.  I just love the idea of celebrating our learning and growth, and I’m constantly searching for things to do that create excitement for school.  This year we did a lot of country studies using our World Explorer Journals, so our Around the World Feast theme was a perfect fit. {Shout out to the ladies in the Layers of Learning Homeschoolers Facebook Group who helped me decide on a theme!}

The Decor

The decor was easy!  I just grabbed our giant world map off of our school room wall to place over the table.  Our globe became our centerpiece.  I used blue and green plates and napkins to go with the “world” colors.  The only thing I had to buy was a set of small flags.  We had several vases of flags sitting around, and I also put a flag at each place setting.  These are the flags we bought (affiliate link).

The Set-Up

I knew this feast would provide its biggest challenge in the actual set up.  Cooking seven dishes, one from each of the seven continents, is tough, but making sure all seven things are hot and ready at the same time is even tougher.  I made sure to have all of the decorations and games in place first.  Then I prepared our buffet line with all of the empty dishes ready to be loaded with food.  I set out everything that didn’t need to be cooked first, chopping up the fruit and setting out little goodies I bought.  Then I made a cooking zone with stations:

  • the crock pot had been cooking South American pork and black beans
  • the griddle was set up for North American pancakes and South American arepas
  • the stove had European ravioli and sauce along with Asian dumplings and the Asian sauces
  • the fryer was set up by the cutting board for fried plantains
  • the blender had my “Antarctic Icee”
  • And both ovens were full too – of Australian pavola, mini tacos, and orange chicken

Everything had to be ready at once, so I spent a lot of time prepping and making sure all of the batters were mixed and everything was set.  I made several things the day before so I could just heat them up for the feast.  The pavlova had to bake for about an hour, so once I put it in the oven, I started cooking everything else.  With all of the prep work, everything went off without a hitch.  It was all ready at the same time just as my little feasters arrived.   Phew!

I made a section of the buffet line for each continent, and then my family had to guess which foods were from which continents before they could eat.  They unrolled the scrolls on their plates to reveal the menu and check their answers.

Around the World Feast Menu

Here’s a little tour of what we tasted from each continent.  This was what was inside their scrolls on their plates:

North America

I made mini pancakes with maple syrup to represent North America.  (Smaller versions of the foods was the idea, so we could taste everything without getting too full.  We got awfully full anyway though . . . so much food!)  I also picked up some cajun cheese curds so they could try a North American flavor they’ve never had before.  They were a hit, and now my kids think I should buy them all the time.

South America

I tried something I’ve never made before from South America – arepas.  They are kind of like little corn flour pancakes that you top with meat.  Often people actually fill them, sandwich style, but I was trying to make small portions, so I left the tops off.  Mine were not pretty, but they were sure tasty!  We had Pork and Black Beans on top that I cooked in the crock pot all day long.  I added the black beans straight into the crock pot too, so it would all cook together and be ready without me having to do anything extra.  The white sauce is just crema.  And each person got a mini taco too – because I wasn’t sure how the arepas would turn out!  They were actually wonderful though, and my whole family begged me to make them again.

Europe

We traveled to Europe as a family this year, visiting several countries.  Everywhere we went, we saw Nutella and were served cold cuts to be eaten with a fork, not on a sandwich.  They ate so many helpings of cold cuts and Nutella on that trip that I knew I had to pay homage to it!  I also made ravioli with meat sauce (I added Italian sausage to the sauce and topped it with lots of fresh parmesan cheese).

Asia

To represent Asia, we had orange chicken and Chinese dumplings.  My parents lived in China for a few years and learned to make delicious dumplings.  Yummo.  These can be made ahead and then reheated, so that’s what I did.  I just waited until the end to add the sauces.

Africa

From Africa, we had fruit!  I served mango (which was new for my kids), melon, and fried plantains (also new).  The plantains were amazing.  I dusted them with cinnamon sugar to make the sweet plantains version.

Australia

Australia’s offering was the number one absolute favorite.  Some of the ladies from Australia in our Layers of Learning Homeschoolers Facebook group told me to make pavlova to represent Australia.  I feel like I’ve been missing out my entire life!  It’s right up there with cheesecake in my book!  SO good.  I made small, personal sized ones, and they still turned out bigger than I expected.  They really grow in the oven!  We topped ours with whipped cream and strawberries.  Every bite was just light and fluffy heaven in my mouth.

Antarctica

To represent Antarctica I used my blender to make a conconction of Blue Raspberry Punch and lots of ice that I crushed until very fine.  It made an Icee creation.  Here is it in the blender near the read-to-be-fried plantains.

The Games

Geography games were a perfect fit for our theme, so I planned out 4 little activities to liven up the feast.  As everyone came in they had to find their flag at their place setting and identify the country it belonged to.  They used a little flag chart we have and found each person’s flag.  Knowing the country was their “admission” to the feast.

The second game was during dinner.  Each person’s cup had two geography quiz questions – one green and one blue.  They asked the questions out loud and everyone tried to guess the answer.  I put the answers on the bottoms of the cups so they could check to see who was right.

The third game actually came just after we ate.  We played Around the World Animal Headbands.  Each person had 3 animals cards under their plate.  Without looking, they put the cards, one at a time, into their headbands and had to try to guess their animal by asking only yes-or-no questions.  Here’s a link to the game, made by National Geographic (affiliate link).

And our last game was Geography Scattergories.  It wrapped up our feast celebration.  Here’s the printable game if you’d like to give it a try.

Good Fun and Good Food

Between the amazing food from all over the world and some fun geography games to review what we learned this year, it was a perfect Around the World Feast, and a perfect way to say goodbye to another school year!

More From Layers of Learning

Here are a few more of our fun celebrations throughout the year.

And we hope you’ll go visit our catalog and see how we make learning in our homeschool about as much fun as our parties!

 

 

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