Peru has earned a reputation for having one of the best cuisines in South America and this weekend I learned that for myself.
On the invitation of family members, I visited a lovely woman who lived in Lima, Peru with her husband and three small daughters for five years during the 1960s while her husband worked on a nutrition project. During her time in Peru, Mrs. Placko learned how to prepare many dishes that have come to be favorites in her family.
In this short clip, Mrs. Placko is assisted by a KidCulture chef in preparing lomo saltado, a beef stir fry that is eaten throughout Peru.
In addition, Mrs. Placko made delicious potatoes that accompany most Peruvian meals as well as a fantastic salad known as causa. Causa resembles the French salade nicoise but it is topped with an olive oil and onion dressing that is unlike anything I’d ever eaten. Causa is also well-loved for its mashed potato balls.
For dessert, we feasted on flan and alfajores (you might remember them from our Christmas Cookie extravaganza).
Here are some pictures to make your mouth water.
Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to recognize the contributions of women to societies around the world and the important work we have still to do to ensure equal access to health care, educational opportunities, and employment.
I first celebrated International Women’s Day as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso, West Africa. I worked with women in my village to coordinate a soccer match between two teams of women and a soccer match between two teams of my female students. We held a ceremony with lots of fantastic speeches (my French still wasn’t so great so I can only imagine the full impact of the oratory), and finally a dance in the evening. It was one of the most successful events of which I’ve ever been a part.
Although there have been many improvements made in women’s lives since 1911, many of the same issues persist – in the United States and around the world. In most of the world, women are still likely to make less money than their male counterparts. Women continue to struggle for equal access to – and authority over – their health care. Education is still a major issue for women.
So while women have won many of the same rights as men, the struggle for equality continues.
Filed under Holiday, Learn
For the past two weeks, Egyptians have been protesting in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, calling for the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s thirty years in power.
Close on the heels of a similar – but more quickly resolved – crisis in Tunisia, the situation in Egypt has been fascinating to watch on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and – oh, yes – the evening news and in newspaper accounts.
Those accounts have shown that children have been involved in the protests – almost from the beginning – and that they are playing a role in Tahrir Square as well as in their own homes, pushing their parents to join the protests.
This is not a revolution being waged by children, but it is clear that they have something to say – and it’s a great way to encourage greater understanding of power, politics, and personal freedom in your own children.
If you’d like more information on what’s happening in Egypt, read the Washington Post (yes, a daily newspaper) timeline here.
There are few better – or cheaper – ways to introduce your child to other cultures than through food.
With so many great ethnic restaurants, it’s easy for parents to get children accustomed to foods from different countries from an early age.
However, parents may be unsure of what to order that’s kid-friendly.
In honor of Chinese New Year, which runs February 3-15, over the next few days KidCulture will provide some suggestions to help parents choose food in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants.
In each of these countries, people celebrate Chinese New Year by sharing good food with their families and friends – and that’s a custom worth adopting.
So stay tuned for some fresh, fun, food ideas to help you introduce your child to other cultures.
Here are some suggestions for children’s books about Chinese New Year. Enjoy!
Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn, Cornelius Van Wright, and Ying-Hwa Hu
My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz
Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan! By Lauryn Silverhardt, Jason Fruchter, and Aka Chikasawa
Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub and Benrei Huang
The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale by Ying Chang Compestine and Sebastia Serra
Thanksgiving is celebrated in different ways around the world but many cultures (and countries) have a harvest festival where people give thanks for their crops.
In the United States, we’ve been celebrating some form of Thanksgiving celebrations since the Pilgrims. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday.
For many families, the centerpiece of the holiday is a meal shared with friends and family at which they remember – and give thanks – for all the good things in their lives. No matter what is served – turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and gravy are just some of the usual suspects – the point of the meal is to share it and give thanks.
In our family, we eat a traditional turkey dinner but we also play a game of either soccer or football (weather permitting). In the evening board games usually make an appearance. Every year we like to add a new element. This year, Betty Crocker’s Turkey Cupcakes made a wacky debut on the dessert table. They were as fun to decorate as they were to eat (I should know – I ate three!)
This year, I gave thanks not only for my family, my friends, and my jobs but also for these Turkey Cupcakes and the big laugh they gave me.