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Halloween is spooky fun and candy! October 23, 2009

Posted by americanex in holidays.

Have you ever wondered what Halloween means to children in America? I can tell you. It means fun and candy!

There are so many fun things that kids do on Halloween. We call them traditions, and they come from many different countries and cultures. All the traditions have melted together like hot carmel over an apple to make Halloween one of America’s best holidays of the year.

The idea for the Jack O’Lantern came from the Celtics. They believed that this day marked the end of the harvest, the end of summer and the coming together of two worlds – the living and the dead. So they would carve lanterns out of vegetables and put a candle in them to light the way for the good spirits. They called this day Samhain.


The Scottish people in America brought the idea of telling ghost stories on Halloween. They also played games and would sometimes get into trouble. One of their games was bobbing for apples – dunking your head in a bucket of water with apples in it and trying to bite an apple without using your hands. Sounds likes fun, and it is. (more…)

What is falling from above? October 15, 2009

Posted by americanex in Uncategorized.
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Hello again. I imagine that all of you have been busy with school. Is it cold in the morning when you walk to school? Have you noticed that the leaves are turning colors and falling off the trees? There is something else falling from the trees in Kherson….nuts, lots of nuts.

As I have walked around Kherson in the beautiful sunshine and crisp, cool air, I noticed something on the ground – Buckeye nuts. Wow! I grew up in Ohio (which is in the United States) and we have many Buckeye trees there and you have the same trees in Kherson! 

Ohio has so many Buckeye trees, it has been nicknamed The Buckeye State. But I think you have many more Buckeye trees here, because everywhere I look I see Buckeye nuts on the ground. Do you know anything about Buckeye trees and Buckeye nuts? I do, and I would like to tell you.

First of all, do you know where did this funny name, “Buckeye” came from? Well, folklore (stories handed down from one generation to another) from Native American Indians say that the American Indians named the tree Buckeye because the nuts on the tree looked like the eye of a buck deer.

The Buckeye tree is known for being very hearty, which means that it is very hard to kill and it will live in harsh environments where other trees would die.  There are a lot of different types of Buckeye trees – the Ohio Buckeye, the Yellow Buckeye, the Horsechestnut Buckeye and the Dwarf Red Buckeye, just to name a few.

The American Indians would roast, peel and mash the Buckeye nut and eat it. But do not try this!!!  The nut of the Buckeye tree is poisonous. It has to be cooked in a certain way to remove the poison.

But there is a recipe for delicious candy treats that are called Buckeyes that are very good to eat. They are also very easy to make and do not need to be cooked. Below is the recipe. I made them all the time in America, and I love to eat them.

If you make some Buckeye candies, stop in the Kherson Children’s Library and let me know if you liked them.

Deborah Garofalo, Peace Corps Volunteer

Recipe for Buckeyes


360 ml of powdered sugar

300 ml of peanut butter or peanut spread

 60 ml of butter

 melted chocolate for dipping

Mix the powdered sugar with the peanut butter and the mutter. Mix it together well. Roll spoonfuls of the mixture into 2 1/2 centimeter balls . Put the balls in the  refrigerator for one hour to make them firm. Dip the balls in melted chocolate, but not completely. Leave a little of the ball on top without chocolate. Put the dipped balls on a plate and put them back into the refrigerator to get firm. When you take them out an hour later, do they look like Buckeye nuts? I will bet they do not taste anything like a nut! Mmmmmmm they are good!