oh where oh where is spring? just tell me that it is coming soon. really soon. like, now.
it's at this point every year where i begin to rail against the injustices of winter and all things associated with winter, especially the food. potatoes, onions, leeks, carrots, dismal winter salads (except, of course nüsslisalat, but even that is almost finished), meat dishes, soups..oh, the tedium......give me fresh, and bright, and new, and vibrant, and shockingly tasty. our winter palates are bored and restless. in the kitschenette household we have been scarfing down cherry tomatoes by the handful, just for the sharp, savoury hit of juice. and a wayward couple of packets of spanish strawberries which made their way into the kitchen were fallen upon and devoured within seconds of their arrival. thank goodness for citrus fruits in all their orange, yellow and ruby red glory. where would we be without them to brighten up the mid-winter gloom?
a few spring-time fruits and veges have begun to trickle into the shops, asparagus and the afore-mentioned strawberries. the strawberries were good, mildly sweet rather than sharply full-flavoured. but i just can't get excited about the thick, woody-looking spears of asparagus. have i whinged on this topic before on this blog? surely i have : ) here in switzerland, thick spears of asparagus are prized, whereas in australia it is the thin, slender spears which are most-sought after. i hark after the latter, only the latter, so i am cruelly disappointed every spring-time. some of the mangoes available are ok, but it's a very hit and miss operation. they have travelled so far and been picked so early it's a wonder they taste of anything at all. even the quality of the available apples is waning. fennel is good and crisp, though, so a fennel salad of thinly sliced raw fennel with finely chopped dill and a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice might be on the menu soon. i have such a craving for hot, spicy foods. and light, sour, tangy foods. <bright idea!> maybe a tom yum soup soon, with fish and rice (my favourite)....
so, what have we been eating, then, you ask. amongst other things:
- cheese tart. a swiss speciality.
- rösti and various wursts (sausages), with salad (also very swissy)
- mushroom and lemon risotto. i slathered in the butter and parmesan, just because i could.
- chilli beans (a remnant from my student days)
- a cracking good fondue, while on holiday
- cous cous salad (chickpeas, cherry toms, cucumber, coriander, lemon juice, olive oil)
- smoked local fish, boiled potatoes, and various cheeses (another swiss favourite)
- home-made breadsticks, for dipping into guacamole ( i give the kids their own ramekin of avocado, and they dip as they please)
- the last of the christmas fruitcake
- stephanie alexander's excellent banana cake, made with buttermilk (must post recipe)
- sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and double cream
- apple and berry crumble (for breakfast!)
- mangoes, seedless grapes, apples, bananas, strawberries, honeydew melons
- soft-boiled eggs with toast soldiers (we love a good egg in the kitschenette household)
- bread, bread, and more bread. good thing no-one in our family is gluten intolerant. that would be a terrible thing in a country with so much excellent bread.
- guiltily, a jar of nutella : )