It’s Fiesta Time

Patrycja Iwaniuk, The Netherlands

The Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara is a week of celebrating the traditions, history, heritage, and culture that has been in Santa Barbara for hundreds of years. Since the beginning of the week, the first preparations can be seen. Music can be heard on every corner of the street. The first Fiesta eggs can be bought and smashed to color the streets with colorful confetti and even the people dress up in beautiful and traditional costumes. They proudly walk through State Street giving it wonderful ambiance.

Also, here at the EF school and in the Santa Catalina residence the feeling of Fiesta is in the air. More and more decorations are being hung up in the school and even some teachers can be seen wearing some great colorful outfits. Wednesday was Tamale Day and some students had the opportunity to make some beautiful Fiesta eggs, which are by the way strictly forbidden to use in the residence. Luckily for us, there is enough space outside to break these eggs and throw some confetti on our friends. As Wednesday night was the grand opening at the Mission, Thursday morning the decorations were even greater. In the afternoon students were welcome to enjoy some chips with salsa and delicious churros. To add to that, in what way can you end the day better than having people break a piñata in the middle of the schoolyard?

The big days, however, were without hesitation Friday and Saturday. Before the big parade, everyone started to get out their chairs and blankets to save the best spot for the whole family. After a very long wait in the sun, the parade had begun. Dozens of beautiful horses gaited through State Street and the music played by the musicians completed the picture. It was really a new experience for me as a foreigner, since I have never seen or been to this kind of a parade. Over the past couple of days, I have really seen that the people of Santa Barbara cherish this week of joy and a lot of tourists who walk down the streets with the biggest smile when someone throws confetti to them. We can still savor the moment for a few weeks until the confetti disappears and then the first eggs can be eaten as a preparation for next year. As for me, this was my first time and hopefully not the last… VIVA LA FIESTA!

Minimalism

minimalism picJulia Feldmann, Germany

Smalls steps to resist increasing consumption

A common misunderstanding of minimalism is that it is just all about having the smallest number of items in your life as possible. But when you take a closer look at the point of minimalism, it is actually about having items which you really appreciate and which add value to your life. Knowing that you don’t need material belongings in order to be happy and enjoy life will increase your mental health and emotional stability.

Having more and more things is not making people happier and more fulfilled. Mindless shopping has become a problematic trend.  There is a risk to developing an addiction to material items, especially clothing that creates a feeling of being weighed down by clutter. Clearly, it is human nature to always long for more and to progress in life in all aspects, like experiences, careers and relationships. On the other hand, it is essential to be grateful for everything that you already have and, in general, to be grateful for being alive. The clue is to find balance between both of these things.

 

Why-We-Collect-Clutter-and-How-to-Clear-it-1440x810

A good start to becoming a minimalist is to go through your home with a box and fill it with random items you find standing around with no obvious use. Put the box out of sight for 30 days. If you don’t need to open it, or if you don’t even remember what is in the box, donate or sell it. Start in one place in your home, which could be a wardrobe drawer, your desk or underneath your bed.

Another important aspect minimalism includes gratefulness. There are a lot of things people take for granted that are actually really special to others. This goes from having food on the table to simply owning a bed and a blanket. Often people forget how many people on earth don’t have access to these things that seem so natural to others.

31firstwords-master768-v2

Apart from belongings like clothing and furniture, minimalism also affects wastfulness, especially of food. It’s a fact that there’s more than enough food to feed the planet, but still large amounts of people suffer from malnutrition. As a minimalist, people can try to become aware of how much they throw away every day. Next time you are shopping for groceries, try to only buy what you will actually eat.

Most recently, the textile industry has gone crazy on their sales prices. T-shirts for less than 5$ and jeans for less than 20$ are no rarity anymore. This development is the reason why we tend to buy more and more clothes just because of the bargain price. However, the majority of people only wear a small amount of their wardrobe on a daily basis. Some pieces even end up never being worn. On the way to becoming a minimalist, you have to think logically. What do I actually need? How can I simplify my wardrobe? Which pieces are unnecessary?

4 first little steps into your minimalism journey:

  1. Travel lightly and focus on the things that are necessary
  2. Only buy new things when your old stuff is used up or broken.
  3. Write down your plans and your achievements in a diary
  4. Try to find multifunctional items

da29ca0a8b272e108775dd015573295e

 

Remember that it is not a contest or a race, but about your personal comfort. There is no specific rule to start a minimalistic lifestyle, just follow what comforts you and what feels right to you.

 

 

Popular Foods in 2018

Isidora Davila, Chile

Every year,  a new food appears on the list of things that everyone is eating. They become a trend and the people feel the need that run to buy the new coconut oil, for example. This year the food maybe surprise you more than other years.

