Monthly Archive for October, 2008

Waking up to Snow

This is the view from my window this morning!  And it is still snowing, mostly slushy stuff now though.  The boys are very excited.  Noahs first words this morning were “Oh No Snow” except he said ‘No’ for Snow so it was more like “Oh No No”.

First Snow!!!

It was just a couple of days ago I posted about autumn being on it’s way out.  But, I didn’t think that would actually happen for another month or so!  Well, I just looked outside and got the shock of my life.  The usual blue car parked on the street is now half white.  IT IS SNOWING – in October!  Like fully properly snowing.  It is cold too!  Funny that.

I quickly got the boys out of bed (it is 8pm) and put on jackets and went downstairs to check it out.  Here are a couple of (dark) photos.  (Yeah, it gets dark here at like 4.30pm now).  I wonder what it will look like in the morning if it keeps on snowing…

Pasta Alle Cinque Pi

We spent last Sunday in Basel visiting friends Doris and Patrick.   We hung out with them and went for a visit to the Basel Zoo.  I love Basel.  A very friendly, international city.

Doris cooked us spaghetti with two different sauces.  One was this beautiful vegetarian sauce called ‘Cinque Pi’.   I forget that there are millions of sauces that go with Spaghetti apart from the traditional Bolognese.

The name Cinque Pi refers to the 5 (5 in Italian is cinque) most important ingredients in this sauce.  They all start with the letter p (in Italian of course!):

  1. panna (cream)
  2. purea di pomodoro (tomato puree)
  3. prezzemolo (parsley)
  4. parmigiano (parmesan)
  5. pepe (pepper).

This pasta dish which originates from Italy is very popular in Switzerland.

Here is the recipe:

300ml cream ——> bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes
3 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons tomato püree
bunch of chopped parsley
salt to taste

Add remaining ingredients to the cream and cook for another 5 minutes

Serve with spaghetti – can mix it in advance or just let everyone takes as much as they like – and a green salad. Delicious!

(Can also make a healthier option with added vegies such as carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, onion and tomato paste and light sour cream).

Autumn is leaf-ing (or is that leaving?)

I love Autumn.  And Switzerland Autumn is so beautiful (I think I might have said that a number of times in other posts!).  I can’t get over the colourful forests and the soccer fields covered with leaves.   It seems that winter is pretty close though.  The weather forecast this week is looking pretty cold with a high tomorrow of 6 degrees (and 1 degree overnight).  Must make the most of the autumn before winter sets in.

Here are a few photos of the boys enjoying some soccer playing and leaf throwing.

Setting up house

I thought I would post a few photos of our Wohnung and the view – since I promised I would.  It is still a bit bare.  I need to get painting or creative to put something on the white walls. Our bedroom is still a bit of a mess so no photos of that yet! The photos of the view doesn’t do it any justice.  It is way better in real life.  But the GönhardQuartier where we live is really beautiful, full of huge old Swiss houses and (autumn) trees, manicured gardens and quiet streets.

Emmentaler Cheese… Mmmh!

I had the privilege of driving home through Emmental country on my way back from Thun and Bern.  It is where the famous holey cheese comes from.  It is beautiful countryside with rolling green hills and of course, lots of cows and farm houses.

Emmental country is known in Switzerland for it’s supersize everything.  Supersize meringues, supersize houses, supersize people.  Maybe it is the America of Switzerland?!  No, not even close.  No Macdonalds or skyscraper in sight, except for the snow covered mountains in the background. I love the traditional houses in Emmental with the huge roofs.

We visited the Emmentaler Schaukäserei where you can view a factory making Emmentaler cheese and find out how it gets the holes in it.  Very cool! A must-see if you are ever down that way.

Wikipedia says this about the cheese: It is noteworthy that “Swiss Cheese” not made in Switzerland typically tastes considerably different, primarily because the raw milk to make the cheese should not be transported over long distances, as the vibrations homogenize the milk, and thereby changes the outcome. So if you want to try the real thing, you will just have to come to Switzerland!

Zopf & Öpfel Chüechli

We love Swiss bread.  Especially the dark crusty loaves full of seeds and wholegrains.  The boys love getting a ‘bun’ from Migro and often choose the dark healthy ones over the white.  So great.

I have decided it is time for me to do some bread baking. I am going to try a Zopf today, a white bread, not the healthiest but oh, so good!  I found this Betty Bossi Zopf recipe in English.  I love the translation – check it out – Before baking, sweep with the yellow of an egg. I think they mean, before baking, brush with an egg yolk.

