Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday in Switzerland - My Cooking Experience

(Since many folks have asked for updates from Switzerland, I'll try to make it habit to post interesting photos or information on Sunday.)

Sundays in Switzerland are quiet days.  In my (still very limited) experience, people stay in and enjoy time with their families or go for walks or hikes.  Most shops are closed, which is strong encouragement to do something other than errands on Sunday.

I knew the grocery stores would be closed today, so I decided to cook a larger meal on Saturday so we'd have leftovers for Sunday.  I also decided that I wanted to try following a Swiss recipe.  My reasons are, one, all my US cookbooks are still in transit to Switzerland, and, two, it's likely to be easier to find ingredients for Swiss recipes in the local supermarkets.

I headed over to Betty Bossi which is (I gather) the Swiss equivalent of Betty Crocker.  It has simple recipes that are easy to follow and somewhat forgiving.  I chose Fächerbrot mit Kräuterbutter (Bread with herb butter) and Kartoffel-Wurst-Blech which is potatoes, sausage, and fennel with curry.

Using Google Translate, I figured out what the items were as well as the cooking abbreviations like "EB" for "Tbsp" and "wenig" for "dash".  I made my grocery list in German, just in case I had to ask where to find something, and it encourages me to learn the words.

Fans and Fangs
My biggest concern was the ingredients given by weight.  I have no idea what 600g of potatoes feels like.  It turned out that the grocery store I went to (Coop) has scales that you use to print out labels for your produce.  So it was very simple to keep adding potatoes to the bag until I had 600g.  I also bought a Küchenwaage, kitchen scale, just in case I needed to measure weights at home.

Decoding the oven turned out to be a challenge.  I thought I was preheating, but it wasn't even on.  Most appliances I have encountered are labelled entirely in diagrams, some with only a few words in German.  I think the diagrams are a sensible way of dealing with four national languages, but it can take some work to decode.


The meal turned out okay.  The potatoes were undercooked because I didn't follow my instincts of parboiling before roasting or of resigning myself to a 1 hour or longer cook time.  The recipe said 30 minutes, but that was way too short.  Our theory is that it intended you to use the convection fan for the entire time or that the pan I was using was too deep.

Either way, we do have leftovers for today.  And I got to experiment with Swiss recipes and cooking.  Tschüss!

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