Not much new to post about right now. Jack is finally over his never ending cold and now we are getting ready for our 2 week vacation in California! I can't wait to get away from the cold weather for a while.
In the meantime, I thought I'd post about one of the best discoveries I've made in Switzerland. The leek. I know these must have existed back in the states, but I had never seen one or cooked one. Right now, leeks are the major vegetable available and I have discovered so many ways to eat leeks: in soup, in quiche, in casseroles, etc. My all time favorite leek recipe is chopped leeks in cream, then wrapped in ham, topped with cheese sauce and baked. Then you eat them with knopfli which is a sort of potato pasta. I don't think it is possible to recreate this dish in the states, so I am going to post the recipe for my 2nd favorite leek dish:
Pie Au Jambon Et Au Poireau (Ham and leek pie)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely chopped
800 g of potatoes chopped approx. 5 mm thick
600 g leeks, cut 1 cm thick
1 tsp salt
3.3 oz vegetable stock
150 g ham, cut into strips
180 g Creme Fraiche ... (not sure if you can find this, but I think you can substitute sour cream with herbs)
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Pie crust
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and cook the onion. Add the potatoes, leeks, salt and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for approx. 15 minutes. Put in a bowl and let cool. Mix in the ham, cream fraiche, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour everything into the pie crust. Cut leftover edges off crust and crisscross on top of the pie (like you do with apple pie). Bake for 10 minutes in the lower half of 240 C (464 degree F) oven, reduce temperature to 200 C (428 degree F) and cook for 25 minutes. Serve with salad.
*You can replace ham and parsely with fillet salmon and dill
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
We were scheduled to leave for Barcelona on Wednesday the 22nd, but Monday night (the 20th) Jack woke us all up with the terrible sounding cough that is croup. It is the first time he has ever had it, and boy is it awful. There were moments during the night that I thought he would pass out because he was coughing so much without taking a breath. I went to the ER Tuesday morning and was assured by the doctor to just let it run its course and that it was okay to still fly to Barcelona the next day. She gave me prescriptions just in case he got worse and we packed our bags and headed out.
The first 2 days in Spain we rested in our hotel. Jack kept us up all night coughing so we were pretty tired and we wanted to take time to let everyone rest. We spent a few hours each day walking around the city and seeing the Christmas markets, the nativity scenes and the Caganer:
Our hotel had a view of the harbor and we spent plenty of time enjoying the "warm" weather
Christmas Eve we headed out to buy our Caga Tio aka "pooping log." Another Catalonian tradition, the Caga Tio is part of the Christmas Eve activities. Most families will choose their Caga Tio well in advance of Christmas and they will feed it fruits and nuts daily. Then, on Christmas Eve the kids hit the Caga Tio with a stick and it poops out presents.
Another view of the church
We came home Tuesday night and had plans to go sledding in Gimmelwald for New Years but we had to cancel them since Jack was still sick (and still is). We ended up celebrating New Years here at home playing our new video game "Neverwinter Nights" the french version. Our one resolution for this year is to conquer French!