Did you know that…

November is Pomegranate Month?

The Pomegranate has been with us for a very long time, stretching back through history to its first recorded appearance in Ancient Egypt, where it was used for the treatment of various infections and even tapeworm. We can then see it in Ancient Greece where it was considered the fruit of the dead, and was associated with the Hades and Persephone myth, where her consumption of six seeds led to her spending half the year locked in the land of the dead.

Pomegranates are more than just a simple fruit, they’re packed of Vitamin C, dietary fiber, folates, and much more. They’re truly little treasure-troves of health and nutrition, with a reputation for being something of a miracle cure. Such was its popularity that POM has used it as the foundation of its entire product line, citing anti-inflammatory, anti-disease, and anti-oxidant properties as just a few of its benefits.

Such wonderful rich and beautiful fruit deserves a celebration, and that’s what Pomegranate Month brings it.

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Source: daysoftheyear.com 

Master Chef, here we come

This afternoon, the kitchen was in full action! Yvonne with Michelle, then helped also by Jiusi, Katia, Runa, prepared a fabulous Chinese menu for the Master Chef House Competition: fried and steamed dumplings as a starter, followed by sweet and sour pork, green tea ice cream. The first two courses were served on golden dishes, inside a leaf of Chinese cabbage – simple, classy and original!

There are some photos of the cooking process… During the presentation to the Jury Of Four (Mr Usher, Mme Salamin, Mr. Romolo and Mr. Leticia) we were all so busy that we did not use the phone or the camera at all!

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An afternoon with a real “Pizzaiolo”

Everybody please meet Salvatore, the House parent of Champs des Bois (primary boarding House). One of his passions is making pizza, and actually preparing  A LOT of pizza for everybody to enjoy! So this is what he did yesterday: 9 huge pizzas which the junior boarders enjoyed during their special Saturday dinner.

In the first two photos, you can see the pizza that is ready to be put on the pan, after having “rested” in a warm corner of the kitchen. In the last photo… the yummy result!

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The kitchen is always a happy place

Tonight the miracle of baking yummy cookies happened again in the Villa Ecureuil kitchen… And chocolate cookies at that! Jiusi prepared a good quantity of chocolate and chocolate-chip cookies which will be sold tomorrow in school to gather money for the MADS charity.

Other girls were in the kitchen, bringing fruits to the House for our afternoon snacks and chatting the time away.

A fantastic smell still lingers in the House… We will all have sweet dreams tonight!

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Four Ecureuil girls back from EuropaPark!

A trip to EuropaPark was organized for three girls’ boarding Houses, and four of our boarders went to spend 1 and a half days in Germany to enjoy this fabulous leisure park, which is not far from the border with the German-speaking canton of Switzerland.

It was a short and very intense trip – lots of fun rides, time with friends, food and pictures! Muzoon, Katia, Runa and Rina really liked it.

Here is a selection by our Esther, who went to the trip with the girls!

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Happy new Persian year!

Did you know that the Persian new year, Nowruz, is celebrated on March 21? I have only known for the last two years, because our Nilgoun is from Iran and this year, too, she had the possibility to celebrate the new year with her family, who came to visit.

Nilgoun told me that it is a holiday you celebrate strictly with close family members and that seven food items whose name begins with S in Persian must be arranged on the table for the celebration. They are: wheat/barley/lentil sprouts; a sweet pudding; the dried fruit of the oleaster tree; garlic; apples; sumac berries; vinegar.

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“Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox, and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day, depending on where it is observed. The moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and Persian families gather together to perform their rituals.

Although having Persian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethno-linguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths and atheists, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.[41]”  (from Wikipedia)

St. Patrick’s day is today! We are going green!

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Saint Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He is credited with bringing christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works; the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish christians.
Saint Patrick described himself as a “most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God.”

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world, especially by Irish communities and organizations. Many people wear an item of green clothing on the day. Parties featuring Irish food and drinks that are dyed in green food color are part of this celebration. It is a time when children can indulge in sweets and adults can enjoy a “pint” of beer at a local pub. Many restaurants and pubs offer Irish food or drink, which include: Irish brown bread, corned beef and cabbage, beef and Guinness pie, Irish cream chocolate mousse cake, Irish coffee, Irish potato champ (also known as poundies, cally or pandy), Irish stew and Irish potato soup.

Some people plan a pilgrimage to St Patrick’s Purgatory, which is commonly associated with penance and spiritual healing since the early 13th century. It is on Station Island in Lough Derg in County Donegal where St Patrick had a vision promising that all who came to the sanctuary in penitence and faith would receive a pardon for their sins.

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Sources: 
http://www.st-patricks-day.com/
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/common/st-patrick-day

Friday is cooking day!

Among the many things that boarders in Villa Ecureuil enjoy doing on a late Friday afternoon there is… cooking! It feels a lot like “home” to cook something for oneself, and here you can see Ingrid happily cooking the time away to prepare herself a nice, good meal! No surprise, then, that the kitchen is one of the most crowded rooms in the House during free time 😉

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