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!
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!
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.
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…
In the summer of 1999, I remember the date vividly, it was the year I was having the best lunchbreaks ever with my colleague and friend Andrea, our agency was wildly overstaffed, so from Monday to Friday, we had lavish, long extended luncheons all over town, our lunch budget was always overdrawn by Tuesday, but we didn’t care at all, anyway, it was also the summer, blueberry producers from all over the world published the result of some health research, claiming the blue colouring of blueberries was extremely healthy a stuff. Something in the chemical composition seemed to protect you from all sorts of diseases, conveying the impression blueberries made you live happily for hundreds of years. I was immediately sold. So, for the last twenty years I’ve been eating lots and lots of blueberries, muffins mostly, but also lots and lots of blueberry müeslis, and haven’t aged at all (so my doctor tells me). I added some raspberries for colour, though…
Sugar is the most opposed achievement in modern society, when you admit putting sugar in your coffee, you’re as politically suspect as if you opposed putting taxes on the rich. So, unless you’re already wearing a t-shirt that says Save the Rich, don’t ever quit sugar! You might lose what life’s all about, where there’s nothing sweet to experience, there’s only bitterness to endure, so believe you me, you don’t want to live without any contrasts, you need them just as much as the day needs the night, and the week its weekend, and whatever they tell you about the danger of sugar or carbohydrates altogether, slow or fast, think of what you’d have to give up once you’ve renounced sugar: the rigid bitterness of orange marmalade, mine is imported from a weekly market in Versailles and amère as hell, needs some sweetness to soothe your tastebuds, otherwise you end up with a twisted tongue. And if this necessity doesn’t convince you, just think of that: citrus fruit and sugar cane have the same origin, God—and you don’t want to contradict God, do you?
Since the beginning of time, we’ve met with many a famous couple: Adam and Eve, Caesar and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet, Harry and Sally, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Yves Saint Laurent and Victoire Doutreleau, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, James Bond and an endless row of girls, Miss Marple and Mr Stringer, Tintin and Captain Haddock, but the most successful couple to me is a strawberry and the cheesecake she’s just been introduced to. Admittedly, their love affair won’t last long, a fork will be their hangman, my stomach their grave, but neither did Romeo and Juliet’s, and so I will continue to help any strawberry meet the love of her life, my cheesecake. Short live the happy couple!