How to Blog?

No, I am not going to give advice. I am still learning the ropes myself. Part of learning them is looking for good teachers, other bloggers who stand out and are an example to others. I often look in on others, it is a rewarding job. Today I was really impressed by a blog written about blogging by someone called The Jittery Goat. One of those that I admire. He has had some novels published and his blogs are entertaining and you often find some gems of insight. Today was no exception and there was a blog that really gives food for thought.

Advice on Blogging and Thanks to All 2000 Follows

I would really recommend reading this. Jiggery Goat explains his blogging path and highlights some very interesting facts

Like Jiggery Goat I also have many followers, although the actual amount is a mystery to me. According to the statistics that appear on my page I have 2,354 follows. According to the official WordPress statistics I have 1,568, so where are the missing 786 disciples. Probably only looked in for the thrill of the ride. Basically it is not so important. Of course it is nice to be followed, knowing that your writing does not disappear in the sinking sun of the blogging world. Also Jiggery Goat talks of Likes and its meaning of being a DNA print, been there, seen it. I am happy for all your likes, and especially happy for the comments. My visits per day are approximately 100, sometimes more and sometimes less. I remember in the beginning, when I could be satisfied to have 3-4 likes and visitors were almost zero

He also talks of linking, pingbacks which for me show that I see you have written something because I visited your page and if I receive a pingback it means I have had a visitor.

All I want to say is read what he writes. There is a great deal of common sense there. It impressed me and I will certainly be referring to the wise suggestions made in the final paragraphs

Daily Prompt: Food for the Soul (and the Stomach)

Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FOOD.

Bramata and Osso bucco

And now for the foody part: what an opportunity for the cooks and housewives of the Daily Prompt to show us their favourites. Personally I did not really know where to begin. I do not really have favourites, I eat almost anything.

I have a sort of mental list of things I like to cook regularly. Then I have a backup somewhere in my head with things I like to cook now and again. There is another list for high days and holidays, when you spend a little more.

The regular stuff is nice an easy. I have cooked it so often. During the week at lunch it is just Mr. Swiss and I, so that is easy. We both have to like it. I very rarely cook meat at lunch time, but at week-ends and in between. Today it had to go quick as I had an appointment at the vets this afternoon with my mean cat (see Link), so I cooked some Spätzli (sort of pastry-like pasta) and fried some mushrooms and leek with chopped bacon. That filled us up for the afternoon. Tomorrow I have planned fried potato, baked tomatoes garnished with sage and thyme from the garden, and fried cervelat. Cervelat is a national Swiss sausage. My food is mostly Swiss based.

To explain the photo: on the right we have osso buco (sounds Italian and yes it is). The following explanation is not for the squeamish or vegetarians. Imagine an animal, calf or pig, chop the legs in pieces and there you have it: a bone in the middle surrounded by meat. It is cooked for a couple of hours in a chopped mixture of carrots, celeriac, leek and wine (red or white according to your taste – I prefer white). One of the best parts is the bone marrow, although a matter of taste. Mr. Swiss likes it on a piece of bread, I just eat it pure.

On the left we have bramata, again something Italian. It is maize cut roughly and cooked in bouillon, stirring all the time, for about thirty minutes. I usually mix it with some parmesan cheese and butter when cooked. It is just something that suits the osso buco.

I only associate food with occasions, when the food does not leave a good memory. There are people that long for the good old days when mum cooked this and that. My mum cooked everything, according to how her mother cooked it and probably how her mother cooked it like her not a lot of new things were picked up on the way. I was the odd one out at home as I never ate what was good for me. Greens (cabbage) boiled and drained off as a veg were not my favourite, but it would have been so good for me. I did not like the fat on the meat, another “good for you” part of the meal. The funny thing is that today I am quite partial to fat on the meat. Ham is just not ham without the white edge.

At the moment I am planning Christmas Eve (the big celebrations at Christmas in Switzerland). Over the years it has been established that a preliminary of prawn cocktail goes down well, followed by Chateau Briand with mixed veg (brussel sprouts and carrots), accompanied by fried potato. I have not yet decided on the desert, but probably something with ice cream. I do not really celebrate Christmas, but it is a time of year when everyone else does, so who am I to eat a cheese sandwich, being surrounded by everyone eating their 5 star menus.

One of my favourites to prepare is a cheese fondue. You can buy the mixture in a sachet. Take a suitable fondue bowl, rub it out with a clove of garlic, put the mixture in, heat it up stirring all the time. When it is a bubbling melted thick cheesy sauce, put it on the little fondue stove. In the meanwhile cubes of bread are ready to be pierced on a fondue fork to stir in the cheesy mixture. Now that is really no stress, tastes good, and ideal for a cold Winter evening. OK, there are dedicated housewives that make it all themself. Grated cheese, white wine and cornflour carefully being stirred to suddenly find that it does not mix and you have a hard clump of cheese surrounded by a watery white wine sauce. There are many memories of Swiss mothers/housewives having their nervous breakdowns caused by this catastrophe. That is why Mrs. Angloswiss buys the mixture. No stress and all finished in 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy you meals everyone.

Daily Prompt: Food for the Soul (and the Stomach)

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Nera went to the Vets


Daily Prompt done me a favour today by being late. I had time to pay a sudden visit to the vets with Nera, the chief feline. She had a suspicious eye that looked a little inflamed: nothing serious, but always better to check. The vet confirmed she probably just had a mild conjunctivitis in the eye. The diagnosis was the easy part. Then the vet had to put a contrast liquid in the eye to see if there were any injuries to the eye. There were none, but the vet and her assistant were near to injury. Yes, Nera needs two people to do the examination: one to hold her down by the scruff of her neck and the other to do the work.

The next problem was putting eye drops into the eye. I did not realise that Nera had such a look alike resemblance of vampire teeth in her mouth, all sharply pointed and ready to dig deep. What did the vet do? I think she crossed her fingers and hoped for the best, trying to ignore the growls and hisses. She said that everything has to be done quickly with Nera, due to dangers. She decided there was no point that we put the drops in her eye at home, as that would definitely not work.

The next operation was an anti-inflammatory injection, to perhaps make it unnecessary for further eye drops. For this operation Nera’s head was completely covered in a thick cloth so that she did not see the jab coming. At the moment she is curled up sleeping and probably dreaming of how she showed us all. It is funny when I go to the vets with Nera, they always automatically make special preparations like organising an assistant and having special cover-up cloths for the head.

There was a lady in the waiting room that was convinced what a sweet little Kitty Nera is and was ready to put her finger through the bars of the cage to stroke her. I said perhaps it would be better not. My insurance does not cover feline injuries for strangers and finger decapitations.