Tag Archives: tradition

Cheese Dreams

20 Oct

This year I eaten my weight in cheese. I’m not exaggerating! And I changed one of my 40 Before 40 travel-related challenges to take part in a cheese masterclass course. Which I completed a few weeks ago!

It was a dream come true (but not one of those weird ones that people blame on cheese). Our host was Sherly, originally from Korea but now fully integrated into Swiss life and a certified Swiss Cheese Sommelier!

The 9 cheeses we sampled

She told us so much about cheese that I never knew, like Swiss cheese is mainly made from raw not pasteurised milk, which knives to use for different cheeses, how to plate different cheeses exactly how a cheese sommelier would and how to describe the distinct flavours of the cheese.

I was surprised about how different all the cheeses were. The hardest thing was deciding which one was my favourite – completely impossible when all of them were amazing.

Plating up like the best of ’em!

Finally, after being filled to the gills with cheese, it was time to learn how to make a Swiss classic – Chäse-Chüechli. Which is also impossible to say sober nevermind after a few drinks. A Chäse-Chüechli is a cheese tart that is made with leftover (I’ve never left any cheese so not sure how this happens) cheese. So simple to make and delicious as part of my lunch the next day.

Simply delicious!

In the past few weeks we’ve been trying new cheeses and, of course, Fondue season has started so cheese is very much still on the agenda and will be for the next few months.

Bonfire Night

9 Nov

Although it might be a bit late to be blogging about Bonfire Night (it was last Sunday after all), I have just finished watching the BBC Drama Gunpowder, which is a dramatisation of the events leading up to the 5th November and the plot to kill the King of England and the politicians in the House of Parliament.

After the first installment of the three part drama, the BBC was flooded with complaints about the episode, saying that it was unnecessarily gory. I was actually quite surprised that it wasn’t gory enough. One scene showed the public executions and the camera “looked away” at the really graphic parts. You did see someone having their intestines pulled out while they were still alive, but I am sure that the guts and gore was mainly made up of sausages and other things that you might find in the bin of the local butchers. I am convinced that what went on in the Jacobian era was actually a lot more horrifying.

The drama reminded me of what a rich history we have in England. Try to explain to someone from another country that in each November we gather in a field and set fire to the effigy of a Catholic from the 17th century and they will look at you in complete dismay. In Switzerland, there is the ritual burning of a snowman in April to get rid of the winter, which has a lot more positive and much less sinister message than burning someone because of their religion.

Bonfire Night is one of the traditions that I miss. Nothing is quite so British as waiting in the freezing cold for someone to set off some fireworks. All the while complaning about how much it cost to get in and that you will not be doing this again next year. As a child I remember being so cold that I couldn’t feel my fingers or my toes. I was so glad to be back in the warmth again to thaw out. By the time the next year came round we had forgot how cold a November evening could be and we were excited about going again. It’s a shame that the torch light parade that used to happen in our village stopped because of health and safety reasons. The world has gone mad.

It was Abba who said “the history book on the shelf, it’s always repeating itself”. I wonder if Guy Fawkes would have been inclined to use the same tactics today? Back then, people were complain about how the country was being run and people are still making the same complaints today. If he had have been successful all those years ago, perhaps we would have a parade in his honour and not be burning him on a pile of old wood.fireworks-2922007__340