 

clear glass container with coconut oil

  • AVOCADO WITH EGGS

cooked food

    Already not the typical and boring toast with butter or ham with cheese, now avocado with egg is the trend you can eat at  breakfast, brunch or anytime. This one contributes many benefits, like high content of fiber, vitamin C and E that it is an antioxidant and minerals like potassium.

  • BOWL FOR THE BREAKFAST!

assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl

Now  breakfasts are  different than before. The trend is to put oats or açaí (fruit of a palm tree) with many fruits with different colors and seeds. The idea is for  the bowl to look so colorful. The food first enters for the eyes!

  • GREEN SMOOTHIES

close up photography of clear glass mason jar mug with green juice and sliced citrus toppings

It’s time to debug. Now you can purify your body with this smoothie with lettuce, spinach, green apple, banana, lemon, celery, kale, chard, sunflower seeds and broccoli. It’s good for your body because the mix of these vegetables and fruits, apart of the detoxification, brings many minerals and vitamins.

  • ORGANIC FOOD

vegetables and tomatoes on cutting board

Nowadays, people talk a lot about the organic food because their benefits are so important   to the  lives of the people and the earth. The principal characteristic of these foods are the cultivation process because is totally natural, without chemicals, fertilizers, hormones, without toxic that contaminate the earth and our bodies.

  • HOW DOES THIS FOOD BECOMES FAMOUS?person holds black iphone taking photo of round white ceramic bowl

People see it and start trying this food. This form  is spread through social networks, or other forms, for example,  television which shows how  this food becomes famous. Commonly,  someone famous in some social media shares photos of their foods and the programs, for example,  Hell’s Kitchen.

 

Appenzell

Raphaela Vogel, Switzerland

Appenzell is a region in the northeast of Switzerland. I will show you some of the places you have to see:

Mountains: Alpstein

In Appenzell, there are a lot of mountains. Altogether they are called Alpstein. The biggest mountain in Alpstein is called Saentis, which is 8,216 feet (2,504 m).  In the summer, there are a lot of hiking trails. In the winter you can go skiing and go for a winter walk in the snow.

Appenzellerland   Appenzellerland

One of the most popular mountains in Appenzell is called Ebenalp. It became very popular because of a restaurant on the way up. The restaurant is called Aescher and it was built precariously into the face of the rock.

Image result for aescher

Cheese factory

Another typical thing for Appenzell is the cheese. We have our own cheese called “Appenzeller cheese”. In a little village called Stein, we have our cheese factory. Overthere you can look over the shoulders of the cheesemaker and you will see how they produce their cheese. And if you like, you have the possibility to make your own cheese. Of course, there is also a restaurant and a shop where you can eat something or buy some cheese or a souvenir.

Image result for appenzeller kaese

Appenzell (City)

The capital of Appenzell has the same name as the region. In this city, you can see some typical houses for this area. And, of course, you can spend some time in this cute city. If you would like to learn something about the culture of this region you can go to the museum. There they will show you all about their lifestyle and their culture.

Appenzell

Silversterchlausen

There is something that only exists in Appenzell. It is called Silversterchlausen. Each year at New Year’s Eve, some groups of six men (Silversterchlauese) go from house to house. First, they will sing together. After that, they will wish you a lucky New Year!

There are two different kinds of Silversterchlaeuse. We called them “The Beautiful Ones” (picture on the left) and “The Ugly Ones” (picture on the right).

Image result for Silvesterchlausen   Image result for Silvesterchlausen

 

Wallis

Kevin Oliver Theler, Switzerland

I want to introduce you to my home canton in Switzerland. Here are some facts:

-The location is on the south of Switzerland on the border of Italy.

-Wallis joined Switzerland in 1815

-Population: 339.060

-Area: 5’224km2

Wallis has a lot of mountains and activities. In the winter you can go skiing, snowboarding, free riding, ice climbing and much more. It’s a big nature adventure park, especially for adrenalin freaks. For example in Zermatt, their ski slopes are  360km long. You can ride with your skis over the border to Italy, and go eat a original Italian pizza.

In the summer, you can do big hiking tours, and get up to the top of the mountains. When you are searching for action you can go skydiving, downhilling and paragliding. The views from the mountains are amazing, and to get there is really easy. From the main train station you only need about 45 minutes, and 15min with the cable car. Then the world of the mountains are open for you.

My favorite ski resort is Saas-Fee, because there is a big freestyle park for skis and snowboards because it  is near my hometown. I just have to go to the bus, ride it for an half hour and the I arrive already. I love to ski and do some flips in the park.

thumbnail_img_46111.jpg

 

Traditional dish

Cholera

Yes you read it right, we have a dish that has the same name like the bacterial infection. The dish got the name when the cholera broke out in 1830 in Wallis, because the risk of infection the people would’t leave the house. That’s why the people have to make the food with the ingredients they have in the pantry.

