Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tongue Twister

After our house warming 2 years ago, we were certified as party animals and caterers by a colleague of ours. He provided us with a shield, warning for a party going on (organised by CS and OX), and provided us with a the full documentation including CE marking and TÜV testing reports. One of the drinks, we were granted to serve, described in the extensive paper work, our colleague refers to as "Tongue Twister".

Today I received an e-mail from our HR manager. This is a real verbal Tongue Twister. It describes a translation from German into English. Try this one out and follow the three categories of difficulty. I can assure you, you're going to need a cloth to wipe your environment clean again after going through this. A good suggestion for a party with friends after you've had a few drinks. Good luck and enjoy!!

Stage 1 For beginners:

Drei Hexen schauen sich drei Swatch Uhren an.
Welche Hexe schaut welche Swatch Uhr an?

and now the English translation:
Three witches watch three Swatch watches.
Which witch watches which Swatch watch?

Stage 2 Advanced English:

Drei geschlechtsumgewandelte Hexen schauen sich drei
Swatch Uhrenknöpfe an.
Welche geschlechtsumgewandelte Hexe schaut sich welchen
Swatch Uhrenknopf an?

and now the English translation:
Three switched witches watch three Swatch watch switches.
Which switched witch watches which Swatch watch switch?

Stage 3: highest level of Tongue Twisting:

Drei schweizer Hexen-Schlampen, die sich wünschen geschlechts-
umgewandelt zu sein, wünschen sich drei schweizer Swatch Uhrenknöpfe anzuschauen.
Welche schweizer Hexen-Schlampe, die sich wünscht geschlechts-
umgewandelt zu sein, wünscht sich welchen schweizer Swatch Uhrenknopf anzuschauen?

and now the English translation:
Three swiss witch-bitches, which wished to be switched swiss witch-bitches,
wish to watch three swiss Swatch switches.
Which swiss witch-bitch which wishes to be a switched swiss witch-bitch,
wishes to watch wich swiss Swatch watch switch?

Sunday, May 28, 2006


While CS was blogging away, I did some cooking for tonight. Before doing the groceries yesterday we discussed what to have for dinner. I realised it has been a long time since I made Risolles, not to be confused with the irish "rissole", even though the preparation method and the end result seem to be quite similar.

Risolles is an Indonesian snack or dish. Imagine a pancake filled with a thick ragout consisting of chicken and mushrooms, mixed in a butter, flower, milk and water basis. Actually it is not that weird that indonesian recipes have european equivalents or origins. Indonesia has a long history of occupations by several nations, ranging from the Portuguese, through the Japanese to the Dutch. Both my parents were born and partly raised in Indonesia. My father was born in Bandung, provincial capital of West-Java, my mother was born in Cirebon on the North Coast of Java. That's where my love for Indonesian food comes from. I grew up on it!

Anyway, I spent almost 3 hours in the kitchen to prepare our dish for tonight and once you're on it, it's worth while to prepare more than you can eat. Considering the long hours of preparation you'd better use it and freeze some of it for the days where you don't feel like cooking or simply lack the time to cook. If you're interested in trying it yourself, then have a look at the recipe below (thanks mom!). I tried to describe the steps as clearly as possible. Basically, I wanted to write down some of my favorite recipes for quite some time already, but somehow I never got to it. As I promised Sal to come up with a few, I decided this was the perfect moment to start the compilation of my personal cook book. So, be ready for some more recipes in the coming time! If you decide to try this recipe, go ahead and try. it's easier than it looks.


Ingredients for approximately 12 pc. of risolles:

4 Chicken legs with thigh
150g mushrooms (take small mushroom, diameter 3 – 3,5 cm)
3-4 eggs
1 onion
Bread crumbs
Salt, pepper and nutmeg
Sherry or whiskey
Preparation time: 2 ½ - 3 hours

Preparing the filling

Salt and pepper the water and boil the chicken in it. Boil the chicken for approx. 10 minutes to half done. Take the chicken out of the water and let it cool off. Keep the broth to add in the preparation of the filling. After the chicken has cooled off, cut it in small cubes.
Clean the mushrooms and cut them in thin slices (3-4 mm thick). Cut the onion in quarters.