Anyway, I will let you know how it goes.  My previous bread baking efforts haven’t been too successful.

My favourite Swiss food at the moment are Öpfel Chüechli (apple cakes), traditionally served in autumn.  They are to die for.  Mostly they are fried but Betty Bossi sell a tray to bake them in.  Mum, I will have to get one and bring it home!

Political Moan

It is not like me to complain about the government (I know, I know – that is a big, fat, hairy lie).  And it is the NZ government that gets me so fired up and I don’t even live there anymore.  But that Helen Clark…. Grrr.  I’m not even going to apologise to all you Helen Clark supporters because every ‘good’ thing she does is only ‘good’ from the outside.  Underneath it is just bad policy involving more cost to to the taxpayer, more bureaucracy and childish behaviour from the NZ politicians.

I believe the Swiss have the best government ever.  Although, when speaking to a Swiss, they seem to only find faults.  But it is true democracy, where the people decide everything.  True, it takes a bit longer but at least the end result is what the (majority) people want.  And all the politicians have day jobs, none are full time politicians.  Isn’t that something!?  They are real people with real jobs with real families.

Oh and don’t get me started on families, or more specifically, the breakdown of marriage and families…  Here is a media release from Family First – a NZ organisation who I support.

Ok enough moaning, must look up that verse from Romans 13:1-7 to put out that fire burning me up!

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established… Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Our very own apartment

Well, not really ours, we are renting.  But we moved out of my aunty Maja’s house in Oberentfelden into an apartment in Aarau.  It is a smallish apartment but we don’t have much stuff so it is perfect for us.  It is on the 7th floor of an apartment block and I am a wee bit freaked out when I look down from our balcony.  But if I look out rather than down, then I am completely blown away by the incredible view.

The boys love it.  Especially the lift that takes us up.  Toby calls it ‘our hotel’ or ‘the loungement’.  Our biggest challenge will be to teach the boys to be very quiet in the house and hallways with people living all around us.

The move went well, although our new couch from Ikea wouldn’t fit in the lift so Daniel and I carried it up 7 flights of stairs.  That wasn’t fun.  Every muscle in my body aches now.  By the way, I am a bit disappointed in Ikea.  I mean, the stuff they have is cheap and trendy but the service was terrible.  But that is another whole blog post!

Thanks to Maja, Ramon and Julia who allowed us so willingly and without complaining, to live, and sometimes take over their house for 5 whole months!

Will post some pictures of our new home soon.

Adelboden – ds Bärner Oberland isch schö-ö-ön.

We said goodbye to Mum and Dad today. It was a bit tough, especially as the boys love them so much (and of course so do Dan and I). They are such wonderful parents and grandparents.

But before they went we (the two boys and I) were able to spend a few days last week in the Swiss mountains with them. We went to a place called Adelboden which is situated in the Bernese Oberland. Such a beautiful region, also home to the famous Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau mountains.

We spent our time walking and gondola riding and whizzing down mountains on trottinetli (scooters). Noah just loved it, sitting in my Ergo down the hill. As soon as I stopped he would yell – ‘go Mama go’ and ‘faster, go faster’. Toby stood on the front of Papi’s scooter and enjoyed it just as much. We did a day trip up to the nearly 2000m high Engstligenalp which was so so great. Had a nice flat walking path suitable for prams & wheelchairs. What blows me away about Switzerland are the ‘wanderweg’ everywhere, even up incredibly steep mountains and over the ridge and down the other side. No problem for the Swiss, perhaps that would be a problem with a pram though!

The scenery is incredible and there is something to be said for the mountain air. It is truly good. And healthy. The hotel we stayed at – Alpina – was great, we found out it was part of the Christian hotel network in Switzerland and had good food and friendly service.

It won’t be long before we will have to find another mountain to climb. It is addictive.

Here is a little Swiss folk song I learned in my time in Adelboden. Still not too sure about the meaning of it but something about a girl called Lisi Vogel. It is supposedly written in Bärndutsch – which is the dialect spoken by Swiss in the Bern region. A wee bit different to the Aargau Swiss German.

Wen-i nume wüsst,
wo ds Vogu-Lisi wär.
ds Vogu-Lisi chunnt vo Adelbode här.
Adelbode liegt im Bärner Oberland.
ds Bärner Oberland isch schö-ö-ön.
ds Oberland, ja ds Oberland, ds Bärner Oberland isch schön.
ds Oberland, ja ds Oberland, ds Bärner Oberland isch schön.