For more about the Columbus quincentennial, see today's News Extra on B1.To implement their social studies curriculum, elementary-school children in Arlington, Va., planted a "Seeds of Change" garden - a garden based on the historic voyages of Christopher Columbus.

In recognition of Columbus' journeys, children nationwide will be invited to cultivate their own gardens or to explore a series of other relevant projects suggested by the National Council for the Social Studies or on the activity pages developed by Science Weekly.As a national contribution to the quincentennial of Columbus' explorations, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will unveil the largest single exhibit in museum history, "Seeds of Change," on Oct. 24.

The exhibit depicts the story of five elements that affected life in both Europe and America: corn, potatoes, sugar, the horse and disease. Costs of developing and installing the $2.8 million show were underwritten by private corporations, including a $1 million grant from Xerox.

According to Herman Viola, director of the museum's quincentenary programs and curator of the new exhibit, "The National Museum of Natural History is taking a fresh look at events that have affected literally all Americans. The museum's re-examination of 500 years of cultural and biological development is just the start of redefining human impact on global change."

Visitors enter the exhibit through a Spanish-style portal constructed of 14,000 multicolored ears of corn crafted in a mosaic pattern.

Observers then explore a series of exhibits designed to demonstrate the impact of the five elements on world cultures.

Disease and the horse had a dramatic impact on both continents. Indians in the Americas had no previous exposure to smallpox, measles, typhus or influenza, diseases carried to the New World by the explorers. The horse, which died out in the Americas during the Ice Age, was reintroduced by Columbus and played a significant role in the conquest and settlement of the lands.

Three food items, corn, potatoes and sugar, added variety and sustenance to diets worldwide after Columbus packed them in his return trip cargo. The exhibit depicts corn as an important dietary staple in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. Farmers in the Andes in South America cultivated thousands of species of potatoes, a crop that subsequently became an integral part of European, Soviet and Asian diets.

An intimate journey through a Montserrat sugar plantation explains the impact of the slave-driven trade. Viola estimates that it took the life of one slave to produce one ton of sugar.Exportation of sugar dramatically changed European lifestyles as desserts and pastries of all kinds were developed.

A wealth of historically inspired recipes have been compiled for release in conjunction with the quincentennial observance.

The "Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook" documents the origins of traditional American recipes with anecdotes and family histories. Divided into regional sections, the book profiles local specialties, many based on two of the "seeds," corn and potatoes.

The tradition of giving food to friends, as Columbus inadvertently did, was important to the livelihood of regional cooks, explains cookbook authors Katherine and Tom Kirlin.

"These are the kinds of people who would gladly feed the whole world if they could just find a kitchen big enough," Katherine added.

- THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) will develop a collaborative version of "Seeds of Change" to be presented in Texas, Florida, Georgia and California over the 18-month life of the Washington exhibit.

Under the direction of the American Library Association, a panel version of the exhibit will appear in major cities in all 50 states. The exhibit will appear locally in January and February of 1993, according to Myrna Smith of the Salt Lake City public library staff.

- THE "SMITHSONIAN FOLKLIFE COOKBOOK" is available in hardcover for $35, and in paperback for $15.95. It contains 129 black and white illustrations, and 336 pages and can be ordered from the Smithsonian Institution Press, Department 900, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-0900. Add $2.25 for postage and handling for the first book, $1 for each additional book or call 1-800-782-4612 to order.

For further information about localization of "Seeds of Change," call John Barratt at the museum, 1-202-357-2627.

Corn Bubble Ring

41/2-51/2 cups flour

11/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons dry yeast

13/4 cups milk

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons margarine

11/2 tablespoons honey


Margarine Combine 11/4 cups flour, cornmeal, salt and yeast. Heat milk, water, margarine and honey until warm. Add to dry ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat with mixer at high speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.

Knead for 8-10 minutes. Cover with plastic and let rest 20 minutes. Punch down dough; divide into 32 equal balls and arrange in greased 10-inch tube pan, making 2 layers. Brush with oil, cover with plastic, wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

Uncover and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for about 55-60 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack. Brush with melted butter and serve.

- From Mary Beth Lind, Harman, W.Va.

Potatoes Country Style

1 cup olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3 clove garlic, chopped

2 pound potatoes, thinly sliced

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1 cup chicken stock

1 package (10 oz.) frozen peas

8 eggs


Pepper Saute onion and garlic in oil until limp and browned; add potatoes and parsley and cook 15 minutes. Add stock, stirring continuously and just enough water to cover. Place peas on top. Gently break eggs on top of peas. Do not mix. Cover pan for 5 minutes; remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serves 8.

- From Maria Luisa Vadasolo de Lamikiz, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sister Cake

1 quart milk, scalded and cooled

2 tablespoons dry yeast

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening or butter and lard mixed

1 package (151/2 oz.) raisins, dusted with flour

2 teaspoons salt

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

7-9 cups flour

Whipping cream

Sugar When milk is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Use enough flour to make a heavy batter, but not enough to form a dough. Let batter rise 1 hour.

Stir batter and pour into 6 small, greased loaf pans and let rise 30 minutes. Brush with cream, sprinkle with sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (Can be baked in muffin tins for 30 minutes.)

- From Nellie Jensen Doke, Ephraim, Utah