December 2012 Archives

Board Member Weighs In

Gracie Cavnar
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Deanna.jpgRecipe for Success Foundation's Science Advisory Chair, Dr. Deanna Hoelscher has measured a small decline in obesity rates among fourth graders in the El Paso, Texas area -- results that had her doing a double take.  Dr. Hoelscher was one of several scientists capturing these trends in cities large and small that have had broad sets of anti-obesity measures in place over a number of years.  Read the entire New York Times story.

My Favorite Holiday Food

Lauren Ballard
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Jacqueline Marroquin pic.png

Congratulations to our 2012 Journalism Contest winner, Jaqueline Marroquin, from Whittier Elementary!

Guatemalan Tamales, by Jaqueline Morroquin

It's Christmas time!  And you know what that means... It's time to make some delicious Guatemalan Tamales.  My mom is from Guatemala and all her family gets together during the holidays and celebrates with food and gifts.  In American, our relatives come together to celebrate every holiday.  Every year, we always make tamales from Guatemala.  It was made from more than three thousand years ago from the Mayan culture.

They smell like bananas and are wrapped with banana leaves. They look rectangular shaped and forest green when their covered. When you unwrap them, they look like porridge or grits.  They have a mushy mashed potato taste, only better because they are made of white rice.           

There are three major ingredients to make a tamale.  The first is rice, the second is recado (Guatemalan gravy), and the third is chicken.  I will list all of my ingredients. I got these from my Aunt Irma.  This recipe will feed about 40 people.

For the rice: 10 pounds of white rice, a gallon of hot water, 1 liter of oil and salt. Banana leaves.

For the recado: tomatoes, pepitoria seeds, ajonjolin seeds, dried chily, onions, tomatillias.

For the chicker: 2 whole chickens, comino spice, cebollo, tomate.

(All of these things are cooked separately. At the end they are all combined.

To prepare the rice, the first thing you do is heat the water to boiling. Then before you put the rice in the water, you ground it. In Guatemala, they use a big stone to grind the rice.  Here in the U.S. we use a blender.  OPnce you grind the rice, you can boil it.  Then you put in the salt and the oil.  It is very important that you stir with a big wooden stick all the rice or else it will burn and turn black.

To prepare the recado is easy.  You get all the ingredients for the recado and you put them in the blender and mix them. That was easy.

For the chicken: You cook the chicken for 1 hour and throw in all your spices.  Set aside when that is done.

Once you've cooked the rice, prepared the recado and cooked the chicken, then follow the steps:

  1. Place banana leaf on top of aluminum foil.
  2. Put rice on top of banana leaf.
  3. Place a piece of chicken on top of rice.
  4. Put recado (gravy) on top of chicken.
  5. Wrap the tamale in the banana leaf.
  6. Do this to all the tamales and put them in a pot.
  7. Heat tamales for 2 hours.
  8. Eat and enjoy your Christmas Guatemala Tamales!!!

Congratulations to our school finalists:

Ivan Angel, MacGregor Elementary

Nathaniel Cabrera, Shadow Oaks Elementary

Cristal Gonzalez, Field Elementary

Estefania Huerta, Rodriguez Elementary

Noah Martinez, Lyons Elementary

Sarahi Perales, Briscoe Elementary

Olga Robles, Scarborough Elementary