Writing Prompt #36 Do you like cooking?


I love watching the cooking programmes on the TV, mainly BBC Master Chef, at least I used to until I discovered after a year it was all the same sort of thing. Although that does not answer the question whether I actually like to cook. I love the idea of cooking, but the actual work is often in the way. My cooking life became an adventure. In England, land of potatoes and greens,  mum always said “I pity your old man when you get married, he will be living on fish fingers”: not exactly, although even fish fingers have their attraction for a quick meal.

I married a Swiss, the combination of French, German, Italian cooking and yes, the Swiss also have their traditions like Rösti, Fondue and Cervelat salad. I learned it all, I had to with four kids and a hungry husband. Enjoying it is something completely different. Cooks in a restaurant and TV enjoy, because they only cook. The cleaning afterwards is done by their staff, they can just sit down and admire the results, or perhaps not. In the TV world of cooking everything is edible, most of it, they do not have tough meat. Even the chips are served in a neat pile, and can be counted, each one the same size and shape.

Today was quite funny. Mr. Swiss and I were at the supermarket to buy food. Today No. 2 son was also at home, and he does not eat brussel sprouts, he is autistic and probably thinks that green is not a colour you can eat. So we arrived at the butchers counter and our favourite butcher was serving. “Good Morning Angloswiss family” he said although used our real names. We do not go under pseudonyms in public life, only in blogging life. “What  would you like?” and Mr. Swiss and I did not have a clue. We thought perhaps lamb, or chicken, as when No. 1 son is at home we eat meat with lunch, otherwise we do not bother so much.

The butcher showed us lamb filet which was reasonable in price and so we decided “yes”. The butcher, who was also once a cook, said would recommend “schetzeln” which is a Swiss expression for slicing the meat in fine pieces, something that I have never seen in England. Mr. Swiss and I found that a good idea. and the butcher continued recommending how. I said with finely cut onion and pressed garlic, and he complimented the suggestion with fine herbs. I told him I have rosemary and sage growing in the garden and he found that would be excellent, with a fine touch of madeira wine. Mr. Swiss added that Mrs. Angloswiss was a good cook (he had not choice to say anything else, otherwise he could have cooked lunch himself) and so the decision was made. We had a remainder of brussel sprouts in the fridge and cauliflower, so what could possibly be better. This together with pasta would be ideal. The result can be seen above.

Going shopping, buying the food and cooking it by midday is a matter of logistics in the kitchen, but today it worked fine. Forget the meat, it is filet, needs only a few minutes. I boiled the water for the pasta and the brussel sprouts, the cauliflower remains went into the microwave. In the meanwhile I sliced the lamb and an onion, prepared a clove of garlic and spiced the meat with pepper and aromat (a swiss herb that every swiss must have in his food – you even take it on holiday with you in case you cannot buy it where you are going. I did not forget my sprig of rosemary and sage fresh from the garden. About five minutes before eating I fried the meat (in butter, because I fry everything in butter) onions and garlic, added a little wine and dinner was served. That is a meal I more or less enjoyed cooking. No big preparations, or time needed and yes it was a success. Mr. Swiss and I ate the brussel sprouts and son No. 1 was happy with his cauliflower.

Cooking is a necessity and I say make the most of it, we housewives do not have a choice. I have a dish washer, a well organised kitchen, and even a Mr. Swiss that clears it away for me afterwards, just like Master Chef, although I do help of course. It seems the only little problem is presentation. I do not create a work of art with my meal as it would probably be cold by the time I would serve it. It is there to be eaten and not to be hung on the wall as a painting.  It is served from the pans onto the plate. We eat in the kitchen and so the food is on the side where I cook it – no problem. What comes on the table are just the plates with the food and cutlery.  That is how I enjoy cooking. I no longer enjoy having guests for dinner or for a meal, unless they are family and I do not have to put on a show.

Just remember, let’s eat to live and not the other way round, then I am a happy cook.

Writing Prompt #36 Do you like cooking?

Flower of the Day: 06.03.2017 Medinilla Magnifica

Medinilla Magnifica

It seemed to become the flower that nobody wanted. It was in the store for at least a week. I watched it develop from a bud to a flower with my camera and now these are probably the last photos, as what cannot be sold goes to the flower happy hunting grounds. However, I managed to capture the life of a Medinilla Magnifica from the beginning to the end.

Flower of the Day: 06.03.2017 Medinilla Magnifica

Colour Your World: Pacific Blue

Along the River Aar 19.02 (1)

If you live in a country with no coastline, you do not have a big choice with blues, although I dare say that the Pacific is blue. The Atlantic seems to be more into green and grey, from my experience of flying over it. I took this photo along our river Aar on the opposite bank in the grounds of the large swimming pool(s).  Perhaps the background is a pacific blue, no idea. I am not sure what the strange figure is, perhaps a swimmer drying off in a bathing towel.

Colour Your World: Pacific Blue

Daily Prompt: I once met a swarm

Gnats 30.10 (2)

It is not every day you meet a swarm, so when I did I decided to take a few photos. These little insects were swarming on the banks of our local river. They were very active, but were not doing any harm. They seemed to be having fun in their swarm and it is not an every day event.

Otherwise who likes swarms, no-one really – too much and too many. Dealing with hundreds and thousands is not as easy as dealing with one or two. The subject of this prompt reminded me of a very good book I once read by the german author Frank Schätzing. The name of the book was “The Swarm” in english (in German Der Schwarm). I first of all read the english version, then discovered the original was in German, so read that one as well in the original language. I was very much impressed by the book. It was about our oceans and their revenge on mankind. At the same time I wrote a sort of comparison between this book and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne, which I featured on a literature site I also belong to. Not wanting to bore everyone, I thought I could reapeat it here, with lack of anything else to say about swarms, except always have a fly swatter near you, especially in summer – they can be very useful in swarm combat.

