It’s lavender time, so take a deep breath.
It’s lavender time, so take a deep breath.
A house in Solothurn, Switzerland
I took this shot somewhere on a train journey between Basel and Solothurn, Switzerland.
“Is making a Cheese flan difficult?”
“Why?” , I was suspicious when Mr. Swiss asks, what was he planning? I must admit he has become perfect in baking an apple flan, so perfect that I was eating them at least 2-3 times a week. Not that I do not like apple flan, I love them, but they were becoming a habit and I was perhaps no longer giving them the appreciation they deserved. Indeed, he was quite disappointed on our last shopping trip when I happened to mention that he should perhaps not buy apples and pastry to make a further apple flan.
“You don’t like them?”
“Of course I do, they are super, but together with my diabetes and other problems, I have decided to cut down on my sugar intake.”
Of course this was true, although I always made exceptions, even if they did become a rule now and again. Mr. Swiss thinks only of me and helps where possible, and so the idea of a cheese flan (Käsekuchen in our local Swiss German) was born. It is a Swiss thing and generally eaten as an evening meal accompanied with a plate of soup and served fresh and warm from the oven.
My reaction was perhaps not so immediately positive, as this was a step forwards from the general apple flan which annyone could bake, although Mr. Swiss had brought this to perfection, to something a little more advanced. However the great gourmet cooks amongst us are always searching for new opportunitis to develop their skills.
“You have to get pastry.” I said.”
“The normal, or flaky?” You see he was on the way to becoming a professional realising that there were two sorts you could buy, ready rolled out, packed in plastic in the supermarket.
I told him that the normal would be fine, thinking of the crumbly mess that flaky pastry could cause. We now progressed to the cheese, but he was always attentive when I baked this particular dish and knew that our usual was gruyère cheese. I told him he would have to grate it to fine pieces and place it on the pastry. He already knew that he assured me, after all he was a professional apple flan baker. I added that he should mix a handful of flour into the cheese. It was then he had a questioning expression on his face, but I think he got the hang of it. We then progressed to the liquid addition to the cheese. This was not so difficult, as it was almost the same as the apple flan, eggs and milk/cream but without sugar and just added pepper to give it a push.
We now had a problem as you bake the apple flan wihout adding the liquid for 15-20 minutes to make sure the pasty gets nice and crispy. However, this cannot be done with the cheese flan, you have to do it all at once. I think he got the idea so tomorrow evening will be the première. He added I would be at home in any case, so he could always ask me. He was convinced that a home made cheese flan would be better than the frozen ones you buy in the supermarket. “Of course” I said. Who am I to deter the ambitions of a master cook.
My avocado is still alive and growing. I had to park it in a new space on my front garden as there was no room left on the back garden due to the builders. This is actually the less warmer side of the appartment, but it still seems to be warm enough. This avocado, grown from a stone/pit or whatever, is now in its second year and now and again decides to make some new leaves. In the meanwhile I made a second effort, although I nearly lost it. I put it outside too early and we had a breakthrough of frosty weather. It lost the new leaves. I was so disappointed I left it outside, thinking I would have to throw it away. However it recovered and made another effort and produced new leaves, so who knows – seecond photo.
We have had some high temperatures with plenty of rain and slowly my garden is resembling a rain forest, lots of leaves, but less flowers. I have not seen a slug for a few days, so they seem to have moved on or perhaps drowned in water, which is hardly likely, they revel in damp and wet.
I read something yesterday in an internet link somewhere that woke up a memory for me. I was always interested in spy cases, rembering George Blake who was a Russian in England in the cold war days, and even managed to escape from England, make his way to Russia via East Germany and is still living there as a elderly gentleman, even decorated with the Lenin medal for his services. As far as I know he never accepted money for his deeds. Tempo passati and I doubt if many still remember him. There were a few others as well: Burgess and Maclean, John Vassall – names which many of the youngsters will not recognise, being being a golden oldie they still have their memories for me.
So yesterday I was reminded of the Rosenberg case. A married couple, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg who were convicted of passing on American atom secrets to the Russians in 1945. A long while ago as I was only born in 1946, but somehow in my interest in spy cases I discovered this case. They were both given the death sentence by the americans after being found guilty. leaving behind two sons, at the time 8 and 10 years old. Now one of the sons has given an interview and said that yes, his father was guilty, and his mother probably just an accessory, althogh spy is spy. When thinking of this crime, now and again I sort of wondered what happenen to these children. So I decided to read up on the whole thing, and the next book on my reading list will be one of the books written about the case. It seems the main witness at the trial was the brother of Ethel Rosenberg, who was also given a prison sentence. A book about an old trial but one of the interests of a golden oldie.
And now back to reality. I hear the sound of builders tools, hear conversations amongst builders and now and again Mr. Swiss is busy with domestic duties, so I should join him.
Nothing special happening at the moment so I wish you all a good day and leave you with a photo of our house mountain, Weissenstein, with its restaurant perched on the Jura mountains.
It will all be the same in a hundred years.
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