Writing Prompt#37: Favourite Cereal

Cereal

I saw this prompt yesterday, but had nothing as an inspiration to write. Today I was in the local supermarket and armed with my mobile phone took a few photos. Of course I got some strange sideways glances from other shoppers, but they probably thought I was some sort of crazy golden oldie with a touch of Alzheimer. Mr. Swiss distanced himself from me, but he was on the quest for Pepsi Cola which happened to be in the next shelf.

CerealWriting about your favourite cereal could become a very lengthy blog. There are so many different kinds. When I was a kid back in London in the fifties, the only choice was cornflakes, or shredded wheat, although mum would help to brighten up the cornflakes with some slices of banana.

I was never a great milk drinker, did not like the stuff, but mum found it would be good for me and pouring it over the cornflakes would be a confirmation that I was eating healthy food.

I quite like shredded what, after all it was the favourite of the Tottenham Hotspur football player, Danny Blanchflower. He was constantly showing how good it was on the TV commercial, and if it was good enough for a professional footballer, it would be good enough for me. I did not really like it so much, as a full sized shredded wheat was big. However later in life the bite sized wheaties arrived, and you could fill up your bowl according to how much you wanted to eat.

CerealLater in life I moved to Switzerland and as you can see in the first photo, Switzerland was not in the breakfast cereal isolation and they could compete with the rest. However, prices were twice as expensive as in England. Of course we had Birchermusli, the Swiss healthy version of the breakfast cereal. Dr. Bircher, the Swiss cereal guru, discovered and developed a mixture of various fruits and oats, guranteed to transform you into a picture of health.

Unfortunately slowly but surely I developed a lactose allergy and my breakfast cereal days came to an end. I am now confined to bread, butter and jam, although I quite enjoy it. We can even buy marmalade in Switzerland according to the original recipe, made from bitter oranges, so what could possibly be better. I do not miss my cereal, I just have a higher sugar content in my blood in the morning after breakfast – yes, I am also diabetic. Oats and wheat grow in the fields surrounding my home, so the cereal touch is not completely lost.

My favourite breakfast – if I had the time, fried egg on fried bread, a few sausages, baked tomatoes, garnished with mushrooms and perhaps some baked beans. I always loved the english idea of a cooked breakfast.

Wheat field in Feldbrunnen

Writing Prompt#37: Favourite Cereal

Writing Prompt #36 Do you like cooking?

Dinner

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?

WRITING PROMPT #8 – WOULD YOU RATHER… THE END OF THE WORLD

Would you rather know when the world ends or how the world ends.

Grave monument, Cemetery St. Kathrinen

I just love those happy go lucky themes, they really cheer you up.

I would say neither nor. Let’s give Donald the benefit of the doubt over the pond and Vladimir is still deciding whether to love him or leave him. Between the two of them they might influence the world ending. On the other hand perhaps tomorrow the aliens will decide to wipe out the earth because we are spoiling their plans of a making a motorway through the universe (ok I stole that from Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams), but who knows. I tip on somone mixing up the buttons on the coffee machine and pressing the wrong one for explosive flavours.

If the world ends for various reasons out of our control, then why bother about knowing why. It will not benefit us, as we will then be atoms revolving somewhere in the asteroid paths of the unknown or be watching the daisises grow from the wrong side. I want a pyramid in any case, as I can take my cat with me, some food and drink and have a good time when I get to the other side.

WRITING PROMPT #8 – WOULD YOU RATHER… THE END OF THE WORLD

WRITING PROMPT #7 – WOULD YOU RATHER… OSCAR OR NOBEL PRIZE?

Would you rather win an Oscar or a Nobel prize?Pat

A very good question, but somehow I do not see myself acting gracefully enough to accept the prize and would probably trip over my long dress when accepting.

Oscar: I would have to wear an evening dress and real high healed shoes, elegant and made of leather, so let’s forget it. Or can you wear blue jeans and a t-shirt with addidas or Sketchers on your feet? No, let’s forget Oscar. I would also have to thank my mother, and father. Mum could be a good actress if she was at a party and had enough to drink to get merry enough and dad could sing well, but not really an encouragement to my acting career.

Nobel: I have been known to be quite inventive now and again. Do you get a Nobel prize for bringing up kids and doing housework for 40-50 years? No, then forget it. Mr. Swiss finds I I can roast pork quite well, with all the trimmings, and bake quite a good cake.

