Daily Prompt: Time After Time

Traditions: we’ve all got ‘em. They might be family dinners on special occasions, or having a particular kind of cake on your birthday (Jeanne Cake, natch), or popcorn at the movies, or meeting your friend for a 5k run in the park, rain or shine, every Sunday morning. What are your favorite traditions, large and small? What is it about your traditions that keep them going strong for you?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us RITUAL.

Asparagus

Look, one of the local traditions are now again appearing in the food departments of the shops. It seems to me that our traditions arrive earlier and earlier each year. When I moved to this country in the middle of Europe known as Switzerland I met a lot of new and unknown traditions. One was that April and May are the asparagus times of the year. Mr. Swiss inaugurated me into this event and so Mrs. Angloswiss learned how to cook this curious vegetable. I did know it from England, only the tinned variety. Now you can even buy it in England, but perhaps just 5-6 at a time for a horrendous price. The first arrival of asparagus  in our local supermarket was last week.

“Look” I said to Mr. Swiss “you can get asparagus again.”

“Already” was the answer

“What about an asparagus risotto this week for lunch” I asked.

“Yes, definitely” and so Mr. and Mrs. (Anglo)Swiss bought a kilo of asparagus. Yes, we buy it kilo wise in this country of Helvetians. The asparagus that arrived on our table in the form of an asparagus risotto originated in Mexico. “That is a long way from Switzerland” you are thinking, but that is today’s modern life. Our traditions are disappearing at the cost of cold storage, long distance flights, and globalisation. Who cares? I even saw strawberries in the store, nice and red, probably not so juicy and I did not even bother to discover where they had their origins. Switzerland grows enough strawberries when it is the season (around May and June?).

Being originally a Brit I suppose I was saturated in traditions. The Queen and her trooping of the colour, hot cross buns at Easter, The Grand National (an annual horse race over hurdles), the football cup final and probably a few others. Mum was very much into traditions because that was how we did it and so well all had to do it that way. A world fell apart for her if things did not go how she wanted them.

I did not miss the Queen when I arrived in Switzerland and I am sure she did not miss me. I did not miss my Christmas turkey. It was not such a Swiss thing and Christmas in Switzerland is upside down compared to the British way of life. Mum and dad visited us at Christmas in Switzerland, but I do not think Mum was happy. It was tradition to have real burning wax candles on the Christmas Tree in the evenings in Switzerland, so I was confronted with English mum saying “isn’t it dangerous”, “aren’t you frightened that the tree will go up in flames” and so I reassured her that we had a bucket of water ready in the bathroom. The idea of celebrating on Christmas Eve was also not her thing. She would have preferred the Christmas Day lunch with the turkey and all the trimmings, and where are the Christmas Crackers. I explained that Christmas Crackers were an English thing.

I do not do traditions as such, I like variety in my life. Being a golden oldie can be boring if you sit around and wait for the next tradition to appear on the horizon. Of course, we have our little habits in Swiss family Anglo. Today I broke with a tradition and am writing my daily prompt outside on the porch. The sun was shining and Spring signals were everywhere. Unfortunately the sun has now disappeared and there is a sharp wind blowing so it is now bloody cold to say it frankly.

I will now retire to the inside and practice my Tai Chi exercises to warm up the body and soul. Now my mum did not even know what Tai Chi was, so that is a break with tradition.

Daily Prompt: Time After Time

Traditional Pingbacks

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25 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Time After Time

  1. I am not an asparagus fan, but everyone I know seems to love it, so I know how to cut and steam it properly. A risotto sounds interesting; I will search for recipes online. I have seen Christmas Crackers “popped” in Brit coms and movies and I am inspired to order some online – they have to be online everything else is – and make them a new tradition for our family. Cheers to you, the Mister, and the feline trio.

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    • Each country seems to have its own traditions and I had to adapt to a lot when moving into Switzerland. Now it is the other way round and I have to adapt when I visit England. the felines don’t bother so much with tradition as long as they get their tuna fish ration twice a week.

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  4. I love asparagus. It’s the entire family’s favorite veggie. But asparagus risotto? I’m trying to imagine how one does that and not coming up with an answer. I love asparagus any old way, including cold with mayonnaise (best when I make my own mayo). Risotto?

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    • In a nutshell, peel the aspragus. Chop in pieces about 2-3 cm long and fry in butter in a deep pan. After a couple of minutes, pour in some white wine and leave for a couple of minutes. Then sprinkle your uncooked risotto rice over it and pour in bouillon. I now also put saffran in it as I like it, but you do not have to . Put a lid on it and cook on a low heat until the rice and asparagus are through and that’s that.

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      • That sounds yummy. I bet I could make it in my rice cooker. All I need are the asparagus. Hm. I love saffron, but it’s hard to get around here. Used to buy it in the shuk in Jerusalem by the half kilo. That would cost as much as a small car here.

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  9. I think seasonal vegetables and fruit were a great tradition. I liked it when once in the late ’70s I went out to dinner with a fella and in this fancy restaurant were strawberries in January. I liked it that it was strange and special.

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  11. A few years ago I visited my sister in America for Christmas and took a box of Christmas Crackers. Even though she has lived over there for over fifty years I thought she would remember them. The family pulled the crackers while sitting on the settees on Christmas Eve! Once my son phoned them to say I had been taken down to the theatre to have an operation. My sister had to explain that I wasn’t going to have an operation while watching a play.

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  16. Asparagus – yum. Found out a couple nights ago, much to my surprise, it’s one of the few green vegetables my g’kids will eat. Hub made the mistake of telling them it makes your pee smell, and the dinner conversation went downhill from there !! Glad you got a moment of spring before the cold wind blew.

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    • Yes it does, but if everone eats it no problem. The strange thing is that in the States it seems to be mainly the green type, where the tops grow in sunlight. It is more popular in europe to eat the white variety, where it grows in banks and really has to be pulled out of the ground. I like both kinds and take the sort on offer.

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