www.whyville.net May 10, 2009 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

International: Part 1

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Hello Whyville citizens, it's Ally. I've been wanting to write an article for so long and I finally got around to doing it. As most of you know (I hope so), it's almost summer time. As a big end of the year exam, we had to research a country in the Western Hemisphere, write a huge report about it, make a flag and map, make a very creative poster, and last but not least, give a long oral presentation. We could make food, dress up like a person, or do what ever we wanted. My country was Uruguay! I'm so glad I got this country.

This project inspired me to write a series. I thought that this week I could do Uruguay, since I've already learned about it, but each following week I will do a different country. At the end of each article I will do a contest. Ready? Okay!

That is the Uruguayan flag. The sun in the corner is called "The Sun of May". It is called this because in May, Uruguay received it's independence on a bright and shining day!

I can't tell if I want to eat this or not . . . This is flan with caramel, a very popular Uruguayan dish. A lot of people like it even though it might look not so good!

More food to make you hungry, right? This is actually what I'm making for my report . . . Alfajores! A melt-in-your-mouth-so-good-chewy-moist cookie on top and bottom, with Dulce de Leche in the middle. And the white stuff you see on the sides? That is coconut rolled on for some added sweetness. They are so good, moist, chewy, soft and amazing!

Hmmm . . . who could this funny looking man be? Well, we shall call him Bob. For his name is unknown. He actually is a random Uruguayan soldier. History is boring, right? Wrong! Here's a fact I'm sure you didn't know: In a huge war against Paraguay, half the male population of Uruguay was demolished.

Fun Facts:

* Uruguay eats the 4th most amount of meat in the world. (Wow, right?)
* 82 out of every 100 Uruguayans live in the city.
* 27 out of every 100 Uruguayans live in rural and farm. (Ironic considering how many live in the city, right?)
* 2 hours behind Washington D.C.
* Just a bit smaller than Washington state
* I already said this BUT Uruguay lost half its male population in a war against Paraguay (Can you guess who won?).
* Ideal for farm-land. They have mostly low grassy land.
* It is one of the smallest countries in South America.
* Uruguay has one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America.
* The country is shaped like a heart.

I know all that food I talked about got your mouth watering so I thought it might be fun to share one of the recipes with you! Here is a recipe for alfajores that I found at http://gosouthamerica.about.com/od/dessertsandsweets/r/alfajores.htm. Check it out!

Prep Time: 1 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes


* 12 tablespoons butter
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 egg yolks
* 2 tablespoons cognac
* 2 1/2 cups cornstarch (corn flour)
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* Zest of 1/2 lemon
* Dulce de Leche
* Grated coconut


To make cookie dough:

Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the remaining ingredients except the dulce de leche and coconut until well blended. Knead on a floured work surface until the dough is smooth and let rest for 15 minutes.

Make the cookies:

Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut into 2-inch rounds. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 300?F oven for 20 minutes. When cool, spread some dulce de leche on the bottom of half the cookies and press another cookie on top, allowing some of the dulce de leche to squeeze from the sides. Roll the sides in the coconut until the sides are covered. Makes about 12 delicious, definitely non low calorie cookies!

To make dulce de leche:

Method 1: Pour 1 can sweetened condensed milk into 9-inch pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil. Place the pie plate in a in larger shallow pan filled with hot water. Do not allow the water to cover the smaller pan. Bake at 425 degrees F for 1 hour or until thick and caramel-colored. Beat until smooth.

Method 2: Place unopened can sweetened condensed milk in a pot with enough water to cover the can. Bring slowly to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and let cook for 4-5 hours until the milk is caramelized. Be careful! Keep the can covered and simmering slowly to avoid the risk of the can exploding. Cool the can before opening.


At the end of each article I will do a contest. You'll get 300 clams, not to mention 2 face parts of your choice! Ready . . . set . . . go!

Are girls or boys smarter in Uruguay? And yes, there is an answer. Please y-mail any time before the next times comes out. The first person to get it right wins!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and and learned a lot.

Signing off,

Author's Note: Sources:
(none of those have the contest answer in them!)


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