Ingredients:

  • 500 g Puff pastry
  • 40 g Butter
  • 200 g Potatos
  • 200 g Apple
  • 200 g Leek
  • 200 g Onions
  • 250 g Swiss Raclette Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparation:

-Cut the onions in to thin slice and stew in the pan with butter

-Cut the leek lengthwise and wash under the cold water. Then cut the halves into strips of 2 to 3 cm and blanch them for a maximum of 3 to 5 minutes in lightly boiling salted water. Drain and quench under running cold water to stop the cooking process.

-Cut the apples into small cubes and fry in a frying pan with butter. Increase and season the onions, leeks and apples.

-Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 25 minutes.Then cut the potatoes in small cubes of 2 cm. Add this to the Apple and Leek onion mixture.

-Rub the cheese in to the mixture.

-Lay out a deep dish with puff pastry and spread the mixture on it. Cover with puff pastry. Bake in the oven for one hour at 170 ° C.

 

Kaesespaetzle – Macaroni & Cheese – Austrian Style

Jennifer Hebenstreit, Austria

SHPAYT-zlee

05/17/2018

C1.1.

This hearty dish is served in Austrian and is called “Kaesespaetzle”. The food in Austria is very differently as to America. If you ask an American person, if they know what Kaesespaetzle is or some other Austrian food, they will not know it.

How to make it:

For the spätzle:

  • 9 oz (250g) flour
  • 5 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tbsp water (if necessary)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5 – 7 oz (150-200g) cheese, grated (Emmenthaler, Gruyere etc….)

For the onions:

  • 3 oz (75g) butter
  • 2 mid-sized onions cut in rings

Start with combining flour, eggs and a good-sized pinch of salt. Blend well and add, if necessary, water spoon by spoon. The dough should not be runny, but soft enough to gradually flow. Then set aside and allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile heat the butter in a frying pan over low to medium heat, add onions, and let them slowly turn a golden brown color. Don’t let them get too dark, as they tend to become bitter. Drain on a paper towel and then set aside.

Knoepflehobelff

Bring a large pot of water briefly to a boil, add a pinch of salt and then reduce heat. The water should simmer throughout the whole process. You can either cut and shape the spaetzle by hand, or, which makes things easier, use a spaetzle-maker or a colander. Cook the spaetzle for about 2-3 minutes until they float back to the surface, then remove them.

images

When done, drain the water, melt 1-2 tbsp of butter and return spaetzle to the pot. Shake the pot a few times to evenly distribute the butter, then add the grated cheese and mix well. Now simply add the browned onions and chopped chives on top and serve.

Spätzles have an interesting history. 
Little Sparrows

The name comes most likely from the German word Spatzen, which means “little sparrows”. Why little sparrows? Some think that before there were Spätzle tools they would put dough into their hands like holding a little sparrow and put small pinches in the water. Another idea is that it as the dough was formed with 2 small spoons making little oval shapes like little sparrow bodies. How it got from Spatzen to Spätzle is not clear, as are many names of dishes in food history. For example if you see “Chili Size” on a menu in the U.S. how would you know that it is a chili burger?

About The Batter for Spätzle

It is amazing there are so many opinions for a batter that basically consists of just flour, eggs and water. Some Germans are at polar opposites when it comes to making the batter. So you will have to figure out which way is best for you.
While some folks like to use warm water, others like cold.
While some folks swear by mineral water, others prefer milk.
Even in some regions they will put some quark, or sour cream, in the noodle dough.
Some like to coordinate their Spätzle batter with their housework for the perfect dough. You start it at 8:00 am and every time you walk by it you stir it for a minute. By noon it is ready and perfect.
Others feel that to make perfect Spätzle the lazier the cook the better. Just a few strokes, and you should even be able to see the eggs and the flour.I like to beat the Spätzle dough until you can see it get a bit stretchy off the sides, and I know it is developing some gluten.
For a Spätzle Press you should make the dough very thick.

Side dishes

In Switzerland, they eat the Kaesespaetzle with apple puree. In Austria, we eat the Kaessespaetzle with potato salad. It depends on what type you are. Do you prefer to eat sweet or salty cheese?

My Opinion

I love Kaesespaetzle and I prefer this food for everyone to try. It is easy to make and is very delicious. I love the way the author described Kaesespaetzle. I was very interested in its history about Kaesespaetzle. I would suggest that the author add that people have to rinse up the spaetzle with cold water after its boiled.

DIABETES

By Andreas Top and Youri Verplancke, Belgium

DIABETES

Diabetes is a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose).

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps t

diabetes

he glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Having prediabetes puts you at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb. Pregnant women can also get diabetes, called gestational diabetes.