Now start preparing the basis for the filling. Melt butter in a pan, add the onion quarters. The butter should take the taste of the onion. While the butter melts start adding flower bit by bit to create a thick paste. The paste should be thick and firm as it will be used as filling for crepes. Keep stirring the butter to mix the flower with the butter. Add milk and water (50/50) and keep on stirring the paste to a thick equal mass. Add the chicken cubes and mix them with the ragout while stirring. In case the mass gets too thick or lumpy, add more milk and water. After all the chicken has been added, add salt and pepper to taste. Now add the sliced mushrooms and stir them into the ragout. Make sure the ragout doesn’t get stiff. If necessary, add more water and milk. After the mass has been stirred to a homogene mass, add a touch of nutmeg. Taste the mass and add salt, pepper and/or nutmeg to your likings. After this step add 1 egg and stir the egg through the mass until has been taken in completely. Once the mass is equally thick pour a bit of sherry or whiskey and stir it into the mass. After adding the sherry of whiskey, take the filling from the stove and let it cool off.
NOTE: Sherry will give a slightly sweet taste to the mass, whiskey will give the filling more “bite”.

Prepare the crepes

Mix flower, milk or water, a touch of salt and 1 egg to a thin dough. Use the dough to make thin crepes. Don’t let the crepes get too dark like pancakes. The crepes should stay middle brown as they will be filled with the mass and pan fried in oil afterwards. Let the crepes cool off before continuing.

Preparing the risolles

Take one crepe at the time and put a part of the mass in the middle of the crepe. Model it to a rectangular shape and then fold the sides of the crepe to the middle, creating a rectangular shape. The size of the risolles depends on the size of the crepes. Don’t overfill, otherwise the crepes will burst when fried in the oil! Repeat this until all crepes are filled.

A few pictures to show what it looks like:

Filling the crepe
Modelling the filling into a rectangular shape

Folding the crepe
The way the risolles look after the filling and folding

Pan frying the risolles

Spread the bread crumbs on a plate, beat an egg and put it in a wide bowl or deep plate. Start heating a frying pan with a good layer of sunflower oil until the oil is hot. Take the first risolles, roll it through the egg and then through the bread crumbs. Put the risolles in the pan on the side where you’ve closed the crepe first, and turn it now and again until it has been fried golden all around. Once fried, take the risolles from the oil and let it drip dry on paper towel. Keep them in the oven at 80-90° when you want to serve them afterwards. Fry all risolles until done.

Pan fry in oil
Turn the risolles to get brown all around

Serving the risolles

Risolles should be eaten warm. As sauce you can add either a sweet chilli sauce or mustard.
Risolles which has been prepared and fried can be kept in the freezer. To warm them up after taking them from the freezer heat up your oven to a 150°C (hot air oven) or a 170°C ( gas oven).

This is what risolles looks like after frying,
while drip drying on paper towel

Bon appetit!

Random Flower Shots

This entry is for Expat Traveler. I know she loves flowers and, although we can definitely not be acknowledges as being even close to what one would even call a hobby photographer, OrangeX and I took a few very nice pictures and I thought they were worth posting.

Our Rhododendron, two weeks ago:

... and last weekend after a small shower....

... and here are close-ups of the beauty.

A few weeks ago, I also took pictures of the wisteria we have in our garden. Not only are they beautiful, but their scent makes you want to breathe them in.

Hope you have a great week.

BTW, does anyone know whay, when I post pictures, some can be blown up to the larger (normal) size and others not?? Just asking.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Weekend starts today!

Today's Himmelfahrt (or Ascencion day, if you prefer) and we're off! We slept in until 10:30 this morning. I think we slept about 12 hours in a row. We must have needed it. I've taken tomorrow off as well which means that I have a four day weekend! Yeah! Hey, if we can't go on holidays this summer, we might just as well make bridges with holidays that fall close to the weekend, right? I've been spending most of the afternoon today visiting blog sites because I simply had too little time this week. I've got so much catching up to do!

Anyway, I do have a lot planned for tommorrow, like getting my summer tires on (I know - just didn't have the time), wash my car (it's full of pollen!), visit a few town halls for detailed infos the many places I've lived in Switzerland for Orange's application to move to Canada, do the groceries and pack for the evening. That's right, we're invited to a 50th birthday tomorrow and we're staying overnight. I'm sure I'll post about it. Hope the weather is good.

