History of Food: Pasta

The first form of food similar to pasta was in the writings of Horace where thin strips of dough were fried and served with spices in the 1st century B.C.E. A few centuries later, we see an ancient ancestor of modern day lasagna come out in the form of lagana. It was described to be consisted of sheets of dough with meat filling in between. In the second century, the dough started to be made with flour and water instead of juice from lettuce. Later, Arabs adopted a similar form of noodle in the 5th century and lead to the Italians making thin strip noodle pasta.


If we jump to the 15th century, dried pasta was very valued because it could be stored for very long periods of time.That’s why many exploring ships brought dried pasta to the New World. Believe it or not, tomato sauce was only invented in the 18th century! Before this, people would just eat pasta with their hands. Now, people eat it with forks because the tomato would get too messy without it.


Today, the average Italian eats about sixty pounds of pasta per year, while the average American eats about twenty pounds of pasta per year. Writings suggest it originated in Italy, but why is it popular in North America? It’s because Italian immigration to the Americas that we love pasta so much. Italians have also had a mass immigration to South Africa, making spaghetti and meatballs a major part of Italian cuisine.


Do you like pasta? How do you eat yours? Comment, if you want, I guess.


Child Soldiers

Child soldiers are innocent prisoners, stuck in a jail for something they didn’t do
Their camps are cells and their attacks are punishment
What did they do to deserve this?
They won’t get the chance to live their lives
Forever having to do deal with the pain from their unfair past

After many years, they are freed of their miserable world
As they try to go back to their normal lives, the memories come back
People staring and stereotyping them everywhere they go
But they don’t mind, because they have escaped
They have gotten a second chance at life.

Angkor Wat: The World’s Largest Religious Monument

Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap Province in Cambodia, is the world’s largest religious monument. “Angkor” comes from Sanskrit and means “city” while Wat is Khmer for “temple.” Cambodians are usually referred to as Khmer people and Thai are referred to as Siem. So, the name Siem Reap means “Thai Defeat,” but that’s another story. Angkor Wat also appears on the national flag of Cambodia.

Angkor Wat was originally built in the 12th century by king Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. It was a dedication to Vishnu. Later, in the 16th century, Buddhism took over and Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple. The Buddhists tried to paint the giant wall mural depicting several scenes from Hinduism and in some parts, you can actually touch the carved stone on the mural.

Angkor Wat lies on an island 1km x 1.5km with a 1 km wide moat on all sides. There are two entrances: the front in the west and the back in the east. Angkor Wat, unlike most temples, faces to the west instead of the east to signify that Suryavarman was intending to be buried there. Inside the temple, there is a central point where you can see in all four directions, many intricate and sometimes unfinished carvings, and a big central tower which was the king’s tomb. The central has really steep stairs that you could be afraid of going up and down.

Overall, Angkor Wat is a great place and has a lot of extra history and details to it, and it is also a great tourist destination.

Hehe, It’s a Lizard!

I took this picture of a really cool lizard in Cambodia.

Gods Versus Demons

This picture was taken by the wall mural in Angkor Wat. If you look closely, the ones facing to the right are different from the ones facing to the left. The gods are facing to the right and the demons … Continue reading

Khmer BBQ

I took this picture in Cambodia of a Khmer hot pot barbecue. They give you all the raw ingredients and you cook them yourself.

The History of Food: The Best of the Best: ICE CREAM!

The earliest known form of ice cream was in the Persian Empire when grape juice concentrate was poured on top of snow for a treat when it was hot outside. People have been doing this for centuries. Sorbet is said … Continue reading

The History of Food: Escargot

Ewwwww… escargot. These creatures are a treat for the French, but we think of it as being disgusting. These are snails that have gone through heliculture and have been stuffed back into their shells with garnishes. Years ago, in ancient … Continue reading

The Chocolate War Review

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, was a great story about corruption and rebellion.  Every year, Trinity High School has a chocolate sale to make some additional money for the school.  This year’s sale is extra important though, because it could be the difference between one of the main antagonists, Brother Leon, getting a promotion and losing his job.  The general consensus is that you just sell your chocolates and don’t make trouble.  There is extra motivation to follow the rules this year because the school’s evil secret society, The Vigils, are helping Brother Leon to sell the chocolates.  The main character, Jerry, a student at Trinity, is a freshman with very few friends.  He doesn’t like the way that things are working at Trinity with The Vigils and Leon being very powerful.  With that in mind, he decides not to sell his chocolates.  Normally, this would not be a very big deal, but Leon needs to sell every chocolate he can because he paid out of his own pocket for half of the chocolates.  After Jerry begins to rebel, other students begin to rebel as well.  With a massive decline in sales, Leon and The Vigils have to go to incredible lengths to sell their chocolates.  The results of their actions are disturbing, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what really happens.

Photo Credit: NPR

Photo Credit: NPR

Overall, I thought that The Chocolate War was very well written.  I enjoyed the story and thought that the characters were very interesting and that they truly grabbed my attention.  Also, I think that the book had a very good lesson on corruption and learning where to fight the power and where to follow the unwritten rules.  The ending of the story was satisfying to me, and I think that it fit the rest of the book.  I would recommend this book to all young adult readers, and to many adults, especially teachers.

Tips for a Happy, Healthy Life

Photo credit: Imapixhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lesec/26024300/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Photo credit: Imapix

Everyone wants to be happy, and you are happy if you are healthy, and you are healthy if you are happy!  So the question is, how do you stay healthy? Well here are 7 tips to have a healthy, happy life.

1. Get a good night’s sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to having a healthy life. A good night’s sleep can help you learn things, live longer, be more creative, and leading into the next tip, reduce your stress.

2. Reduce your stress. We all have stress, and we all know that stress can be, well, stressful. Stress can make you worried, sad, see only negatives, and have nausea. To avoid stress you can practice positive thinking, don’t procrastinate, and just take a breather.

3. Listen to music. Listening to music can really relax you. Music can also help you find your happy place where you are at peace with everything.

4. Read. Similar to music, reading can help you relax and figuratively transport you to another (hopefully stress-free) universe.

5. Eat dessert! Dessert is a small but very important part of being happy. If you think that you can’t eat that chocolate cake because you think you would look fat, then you’re wrong. When you eat dessert you’re happy. And trust me, you will be more fat when you aren’t happy then when you are.

6. Laugh. Laughter is the best medicine! Laughing can take your mind off of things and can let you have just a really fun time.

7. Relax.Sometimes, in this chaotic world of ours, we forget to just take a breather. Relaxing can just calm you down until you experience true happiness, which is the best feeling of all.

I hope this list will help you become a happier and healthier person. Continue reading