Sunday, June 7, 2009
Coffee and Chocolate
Here's one way to fight jet-lag: shop at flea markets all day for dinner plates with silly French sayings, watch the country's hero qualify for the French Open final (which he later won), and stop for a mid-afternoon treat of tartes au citron, mini éclairs, and choux pastries coated with crackling sugar and filled with glorious cream. Once you've devoured all that, rev up with a grand café, and savor a handmade bar of Swiss dark chocolate studded with almonds. For dessert, naturally.
Even thinking about Switzerland makes me feel fat. When I'm here I can't stop with the chocolate and the cheese (particularly the cheese), and this time, I'm going to buy or rent a bike, so that I can pedal along the lake, and up in the hills near the working cows, near the foothills of the alps, and after, eat all I want for dinner. It would be a shame to skimp on all the fatty goodness that makes this country great, and I do not intend to let those cows down. In preparation for the dairy I plan to eat, I've already overdone it here in a healthy way: two days ago I made a textural mix of organic barley, wild rice and spelt berries, made even earthier with dried porcini mushrooms that I added directly to the cooking grains. I stewed together a tomato, green bean, and tofu 'ragu' to top the grains, and we had fruit for dessert, loquats and physalis and red raspberries. As Tuesday is market day, I haven't even purchased any cheese. I am waiting for the real stuff; I am waiting to buy it from the people who make it.
With nutritious meals in my belly, some tough hikes and bike rides planned, I am feeling just fine about indulging in a little cheese and chocolate. Bring it on, Switzerland. I'm ready for you.