My Not-So-Daily Diary

February '05

Wednesday, February 9, 2005


     The sun doesn't shine on our village very often in the winter because it's almost always covered with clouds or fog. But today it's a beautiful day here in Oberwil. Although it's about 40°F in the shade, it's over 50°F in the sun. I'm taking advantage of this by sitting outside and using the time to write a journal update.

     If you've checked the 'Updates' page in the past week, then you've already seen that I've added three new pages. Otherwise, you can use the following three links to find the new stuff.

     There are two new photo pages. One is from the New Year's Eve celebration we had with friends and the other one is from our 2nd annual white elephant party.


New Year's Eve photo page


White Elephant Party photo page


     I've also decided to start adding more recipes to the site. The latest one is for a macaroni dish that's very popular in Switzerland.


Alpler Macaroni recipe page


     Frieda and Hans, Herbert's parents, come to Oberwil every Wednesday. Frieda always cooks a lunch that would be more typical in the US as a nice Sunday dinner than a simple midday meal. Last Wednesday, I decided to start recording some of her recipes and sharing them here on this site. The macaroni dish is the first. She was more than happy to share and asked if I had any requests. Of course I did and I'll share them with you as she makes them. Today she made a zucchini gratin that I love and I'll add that recipe in the next few days. Here's a photo I took this morning of Frieda making that dish.



     At this moment, I have bread dough rising on the kitchen table. The dough is for Züpfe, a braided bread that is a staple in Switzerland. I'll take a photo when it's done and also share that recipe this week.

     All this talk about food and you're probably wondering how my diet is going. I've done a few days of Weight Watchers since I got back from the States, but not many. I've been happy to find that I haven't gained a single pound in these past two and a half months, even through the holidays.

     Our Trachtengruppe recently had our bi-annual Heimatabend. I'm not going to make a photo page of this event this time. But, if you don't know what a Hiematabend is, you can learn about it on this photo page from two years ago. We all need to wear a Tracht, a traditional dress, and I was able to borrow Mädi's. When I saw photos of me in a Tracht this year, I realized that I had lost weight. It's hard to see it in the mirror when you see yourself every day, but it's clearer in photos, like the two below.



                              Heimatabend 2003                                 Heimatabend 2005


     I think that's all I have time to share today. A friend stopped by while I was typing this and I've also taken a few minutes to go and braid my Züpfe. The sun is starting to set and my fingers are starting to get cold.




Tuesday, February 22, 2005


     This week I am on a ski vacation in the Alps with some friends. We are in a small village called Saas Almagell. There are thirteen of us, including three children and we are renting three apartments in a small building. We haven't had the best weather so far, but we've had a lot of fun just hanging out and laughing.

     I don't ski and neither do a few of the others. Yesterday, we rode the ski lift up to the top of the hill and joined everyone else in one of the restaurants up there. You can rent sleds and sled down a snow covered path that winds back down the hill. At first I was a little bit afraid of doing this because I thought the sled would go too fast and I didn't know how you steered it. Everyone explained that you simply use your feet to steer. If you want to go to the right, you put your right foot down in the snow. Left? Left foot. At the beginning, I had both feet firmly planted in the snow as brakes and realized that I could control the speed. Then I tried steering and that worked well too. My friend Regina was very kind and was always waiting for me on each curve. By the time we got down to the bottom of the hill, I had had so much fun that I told everyone that I wanted to do it again. Today, Regina I went up the hill with Joie, the two-year-old granddaughter of Mädi, and went sledding down the hill two times. Although it's very cold, especially on your feet, it's so much fun that I'm glad I was willing to try something new.

     I also tried something else for the first time yesterday - beef tongue. We all eat together at the table in one of the apartments and that's what we were having. After saying that I wouldn't be eating because I didn't like it, someone asked the logical question, "Have you ever tried it?" I thought about how many times Herbert has told me that I should always try things at least once. I agreed to try it. I wasn't able to watch as they peeled the bumpy skin off and before I could take a bite, I had to put everything out of my mind and simply think of it as beef. I have to say, it was very good. I ended up eating three pieces. Okay, they were smaller servings than everyone else was taking, but I did go back for seconds and thirds. It really reinforced the concept that you should always try things.

     A couple of weeks ago, I added two new recipes. You can get to them with the links below. I also added a page with instructions on how to braid the Züpfe bread. You'll find that link on the Züpfe recipe page.


Zucchini Gratin recipe page


Züpfe recipe page


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