Treatments and Therapies

There are many drugs to improve the lives of patients but research is in progress.

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • Lose weight– If you are overweight, even losing 7% of your weight can make a big difference. Use the Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator (you can find one online) to find out how much weight you need to lose.
  • Eat healthy– Choose a diet with plenty of:
    • Fresh vegetables The best choices are fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables and vegetable juices without added sodium, fat, or sugar.
    • Whole grains – A whole grain is the entire grain, which includes the bran, germ and endosperm>
    • Fruits– Eat fruits that are fresh, frozen or canned without added sugars. Common fruits include apples, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, dates, figs, grapes, oranges, pears and strawberries.
    • Choose healthier options:
      • Low-fat or non-fat dairy products– Choose fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, non-fat yogurt (without added sugar), and unflavored soy milk.
      • Lean meats– The best choices are cuts of meats and meat alternatives that are lower in saturated fat and caloriesMost importantly, be sure to watch portion sizes.
      • Stay active– Set a goal to exercise five days a week. Thirty minutes of brisk walking or a similar activity will work. You can even break it up into 3 10-minute blocks if it is easier to fit in your day.
      • Quit smoking– If you smoke, learn how you can quit. Prepare to quit by setting a date to quit, throwing away your cigarettes or asking others for help. Then choose a quitting strategy, such as going cold turkey, tapering off or working with your health care professional. If you don’t smoke, never start.

Resume;

Diabetes Type 2 is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose).

Diabetes Type 1 is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin.

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a form of high blood sugar affecting pregnant women.

Vegan/Veganism

by Katharina Coenen

 

Veganism is a type of vegetarianism diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. Many Vegans also do not eat foods that are processed using animal products, such as refined white sugar and some wines. They also don’t wear particular types of clothing, such as leather, fur and wool.

Vegan refers to either a person who follows this way of eating or to the diet itself. That is, the word vegan can be an adjective used to describe a food item, as in, “This curry is vegan”, or, it can be used as a noun, as in, “Vegans like cookies, too.”

But why would you choose to become a vegan ? They are many reasons. Let’s have a look.

Animals are a constant part of our lives. We share our houses with them, our beds, and we even consider them to be members of our family. While they may not be able to speak our languages, we value them highly. We interact with them and we often turn to them for emotional support. When they pass away, we mourn them.

We also believe that they enjoy being alive as much as we humans do, as they enjoy the company of others. Yet for other animals we stick forks and knives into their bodies and wear their skin as clothing. Is that morally right ? Maybe you think it is wrong to act violently against dogs or cats, but why do we think this? Animals around the world are dying just because we want to wear their skin, eat them or their products.

Some of us try to defend this by purchasing products that are marketed as “humane” or as produced “ethically.” However, these words are meaningless and actually do very little to give animals a better life. In any case, these terms comfort the public to believe it is okay to exhaust animals simply because we enjoy using them. We can change this social affliction and respect life by going vegan.

Consuming a plant-based diet also has significant benefits for our environment and health. Many studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables can dramatically change rates of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Raising animals for food is also the single greatest human-caused source of destruction to our environment. In the rain forest, areas as big as soccer fields were cut down and used for growing soy beans for industrial livestock farming. Many rare animal species are in danger of extinction.

Personally i decided to going vegan. For me, its the next logical step, after being a vegetarian for over six years, to do the best as you can to help our environment and to reduce my ecological footprint. I never felt so happy with myself. 🙂

veganism picturevegan-cancer-1-1280x640VEGAN-THUMBNAIL-20170412-58ee4bc63df78cd3fc213c84

About me – Tim

by Tim Schwehn from Germany

Hey! 🙂

My name is Tim and I am from Germany. I just arrived in Santa Barbara and I love the city by now. The beautiful streets and houses with the Spanish style look great. That’s one reason I chose this location for my EF study time.

What do I normally do in Germany?

I finished my exams in January and want to start my university studies in business education in October. So I have enough time to explore the world. For my study time I want to improve my English speaking and writing skills so I chose an English speaking country, but also one where the sun is shining quite often.

I like to do sports very much. I play soccer at a local German soccer club and go the gym at least two times a week. Playing sports is a very good balance for learning or working and you can turn your head off for a time.

soccer_1

Furthermore, I love music. On the one hand, I like to listen to different kinds of music as well as making music on my own. I can play the piano and the guitar and I really enjoy creating music with some friends of mine.

My favorite food is pizza, but I can’t wait to eat some good Mexican food or beef burgers in Santa Barbara. I already went to one Mexican restaurant and the food tasted great. Maybe you can give me some suggestions about where to go. I will try as much as I can.

burger

I will stay in Santa Barbara for at least two months. I think it will be a beautiful time that I will never forget. So if you have some questions, feel free to ask. J