Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On Leave Till February

Toño & I are spending a week with friends in the snow of Vals, painting the town red.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where adds start to really fail

I generally like to live in Zürich*. However, there are evil forces at work, trying to malign its reputation wherever and whenever they can. The most villainous of them is Zürich Tourism, which produces adds like this:

*It has an exceptional opportunities to size ratio.

An Evening at CapoBoi

We are on a business trip to Rome. After we'd arrived yesterday evening, we went with our supplier to CapoBoi, a splendid Sardinian seafood restaurant. These are not all of the dishes we had:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

C'est le ton qui fait la musique

The ones who follow my twitter stream might have caught up that Toño gave notice to his employer - that is, he intents to leave by the end of March.

His employer has been taken over in the course of last year, and the new owner implemented a totally different company culture. It is understood that the company was a restructuring case, however, if you are a company promoting a certain culture, you have also to behave accordingly. Corporate identity is not only design but also incorporates corporate communication and corporate behaviour, both of which have suffered.

Toño still stands behind the product, but he is not comfortable how it is produced, thus he took the consequences and is looking for a new opportunity.

Toño's passion is wine and the culture surrounding wine. Toño studied at a hotel school, worked at the receptions of five star hotels (eg. The Dolder Grand), but it was the Swedish sommelier of a lush dining restaurant, where Toño waited the tables, who introduced Toño into wine tasting. In order to pursue this new passion Toño then worked for a big Swiss wine merchant in various positions, where he had the opportunity to taste some exclusive and rare wines. The last eight years, he spent at a wine magazine, not as a writer but as the contact between wine merchants and the editor.

But now the time is ripe for a change again. We Swiss usually first search a new job before we quit the current one. But Toño needed the feeling to be free from the burden to be ready to search.

This is risky, but Toño is well connected in the market. All possible new employers know him personally and he is well respected. So we do not have to worry too much. In addition, Aldo, a good friend and vocational psychologist, helped Toño to get his application in perfect shape. Tomorrow, Toño will send out his first.

So if you are looking for a wine aficionado with excellent communication skills, and who is able to do small and business talk in the major international languages, you better hurry. Toño might be taken soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Do you sleep in the same bed and do you shag regularly?

A new chapter has opened in the marriage turned saga between Татьяна and my brother. Thurgau's* migration department has denied Татьяна permission to reside on grounds of sham marriage. Everything rests purely on circumstantial evidence:
  • Age difference (28 years)
  • Татьяна's social background (rural Russia)
  • how they met (at work).
There is the possibility to appeal the decision, but this involves lawyers (= heaps of money) and embarrassing interviews (typical question see post title). They want also to get married in church this summer in Russia. But with the legal uncertainty, they can't make any plans for their future.

* their state

Early Appreciation

I cycle to work and the first thing I face when entering the premises is to cross 6 rails (that have been out of operation for almost a decade) while turning to the right. After parking the bike, I have to walk along 16 parking fields for cars to reach the entrance. Especially the first step is great fun at sub zero temperatures (I did break some bike parts due to this some years ago).

One of the values my caring employer has proclaimed itself is appreciation. So I always get a good impression of the appreciation that is show towards cyclists before I even clock in.

Picture taken with Hipstamatic, equipped with Helga Viking lense, on Blank film. Hipstamatic has been introduced to me by Borstal Boy.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Refreshing Chicken Soup

It's January - that is, the waistline has disappeared and the budget is rather tight. So it came in handy that our local supermarket has a 30% discount on chicken breasts :) In other words, it was time for some refreshing chicken soup.

Lemon, mint and sprouts make this an amazingly refreshing soup. Heat 30 g salted butter, zest & juice of half a lemon and the leaves of 2 twigs of mint in a pan. Slice a big chicken breast and add it to the pan. Stir until the chicken turns white. Add half a litre chicken stock and soup pasta. Let it boil on low heat for 10 minutes. Decorate with sprouts of your choice.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Beware of Easter - Public Service Announcement!

If you want to have Easter eggs like... better start to collecting onion skins now!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Friday, January 01, 2010

Do It Right - Do It Simple

The oldest memory of Black Forest gâteau, I can remember, was my sixth birthday when a piece of it was catapulted from Bruno's spoon into Sigi's ear.

But I must have known it before that, then I'm dead certain that I'd wished to have Black Forest gâteau as my birthday cake for when my school friends came over to celebrate with me.

With the exception of spinach, your mother's version of a dish is usually the benchmark that can hardly be met. So it is at least for me with Black Forest gâteau. All others are usually far over the top - that is, they have cherries added or far to much stuff on the top. My mother went for a simple yet unbeatably scrumptious approach.

My mother does not make it any more but luckily my sister adopted the recipe and recently shared it with me:


Make the biscuit at least one, better two days in advance.

Mix 3 egg and 150 g sugar and it is all bright and fluffy. Fold in 130 g flower and 20 g cacao powder. Pour in a greased springform pan and bake 20 minutes at 200°C/392°F. Let is cool at first in the pan so that the condense water is soaked up by the biscuit and it stays moist.


Make as late as possible prior to serving the cake.

Cut the biscuit carefully once or twice horizontally. Pour over each biscuit disc a tablespoon of cherry brandy. Beat 500 ml cream until stiff. Smear the cream over the bottom biscuit, add the next layer and continue until the top is cover with cream. Cream also the sides. Add chipped chocolate until the cake looks speckled.


This is not for the purists. In an Indian hotel I saw a White Forest gâteau. For this, substitute the cocoa powder with flower and the black chocolate chips with white chocolate chips. Don't forget to duck down, if a purist tried to throw it into your face.