Cooking and Nutrition : Tradition

Red envelops on the table, gathering of families, and delicious food everywhere, it is finally that time of the year again. Tet holiday is a traditional holiday that happens in Vietnam around the beginning of the year. It is a tradition that celebrates the start, and a new year that is ahead of us. A day filled with lots of laughter, beautiful colors and of course, being stuff with incredible food. This would probably be my favorite holiday ever.

Every Tet Holiday, my family would make a dish with lotus seeds. It is called Lotus Seeds Dessert Soup. This is something we have been making for a while now, and it is starting to become a tradition in our household. I think it contributes a lot to our family tradition, especially. Everyone would gather around the table at the end of meal, and share this dish. This was my grandma on my dad’s side recipe. She didn’t really have a recipe to follow, since she do everything by eye. But I manage and tried to write one down even though it has 4 ingredients. My grandma doesn’t make this dessert anymore, but now my mom have officially tooken over and make it for us instead. I think that this dish is very special to my family and I. I will try to continue to keep this tradition going. It is so simple to make and its such a refreshing dish to make in the hot days of Tet.

Lotus Seeds Dessert Soup Recipe

Ingredients :
1/2 kg of lotus seeds
1 L of water
A little more than 1/8 kg of rock sugar
3 slices of ginger

In a big sauce pan, pour both the rock sugar and water in and wait for it to come to a boil. After this, place all of the slices of ginger into the boiling water and wait for 1 to 2 minutes. At this point, you can taste the water to see if its sweet enough for your liking. A tip is that you should make the water a bit sweeter than your liking because you would add ice into this dish later on. It taste a lot better when its cold! Then you would poor in the lotus seeds and wait for it to be cook. Simple as that! A specific time to cook the lotus seeds can not be given because it would depend on what kind of lotus seeds you have.
The last step would be to poor some of this lovely and refreshing soup into a bowl or cup, add some ice and enjoy!

People Change, Memories Don’t : A Sonnet by Doanh and Van Anh

When I saw him across the moonlight bridge
My heart began to ache as I teared up
The past kept rushing back one at a time
He was the part that fulfilled all of me.

I first saw him just swimming at a beach
His golden skin sparkled under the sun
He slowly walked towards where I was at
and he gave me a charming warm smile

We started meeting every single day
He held my hands, he also kissed my lips
We walked and talked about our future
He was the best thing that I ever had

But then, one day he just left without me
Mike, he left me scarred emotionally.


Edited by : Kimberly Bannon and Natalie Lee

Bento Box


Hi everyone! Today I would be showing you how to make is a Bento Box. It’s healthy, yummy, and delicious! This Bento Box that I would be making is a meal that’s base on the food pyramid.

Ingredient List :
3 slices of whole wheat bread ( 9,000 )
1 medium size sausage (7,000)
1 slice of cheddar cheese ( 8,000)
1 egg ( 2,000 )
1/4 of an apple ( 8,000 )
6 grapes ( 6,000 )
4 tlbs of Peanut Butter ( 4,000 )
4 tlbs of Jam ( 2,000 )
1 chestnuts ( 3,000 )
1 lettuce leaf ( 500 )
l tlbs of raisin ( 3,000 )
1 tsp of Sesame Seed ( 1,000 )

Total Price : 53,500 VND

Instructions/Process :

1) Get a pot, fill it up with water,and then wait until the water is boiled.

2) Lay out your 3 slices of whole wheat bread, and using a heart shape cookie cutter, punch out 6 bread to make the cute heart shape bread.


3) Fill and spread your heart shaped pieces of bread with jam and peanut butter.

4) By this step, your water should be boiling by now. Place the egg into the pot gently.Then, turn of the heat completely. Leave your egg in the boiling water for 12 minutes.

5) Get out a chopping board, and cut the sausage into 2. Then, cut into the sausage vertically, but not cutting it all the way. Then turn the sausage 90 degrees and cut it again, creating a star shape.

6) Fry the sausage for 2 min on each sides until the slits open on the sausage, or when its cooked.

7) Cut your apple into slices

Now it is time to assemble :

7) Place the lettuce leaf on half of the box.

8) Then place your 3 sandwiches on top of the lettuce.

9) Then put your pieces of apples and grapes in a cupcake liner, and into your box

10) Put your sausage in your box, and stuff some cheddar cheese in it, sprinkle on the sesame seeds.

11) Place your raisins and chestnuts in the corner of your box.

12) The boiled egg should be done cooking by now, put it on top of your raisins.

13) The last step to this process is to eat and ENJOY your Bento Box! 🙂

Science Car Reflection

My group’s car, the P Squared, was first made up of a foam board. Our first step was to cut out a thin and small but sturdy enough piece of foam board to be the base and structure for our car. The next part that we have to do was to build the wheels. Which was made out of wooden sticks and bottle caps. We chose similar cap sizes so that our car can move fast and evenly. Then, we poked a hole in each of the caps using the wooden sticks to stick them together. To secure our wheels even more, we used a glue gun and tape to stick the wheels in place. After all of this, we made the force that will make our car be able to move, the balloon and straw. First we used a very unstable and weak straw so it did not give us enough speed and power. We decided to switch it up by using a stronger straw. Our group tried out multiple of balloons to find out which one was the right one. The balloon would be taped onto the straw, and onto the base. When we blew the balloon up, the bottom of the balloon was dragging our car. To fix this problem, we made a lift using cardboard in front of the car so that the balloon won’t be touching the floor when it is blown up.

