June 26: Feast or famish

Sorry I didn’t post this yesterday … busy having fun again!

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This is the photo I mentioned previously where the tractor driver stopped. I thought he was going to get mad at me for taking a photo, but he just wanted to talk about the good weather!

I’ve been forgetting/don’t have time in the mornings to make my breakfasts for the I Quit Sugar program, so for the past week I’ve been making do with a tub of natural yoghurt and a small sunflower seed bread roll on my walk to work.

At CHF2 from the supermarket, it’s not too hard on the wallet but it’s lacking in thrills. So tonight, after a good morning putting together an inventory of karate clothes at work with Pastora, and a few quick beers together at Cafe Pyrennes afterwards (fast becoming our Friday ‘welcome to the weekend’ ritual!), I was really, really looking forward to dinner with our neighbours and their friends at a nice restaurant in another village 10 minutes drive away.

A juicy steak promised plenty of song and dance but wasn’t all that entertaining – this time the Angus beef came from the property of one of the members of the Swiss band Yello (they had some big hits in the 90s, including Oh Yeah). Not really a smash hit this time ’round, despite plenty of veg to make it a feast, so our last meal there remains my favourite.

After dinner, Eve, Paul, Lotti and Fritz came back to sit around the pool with Liliane, Rene, Leo and I in the beautiful twilight (would be amazing to go walking in that light), and the men demolished (and yes, I am using this term with confidence) a bottle of Montenegro that Leo’s dad gave him for his birthday. We’re glad it’s gone! We don’t really drink hard spirits or liqueur at home, and the shelf in the lounge room is full. Maybe by putting the bottles on display, people think we enjoy it and they’re encouraged to buy more. Unfortunately, we don’t have anywhere else to store them, apart from the cellar. Hmm … there’s a thought! 🙂

One thing I’ve really missed with consuming less sugar these past three weeks is a glass of elderberry cordial. They love it here (it’s called Holunderbluten syrup). Feeling adventurous? You can make your own cordial here, if you have access to a tree, or if that’s not quite your style, how about elderflower wine?! Hic!

So my 30-Day challenge plant name for you today is the elder (Sambucus). We have many trees growing around the property, but I’ve never made the syrup!

Wishing you a wonderful day.

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The Aare river running through Bern. I cross this bridge to go to work

February 22: A 20-minute walk for eggs

Inspiration came from … ummm … somewhere … on Friday and I baked a chocolate and raspberry cake. Then yesterday, I baked a loaf of bread. Stop me now! Both were incredibly easy and healthy, and turned out just like the photos in the recipes. They’ll be made again. (I should mention this baking/cooking thing is very unlike me. Very.)

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The bread and what’s left of the cake

Making the bread used up our last three eggs, so if we wanted a hearty Sunday breakfast, Leo suggested we walk to the nearest village to buy eggs from the honesty-box shop. It had stopped snowing but for some reason I really wasn’t interested in going for a walk – too cold, too lazy! But Leo’s coaxing did the trick and once we were outside, it was totally worth it.

I moved from Australia to Switzerland just over three years ago, and still find snow intriguing – especially the way it clings to things and the squeaky noise it makes when you walk through it. Hopefully the novelty never wears off (like it must have if you’re living in parts of the USA and Canada right now). There is a disclaimer, though – while snow can be fun, I really don’t do well in the cold.

When we arrived in the village, a chicken was cackling like an old woman; an infectious laugh and soon we couldn’t stop either. I could totally see her as a woman from the 70s, with a cigarette in one hand and a wine glass in the other, leaning suggestively over a table of hors d’oeuvres as she told the most hilaaaaarious story, darling. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo of her, as she was hiding under a small tree in her pen. Highlight of the day, after eggs on toast for breakfast of course!

It’s Sunday, so this pleasant 20-minute round trip is today’s fitfor15in15. I’ll raise more of a sweat during the week, promise. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Wishing you a wonderful day.