The Chocolate Melting Pot

We’re experiencing the hottest April ever, today we reached a priorly unimaginable 27 degrees Celsius, I can remember colder days in August when I had to take out the winter jacket I had just bought and put it on because I was still sitting outside a café after sunset, but I digress. Anyway, today it was so hot that my crème glacée de chocolat aux prunes à l’Armagnac (aka chocolate icecream with brandy prunes) was melting in the sun! It was a mesmerizing effect, seeing the creamy chocolate blend with the brandy while I took this photo, I waved perfection goodbye, realizing that one should never ever shoot icecream in the roasting midday sun—if you aren’t completely satisfied with it, please take into account that I could not take any more and/or better pictures, as I wanted to try my dessert before its total meltdown, otherwise call toll free 0800-ICECREAM-FAILURE.

Julia, Meryl and I make Boeuf Bourguignon.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Julia Child, that marvelous home cooking enthousiast, taught us how to cook bœuf bourguignon, and all the other great French recipes, Meryl Streep did some sort of re-editing in 2009 with Julie & Julia, and although I had known about bœuf bourguignon before, I must admit that both Julia Child and Meryl Streep are to blame for my constant trying of making the perfect (let’s shorten it) b.b. ever since I first saw the picture. This Easter Sunday, however, when making b.b. at my parents’ place, I was left to my very own devices, meaning I had neither a cook book nor a DVD at hand, and so I had to put all my beef in one basket, and to rely on my not too trustworthy memory. Well, I could have done better, my b.b. was certainly not a price winning dish, but it wasn’t too bad, either—as a matter of fact, there were no leftovers…

Good Friday’s Good Fish

Actually, we had planned to have dorados for dinner on this Good Friday, but then all of a sudden our gardener came over, telling us he knew somebody who knew somebody who knew some trouts and as he knew we loved fish, he didn’t tell none of all these somebodies that he doesn’t like fish at all, not even on Good Friday, and brought us his share of the trouts that used to know somebody who knows somebody who knows our gardener. It was all very mysterious, but as one isn’t supposed to look a gift fish in the mouth, we took a rain check on our dorados. A rain check, we did not regret at all: Boy, these trouts were ever so good!

As Yummy As It Gets

The best thing about Switzerland is the food. And the best thing about the food is a Luxemburgerli from Sprüngli’s. You might think it’s a macaron but it’s not, believe you me. I’ve had macarons, plenty, even those hysterically cherished ones from Ladurée, and I had them from Ladurée in Paris, on rue Bonaparte, so don’t tell me the taste was probably just affected by transportation, say a long-distance flight to Sydney, Cape Cod or Kyoto or where ever you picture me misjudging Ladurée’s famous delights, no, even those iconic French macarons are nothing in comparison. Nothing compares to a Luxemburgerli. Nothing. Actually, it makes macarons obsolete. Sad excuses for a sweet. You better take the next flight to Zurich and make it to Paradeplatz as quickly as you possibly can. If only I could do the same, but I promised to show up at my parents’ place this Easter weekend…

The Snack Who Came In From The Cold

I ran out of chips and anything crunchy to snack while watching TV, supermarkets were already closed, so I had to come up with something else. What’s crunchy, I asked myself, what’s crunchy and salty and yummy? Nuts! Roasted almonds! Stupid idea though, as I had none at home. So, I asked myself, what’s crunchy and salty and yummy and available? I opened the fridge so that a bottle of beer could give me a leg up, when a cucumber caught my eye. Well, you’re crunchy, but you’re not salty at all, and, quite frankly, not that yummy either. But then I got inspired by divine intervention, or the Irish flag, who knows, and put together trout caviar, cream cheese, and sliced cucumber! Very crunchy, very salty, and, most importantly, very yummy. Now, what’s on TV? Jeanne Moreau? Great!

The Hypnotic Easter Bunny

One day, when on my way home from work, I changed trams on Paradeplatz in Zurich, just like any other day. This particular day, however, was not an ordinary day at all, it happened to be a very particular day, it was the day Sprüngli had changed their windows for Easter. Now, when you’re a chocolate addict like me, you’re about to lose control over your itinerary, you stop paying attention to anything else, least of all your connecting tram, you can take the next one, or the one after that, but on this day, I lost control over time and space altogether, I was mesmerized by a chocolate Easter bunny, the biggest chocolate Easter bunny I had ever seen, ever!, it was huge, gigantic in fact, who could ever eat it up, I wondered. I think, this was my last self-controlled thought, then, this Easter bunny’s face started to mesmerize me, what expressive features, such character, I felt like I had entered Alice’s wonderland, as if that bunny was about to address me, saying something like If I lose my temper, you lose your head, it wouldn’t have surprised me at all, I took a deeper look in its eyes, one look too many, and da war’s um mich gescheh’n, it spoke to me, it sang to me, my fate became quite plain, half drawn by it, I glided in and was not seen again.

A Greek God’s Breakfast

Actually, it’s a very common dessert in most Greek restaurants, but lately I found out that for somebody into Swiss müeslis it’s also very nice a dish when served for breakfast. Yoghurt, nuts and honey—what more could you ask for to stay slim and fit? I’m pretty sure all these nutrients on a daily basis is what turned Greek people into gods and goddesses. As for my version, it’s a politically most absurd blend of origins: the yoghurt’s Greek, the walnuts are from California, and the chestnut honey is produce of Turkish bees. The country who first came up with democracy blended with two others that have been mocking it ever since their current leaders came into power. But I was talking health benefits, not politics…