The first newton’s law applies to our car because our car needs a force to make it move. The force that is needed to make our car move is the air that is coming out of the straw, from the balloon that we blew up. When the balloon deflates, it comes out of the straw and it pushes our car up and it moves it. We also used the second newton’s law to help with our car. We used light mass materials to build our car. When we use light materials, it would move faster. For example, we used a light base, light straws, caps, cardboard and a balloon. We tried to even out the mass on the base, so that our does not move unevenly.The third newtons law applies too because we have two equal reactions from the opposite side. As the balloon deflates, the air comes out. When the air comes out of the straw, there is already a wall of air and wind outside. So those two meet and retracts from each other, making the car pushes away.
Jee Yoon’s car got first place because her car was made out very smartly. The car was made very evenly and proportionate. The wheel was big enough to make the car move fast and far! I think that her car was made out of paper too, which made the car really light.

Slavery Journal

Dear Amari,
Do you know what a Middle Passage is? Well, you were on one, in the beginning of your horrible journey. I know that you have experience this, and it was not pleasant at all, I am pretty sure you won’t want to experience this ever again. I am very sorry. If you were wondering what a Middle Passage is, it’s a voyage, journey for enslaved, on a ship. Unlike the sailors, where their work, and lives were pretty simple and easy on this ship, it was definitely the opposite for enslaves like you were. If you were calculating the amount of people who have died on this trip, it was about 2 million people! In addition to this, fresh air was probably something you wanted to have right? Then you must know how finding fresh air in the confined below deck, is like finding a needle in a haystack. It was nearly impossible. Since, there were no port holes or windows at all. People were packed and packed together. It was impossible for people not to physically touch each other. How are you able to survive this Amari? If I were you, I wouldn’t know what to do. Besides this, everyone was chained, but women and children sometimes got unchained and got to go up on the top deck, for some exercise and fresh air if there was good weather. Do you recall the time when they made you and the other women danced? This was the typical exercise that the sailor made every slaves do. You couldn’t see men above deck a lot of times because they have to endure mostly all of their time in the bottom of the deck. Amari, you were probably living and breathing your own waste right ? How is that possible! If you didn’t know, every person on this journey have to live in a state like that. The thought of it seems horrible! You were force to take a dump, urine and vomit on the floor, where everyone lying. Amari, I can’t believe you have to go through this and live this way for a few months. This must be foul. It seems so bad and I can’t stand how humankind can treat their own human kind like this. A question I have is didn’t you have any back problems, I am assuming? Since, you were living in a space between three and four feet high. At that time, on your journey, you must have seen a lot of death because of the sailors or they were trying to kill themselves right? Remember when the sailors threw the women’s baby off the boat. In a pool of sharks? The women jumped of the boat, to try to rescue her baby but they both died. Well, suicidal wasn’t just happening on your boat. Enslaves didn’t have enough courage to endure this, so the only way was to suicide. You have been through so much bad things already in life, Amari, I hope that in the future, goods things will come to you. I pray for you.
Sincerely, Doanh

40 Books-Challenge Reflection

For my 40 book challenge this year, I read 27 books. It didn’t read the 40 books mark but at least I read more than half of that goal. I don’t think I put my BEST effort throughout the year to read as many book as possible. Even though I get time to read in DEAR time, sometimes I would get distracted and I won’t concentrate on the book that much. Which means, it would take me a longer amount of time to finish a book. I was expected to read 25 minutes each night but I didn’t really succeeded that goal. I read for some nights but mostly every night, I don’t really read for 25 minutes. In all of the books I read this year, the book Red Rider’s Hood by Neal Shusterman, would probably be the book I would want to read again because I really really really like this book. It has a very interesting story line and it is like a twist to just reading a normal Red Riding Hood book. This book have kept me hooked on throughout the whole entire book. Everything is always unexpected so you always want to keep on reading to find what is going to happen next.The book that had the biggest impact on me was the book written Scott Westerfeld, the book Uglies. Why? Because it taught me different things along the way. For example, it taught me that if you want something that badly and it would affect your life in someway, don’t ignore it and go for it. Don’t let other people make your decisions for you. I learned a lot of life lessons in this book. The book that I made strong personal (text-to-self) connection with is the book Thirteen and the author is Lauren Myracle. I felt like I could connect to the whole book itself. It is a realistic fiction book and it talks about what this girl is going through and her life at the age of thirteen. I am going through the same age so I felt like I can make strong connection to some of the things that happened to the character, Winnie’s life when she just turned to the age of thirteen. I am basically going through some of the same things she is going through. My summer reading and grade 8 goals are to read more biography and more science fictions book because I barely read any in the past year. I also would like to be more close to the 40 books goal mark next year, in 8th grade.