Columbus Day is sometimes called Discoverers' Day. In the spirit of discovery, take some time to learn about the world as it was in the days of the European explorers. You can make a compass, learn about the stars, read about other explorers and discoverers, and find how even our way of eating has changed since the Europeans came to the Americas looking for gold, glory, and, yes, tasty cooking spices.
Pizza Without Tomato Sauce?
The explorers who came to the Americas found the food enjoyed by the native people to be very different from what they knew at home. They had never seen tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, maize (corn), pineapples, chili peppers, or even cocoa. The vegetable dishes from the Europe they knew relied on parsnips, cabbages, peas, carrots, turnips, and onions. After being at sea and living off of a diet of lentil soup, salt beef from a barrel, salted sardines, hardtack, and other delights, the fresh, new foods of the islands would have been an astonishing change.
Brimming with the fruits of the harvest, the cornucopia has become an important symbol of American Thanksgiving. Its origins go further back in time to the ancient Greeks. According to their myths, young Zeus gave his foster mother Amalthaea a goat's horn that could be filled with whatever she wished.
What wine goes with your life? What beer should you choose to enjoy the Sunday game with? Or what will you drink when your beloved family invades your house for the holidays? What if you were on a blind date? What about an outdoor concert? Or binge-watching Netflix?
If it's December, it's time for that familiar topic for reports: Christmas Customs Around the World. Fortunately, the library has a number of resources to help you.
First, of course, you need to find out something about the country you've been assigned to research. The World Book Encyclopedia or The World Almanac are good places to start. Here's where you can find out whether Christmas is even celebrated in your assigned country! The World Almanac (part of Student Edition) and other encyclopedias are also available online at no charge to CRRL card holders.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, calculated according to when the crescent moon is sighted.
During this entire month, adult Muslims do not eat from sunup to sundown. This is called fasting. In the evening, the day's fast is broken with a meal called iftar. Before the day's fast begins, Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor. When the month is over, Muslims celebrate a three-day holiday with feasting and gift exchanges, called Id-ul-Fitr (the Festival of Breaking the Fast).
Officially, May Day is the 1st of May, but really anytime during this splendid spring month is a perfect opportunity to share small gifts of the season with everyone: teachers; friends; neighbors; and family. You can do that with May baskets—a wonderful, old-fashioned tradition.
What's better than a store-bought valentine with your name on it? Add a little something sweet to make it a valentine to remember. Sure, you can buy pretty candy at just about any store this time of the year, but you can also get creative and make it yourself.
Your family does a lot for you: helping with homework, cooking your meals, and taking you to fun places. Why not give them a treat on Valentine's Day? A relaxing breakfast with a few special touches is a great way to show how much you love them.
For many people, the day after Halloween is the official kick-off of the holiday season. Lights are out in front of the mall, the stores put their holiday wares front and center, cookie recipes are dusted off, and children pull out a fresh sheets of paper for their wish lists. The season heats up even more on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as people start stressing out over gift lists, school events, and merry-making to-do lists.
For many other people, however, the holiday season is one of a different kind of stress. There is worry about the colder months and the heating bill, about not having enough money for gifts, or getting through the season without a loved one. This season, instead of perusing the “Hot Toys of 2015” lists, why not set a personal or family goal to make it truly a season of giving, rather than receiving?
Popcorn was grown by Native Americans long before the Europeans came to the New World. The Aztecs used it, strung into garlands, in their religious ceremonies. Peruvians toasted and ate their popcorn, which was called pisancalla. During the 1830's, it was "discovered" by American farmers who, using a new kind of plow, planted acres and acres of it during the 1850s. By the turn of the 19th century, popcorn vendors could be found in every big city. They'd sell their wares by the bag or the ball and make a profit of about 70 cents on every dollar!