So what else is planned for the coming weeks? Well, we're flying to Amsterdam mid-June and end of July, we're off to visit our good friends Pinki and Andrea for 4 days in Vienna! What else is in store for us, I don't know just yet.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend (mine started today!) Hehe!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

My first meme

Lovely Ginnie gave me.... No, let me put it this way... I took on a meme from her that consists in her giving me a letter – in this case, the letter H – and to find 10 words and to explain why I chose them. Anybody whising to take part in this meme, just let me know in your comments and I'll give you a letter.

So here’ goes:

Hawkesbury: The small town where I was born and grew up in. It lies on the shore of the Ottawa river, right at the boarder of the province of Quebec, has about 11’500 inhbitants and is about halway between donwtown Montreal and Ottawa. Not really exciting, but my home. What I always loved about it is the fact that it’s the 3rd most bilingual town in the province of Ontario. About 70% of the inhabitants are both fluent in french and english, Canada’s two official languages. When I was going to high school, I could choose to take any of my classes in either French or English. A big plus, if you ask me! Unfortunately, they stopped that now.

Holland: I love it because it’s just fantastic and has become part of my life. Of course Orange-X is from Amsterdam, but the country is so full of beauty and life! I have made quite a few friends there (and even had to part with one of them :-( - Eelco, we still think of you) and my Dutch family is there, too. Unlike what Orange says, I find the country very friendly, welcoming and open minded.

Hands: Probably the most fascinitaing of all body parts (okay, you dirty minds, there are others, too! ;-)). Did you know that hands are our chief organs for physically manipulating the environment, from the roughest to the finest motor skills and contains some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the human body??

Humour: I couldn’t live without it. Really! I’ve also been told I have a wierd sense of humour. I can take from black humour to the lightest (and I try to apply all). It’s the thing that keeps me going and the best way to enlighten most situations.

Hamburgers: What I miss most in Switzerland, right after my family and friends. Many expats will agree that McD and BurgerK just can’t reach the “real thing”! I just can’t seem to find the quality of meat (Canadian beef) and buns that don’t crumble once you have put hem on the grill for over 30 seconds!

Hair: You must be thinking: “Huh??”. Well, I had all imaginable colours in my hair from black blue, to red (really red!), to white blond (with exception of pink and purple). Yes, I like to try new things. So, now I have my orange glasses! People change, ya know?!

Halloween: It was my favourite "holiday" of the year when I was a kid. I cared more for the dressing up than for the candies (although also appreciated). I just found that pretending to be someone/thing else for an evening was so much fun!

Harmony: The most important thing in a relationship, but it all start with respect. Once you have that, you'll have harmony. It can also be someting related to music, which is also very important to me. I can't stand disharmony!! It hurts my ears (and my heart)!

Hot foods: I love hot foods! You name it: Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Mexican... As I always say: If it didn’t burn twice, it wasn’t hot! Hot and/or at least, served hot: I can’t stand having a (mild) fish served on a cold plate, either. By the time you take the first bite, the fish is cold! Yuk!
And to finish the meme...

Hug: What is better than getting a nice, sincere hug from a friend? I mean a real squeeze, here. Right??

I send all of you big hugs and hope you have a wonderful week!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Somewhere over the rainbow...

The weather here has benn crazy lately. A cold rainy day, followed by a day of sun and warm temperatures, then a rainy day again... Agh! why can't it remain constant for a bit (sunny, of course)??

We took this picture on Thursday evening around 9 pm... I love rainbows!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Tandoori and papadums??

Yesterday, OrangeX and I spent a whole 2 1/5 hours installing a so called "easy to install" software for wireless printing on my laptop. We finally managed and I can now print form here, namely, from the terrace, wireless! YAY for us!

Last Friday, we were invited by Rammy and John to an authentic Indian dinner. We had no plans and I just can't resist Indian food. We knew that our good friend TBF was invited as well (Mrs. TBF was still in the US on a business trip), so we called him up yesterday afternoon, and asked if we could give him a ride. He gladly accepted, so we picked him up around 6:45 pm and made our way to Rammy and John's house while TBF was giving us directions.

We arrived around 7-ish and were warmly greeted by both of them and their son, Oliver. Immediately, the scent of all the spices kind of drove me into a trance. I couldn't help breathing in deeply and just enjoying.

We sat at the bar in the kithchen (we dream of a kitchen like that!) and were served a welcome drink and an amuse-bouche consisting of mashed potato patties with chick peas in herbs served with chutney and a mint raita. We then went out on the covered porch (it was raining...again!) where we enjoyed a few more drinks and were called in shortly after to be seated in the orange room (their dining room). You can imaginge that Orange-X (and I) immediately fell in love with that room. It's sooo cozy (and it matches my new glasses, too)! The whole house is wonderful. It was built in the 20's: high ceilings with stuck decoration on them, wooden staircase, etc.