Pulitzer: Yes, you forgot the Pulitzer -now that would be my thing. I think that covers writing and photography and I do that every day, although no-one has discovered me yet and I am still waiting. Does Pulitzer include blogs in their programme? OK, forget it, but I put up the photo of me taking a photo for a professional touch and to convince the judges. After all what Ansel Adams and David Bailey did, so can I. I have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

WRITING PROMPT #7 – WOULD YOU RATHER… OSCAR OR NOBEL PRIZE?

WRITING PROMPT #6 – WOULD YOU RATHER… CEO OR LEADER?

Would you rather be CEO of a Fortune 500 company or the leader of a prominent country?

M - Shopping at Langendorf

No decision to make, I have been there an done it all. I am more than a CEO, I am the logistic boss of a family concern. I plan the meals, with my vice logistik chief, I organise the laundering of the clothing (and the money) and I even have a chauffeur to drive me to the places I must visit on my business appointments (see photo after a successfully completed deal).

My country is within the walls of my kingdom. There is a culinary center for food supplies and cooking, of which I am the capo di tutti capi. There is a chamber for sleeping, and one for refreshing the body and teeth, known as bathroom. My kingdom also has a wine cellar, although the wine had to make room for the washing machine. We have a guard on the door, known a Tabby the Feline and she is very careful about who she admits to our premises.  We also have a park outside, with trees, flowers, bushes and a lawn – and a gardener, who arrives 4 times during the year to keep the weeds under control. Admission is only allowed by ringing the door bell.

WRITING PROMPT #6 – WOULD YOU RATHER… CEO OR LEADER?

WRITING PROMPT #5 – FAVOURITE MEMORY OF 2016

Cameras

To be quite frank, 2016 was not a good year, too many bad things happened. At the beginning of the year I went through many tests at the local hospital with the result that I was diagnosed with MS and probably had it for at least 40 years without being recognised as what it actually was.

My father passed away in July. Although he was 100 years and 7 months, it was sad. Metally he was in good condition, able to have a conversation with you, but I was in Switzerland and he was in England. It was probably my last visit to England for his funeral.

There must always be a good memory somewhere, so I suppose it was buying a new Nikon camera, a smaller one than I already had, and  a long wanted macro lens. Later I also got myself a 300 zoom lens.

I think my favourite memory was that I could say goodbye to 2016.

WRITING PROMPT #5 – FAVOURITE MEMORY OF 2016

WRITING PROMPT #4 – FAVOURITE NEW YEAR’S EVE MEMORY

Snow 05.01 (11)

I do not really have favourite New Year’s Eve Memories. For 30 years I knew that after the New Year, usually on 3rd January, it was back to work for me and Mr. Swiss. I would still be recovering from the tasks of cooking for everyone at home, making sure that everyone was happy with the festive seasonal food, and I would be clearing away the Christmas tree, the decorations and fill the bin with unwanted wrapping paper.

The Eve of the New Year was the beginning of the end. The evening of the 2nd January would arrive. Both Mr. Swiss and I had a sinking feeling knowing that tomorrow it was back to the daily dredge. Generally Christmas and New Year would be snow free, but usually at midnight on 2nd January, or perhaps an hour earlier, it would begin to snow as it it had been saved   over the Chrismas holiday as a surprise start to the new year working day. And it would snow and snow and snow. In the morning we set off to work in our cars. Mr.Swiss direction Bern, and me direction village outside of Solothurn.

Beginning work after a 1-2 week holiday was never fun, but it was double misery driving through the snow and ice, as at 7.00 a.m. the roads had not yet been cleared, and after the holiday everything was at a slow start.

Memories of a special new year’s Eve, due to throughts of future snow and work at home and in the office, do not exist – not only am I the Christmas grinch but the New Year misery.  No, there was never a happy new year in that sense of the word. And in my days of being a teenager in England, we did not even get the day off school or work for the day. It was only in later years that the Brits discovered it might be a good idea.

Perhaps this year and the last couple were happy memories when I could relax and say “Happy New Year” to Mr. Swiss sealed with a kiss, because we knew it would be a happy begin without the stress of returning to the work and daily stress routine and who cares about the snow.

Writing Prompt 4: Favourite New Year’s Memory