So here we go.

“The original classic by Jules Verne was written at a time when discovery was a theme in the world. The book itself reads like a guide to marine life, combined with the existence of a submarine known as Nautilus constructed by Captain Nemo who decided to live his life under the sea, being disappointed with mankind and its ways of war and conquest. A detailed history of his problems is not included in the book, and just at the end with tears in his eyes he is seen looking a photo of his wife and children (we assume).Three men are castaway on the Nautilus, falling from a ship pursuing the Nautilus, a marine scientist and his footman and a harpooner who sees fish as a source of food and to be killed. His one ambition seems to kill some sort of whale or big fish that he has not yet killed. Captain Nemo has his own views of justice and does not object to his reluctant lodgers going on a trip in the depths of the ocean and viewing the mysteries of the seaworld. So we have a nice, perfect picture of life under the sea and everyone is happy, except for Captain Nemo who does not like humans. The seas and oceans are full of teaming healthy life. 

Then we have Frank Shätzing in modern times where his book tells a story of the underwater world slowly being destroyed. Various sea creatures, worms and the like, begin to eat the continental plates endangering the security of the land. It goes as far that some countries are subject to floods and towns are covered by water. Mankind is threatened. After reading through the book (and I believe there is a film, although I have not seen it) it seems that a war is being fought between the marine animals and the humans. Looking at the situation we realise ourselves how we are abusing our seas and oceans. I am not a Green Peace person or revolutionary, but it is not difficult to see how some seas are being overfished. Everything is geared to feeding the population with cheaper variations of salmon and prawns and shrimps which seem to be growing up in sewer similar conditions, where the water is polluted and full of antibiotics to ensure that the production will continue. I don’t want to spoil the story, but when the various country governments decide to sort things out with businessmen and politicians which are in it for their own gain, then the catastrophe is programmed. The result is the revenge of the sea and thanks to the hero of the book things are sorted out.

Two books from two different centuries and after reading both, I realised how times have changed, For the better? I don’t think so, but we can hope. It was an interesting comparison.”

Hope I did not bore you, and here is another swarm – the crows are always swarming.


Daily Prompt: I once met a swarm

Good Morning


Not a very good outlook for the day, but at least temperatures are above the zero mark, although I do not think my journeys today will take me further than the supermarket. The only action here are the crows that come to see if breakfast is prepared at the Angloswiss residence, and of course it is. Yesterday I noticed that the sparrows were clearing up the remainders of the morning.

Sparrows 05.03 (4)

Yesterday evening I had one of those moments of despair and shock. I was sitting at my Microsoft computer blogging or something like that and one of those little black squares with words arrived on my page telling me that I only had 10% life in my computer, which only gave me a few minutes to work. Was my computer broken, did I have a virus, do I need a new transformer or whatever it is to inject life into a dying computer?

My first reaction is naturally to call Mr. Swiss. Why is it that when I need help he is busy with something that he cannot leave. My computer is dying, only minutes to spare and it will collapse, my life no longer has a purpose, and he is busy! It seems he was busy on his computer, but he could never be as busy as me. Eventually under protest I heard him rise and approach my computer nest. It was then that I realised the problem of my computer. We have many electric appliances that need a constant supply of electricity, and so are equipped with an extra socket strip/power board. Sorry do not know the exact english term, but it a long object with about 5-6 places to plug things into. Anyhow this special appliance had somehow been switched off and so there was no current on my plug to the computer. Simple really, and perhaps the first place you should look. Anyhow the day was saved, I switched it on, Mr. Swiss could return to whatever he was doing, and my computer was again absorbing the elecricity it needed for resuscitation.

I also uploaded a new book yesterday, The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaranovich, the 6th case in the Peter Grant series – the detective who examine cases with a supernatural flair. I have also been informed, by my Facebook connection to these books, that No. 7 in the series will be appearing in a month or so – The Furthest Station. It seems that Ben Aaronovich is gathering in popularity with his books. They are favourites of mine.

The last book I read was more a flop – The Haunting of Sam Cabot by Mark Edward Hall. I have read a couple of his books and found them quite OK, but this book seemed to be one of those books where the author was not sure what to do and running out of ideas. Many ways lead to a haunting, but these ways were so sensational and fantastic, the book became just a collection of haunting cliches. Sam Cabot buys house and moves in with wife and kid. The seller of the house is always hovering around and helping to organise the heating system in the cellar, which is a monster furnace tending to make noises and having strange feelings. Of course there was once a fire in the house in the last century and there are still a few apparaitions hanging around. Sam Cabot is also the only survivor of a helicopter crash in the Afghanistan war and his parents were both killed in a car crash when he was a kid etc. etc. The book is full of cliches. And there is also a monster snake like thing living in the well in the garden that kills a agemt sent to examine the quality of the water in the well, because the silly man gets too close to the edge of the well. I am not telling you spoilers, because I find you cannot spoil this book, perhaps improve it somewhere, but I am not a writer. So thank goodness for Peter Grant and his further adventures.

And now to do more rewarding things and hope that the day will develop with interest and things will happen. The first event of the day has just happened. A magpie perched in the tree opposite my breakfast table, so now he has been immortalised on my camera.

Enjoy the day, it might be Monday, but even Monday’s have their charm, especially if you are a golden oldie with a camera.

Sparrows 05.03 (1)