As a starter, Rammy had prepared scallops marinated in tandoori paste and served with a salsa made of bell pepper, mango, tomato and fresh herbs (mainly coriander leaves).

We helped our lovely hosts to bring in the main course in: Indian rice, dahl (lentils), an awsome aubergine dish and leg of lamb curry. Of course we had the typical Naan bread to accompany the whole thing.
Rammy and I just had to suck out the bones! The whole dinner was just so wonderful.

It brought back great memories of my childhood, when we had guests from India (I was but a toddler) until they found a place to stay in Canada. Aloka (my mum's Indian friend) would cook authentic Indian meals for us once in a while, and that's how I fell in love with Indian cuisine.

Back to yesterday: At some point Oliver (very clever boy) decided to show his own version of "The Phantom of the Opera"... with naan bread? Why not!

Our dinner was crowned with a meringue cake with a mix of mascarpone and cream (hello calories. So what!), topped with fresh mango and strawberries. It was heaven!! Speaking of crowned... Orange-X also took a few crazy minutes (we all did). That's what he looked like with cooking mittens on his head.

We ended a fabulous evening on their heated porch and then came the time to say good-bye. We really had fun and hope we can have more of these evenings together. We drove TBF home and fell into a deep slumber as soon as we got home.

Ain't it great to have friends?? We had a lot of fun! Thanks again, Rammy and John.
Here are a few more picts of the evening.

OX, John, Rammy & TBF

You tell me... Which band is TBF imitating?

Happy Mother's day!

First of all, I'd like to wish all you mothers (and expecting mothers) out there:

Happy Mother's Day!
I think we never really realise what mothers do for us until we're adults. I know my mom was so dedicated to both of us and we were her first priority (although as kids or teens, we didn't always believe she was on our side). She was always there for us, helped us with our homework, never missed bringing me to dance practise or my brother to hockey trainings, and so on.
My mom was always seen as the "cool neighbourhood mom". I remember that the meeting point /playground for the 15 or so kids around was our backyard. In summer, my mom would pop up all of a sudden and treat the whole neighbourhood kids with lemonade, or popsicles, or cookies. She would also faint at the sight of her own blood, but cleaned and bandaged my head when I accidentally ran into the corner of a brick wall. Then, she took me to the hospital to get the wound stiched. I was a tomboy, so I almost had a pass to hospital emergency :-)
Later, in my last high school year, I had two French and English classes (1 literature and 1 grammar each) and my French grammar teacher, Laurier, was really tough (but excellent). My mom, being a French Canadian and a teacher in the past, was not so strong in English, but was a wiz in French. I remember doing an average of 2 hours a day (!) of homework only for my French grammar class with her every evening. We usually had a lot of fun and even she was sometimes challenged (that's how tough Laurier was).
She has always told me that her philosophy about raising us was a hand of steel in a velvet glove. And that's exactly what she did. I am thankful for the way she raised us. She has taught us good values and to be open to others. She has always accepted people the way they were (and still does). She (like other mom's) always thought of others before thinking of herself.
Today, we are more than just mother and daughter, we're friends. We talk at least once a week and I wouldn't miss it for the world. She's a wonderful lady and sometimes forgets to treat herself to something special. So I'll make sure she gets more of that once we're back in Canada.
So here's to you Mom, for being a great teacher, a wonderful cook, a friend, a diplomat, caring for us when we were ill, giving us endless love and just being you! Mom: You're simply the best and I love you!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Fun weekend... Olé! - Revised with Photos

**** Thanks to TBF, we got these pictures*****

We had a great time this weekend.

First I got brand new glasses from my sweet OrangeX; a funky second pair that I (we) fell in love with when I had my eyes checked a couple of weeks ago. I bought another pair at first, thinking that they should easily match with the many colours I wear. This pair though, is orange. When I went to get my new contact lenses, I saw them again and OrangeX made me put them on again. Then he said:"I want you to have those. They just look fantastic." And so, an hour later, I has my second pair in 3 weeks! It's a Spanish make: Etnia, Barcelona (Sal's gonna love this)

OrangeX bought himself a new mobile phone because his was so old and the buttons were getting lame. He's now all happy with his new Nokia 6280!

Last evening, we were invited to TBF's annual Cinco de Mayo party where we met a lot of expat friends and had a great evening (although OrangeX had to expose his bare butt again. Is this becoming a ritual on Cinco de Mayo at TBF's???). I hope TBF will photoshop it a bit and add blurr in there...
But(t??) the most embarrassing moment for moi - I'm used to Orange's mooning tick - was that I explicitly asked Orange to make sure the camera was packed and the batteries were loaded. Then, I remembered that I still had to take out the memory stick from my laptop where I had uploaded a few picts from Dale. Believe it or not, I started doing something else and by the time we got there and OrangeX shot the first pict, I thought "SH**T" I forgot the memory stick. So we ended up taking pictures with TBF's camera.

I'll let him blog about the details - well hey, he's got all the picts - but I can assure you: it was a wonderful evening (I stuck to the mexican tea this time), the food and drinks were excellent and plentifull and the atmosphere was great.

And guess what? We (and another couple) were again the last to leave at a human 2:00 am!

If I get a few picts from TBF, I'll post them (including the new funky glasses!)

And TBF has posted! Click here to read about the legendary Cinco de Mayo Party!
Chris (crutches aside) and Hanspeter

The belly competiton

Orange and the lovely Di

And now for the finale (sorry guys, OrangeX asked not to have his butt published AGAIN!) In the meantime, I found an acceptable solution. I guess this means you all need an invitiation!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Isn't this a pretty kitty?

No other comments necessary...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Just another filled weekend

On Saturday evening, we took our my Godson, Julian, and hist best girl friend, Delia, (not to be confused with girlfriend, just his best girl buddy!) out for a belated 17th birthday gift to one of his favorite restaurants , The Boomerang (sorry for the typo in the previous post, Julian). The Boomerang is an excellent Australian restaurant. We picked up the two "kids" at Julians and drove 5 minutes to the restaurant where were warmly greeted by the owners, Linda and Rolf. We forgot the camera, sorry.

Linda's originally from Australia and Rolf is Swiss and they are simply the sweetest people! Our hosts took very good care of us during the whole evening and assured that we had the right wine with our meal, enough water, and that we felt overall well taken care of. Julian, of course wanted the "Filet of Roo" (Kangaroo) as a main course. Orange and I opted for beef tenderloin as main course this time. The meal was delicious and we all enjoyed it. Delia was a bit shy in the beginning, but soon turned out to be a very smart and responisible young woman for her 18 years. I also keep being astonished about Julian: He is such a good kid. At first glance, you'd think: Woah! Where does he come from! I must admit: He is quite tall (about 1 meter 87/88, so almost 6'2"), has long reddish blond hair and a beard. If you nailed him to a cross, you'd thing the Saviour is back.

He's so full of kind thoughts (unlike - sadly - so many youngsters these days) and still fights for a good cause, he's an excellent fencer and very open to new views, he's interested in learning from us "older people" (now when did you last hear of a 17 year old doing that??). He really thinks out of the box for his age. Anyway, we had a fun evening, dropped them of at a local "their age" joint (we thought it better at our advanced age ... ahem... NOT to accompany them and make them feel supervised) round 11:30.

Yesterday, Sunday, we slept in until about 10:30 (luxury!!) and later went for Alie's annual BBQ up on the ridge where we met many friends and aquaintances. Alie is the daughter of one of our expat neighbours and her lovely parents, Diana and Andy, always organize a BBQ for friends and neighbours. We decided to ask Doug (from this post) to join us and meet a couple of our expat friends. Doug is a work colleague from the US who has been living in Switzerland since January 2006 and we thought it would be good for him to get in contact with other expats, too. There were about 100 people there and it was really fun. There was beer, wine, salads, sushi, sausages, hot dogs, marshmellows, etc.

We spent a good part of the afternoon chatting and eating, but around 7.30 pm, it got quite chilly and Doug didn't bring extra clothing to get sufficient protection from the cool wind. So we left, but we did take a (very) few picts.

Okay, I'll have to try later later with the picts. Blogger won't let me again.

Ahhh, finally! A day later, blogger lets me put up a picture!

TBF IS the back row, upfront from left to right: Rammy, yours truly and Mrs. TBF. Don'tyou just love the hat??

And today, we were busy filling out forms for our move to Canada. What?!!! We had a day off today, so we're usin' it!

Have a great week!