23rd of December. Time to bring in and decorate the Christmas tree.
Now I’m off to the kitchen to make the “Julgröt”.
My ex picked up the kids a couple of hours ago and now I have been vegetating in front of the TV for a while getting motivated (watching Gordon Ramsey’s Masterchef) to do some more Christmas cooking. In particular I’m going to prepare the red and brown cabbage which is a must on any Swedish Christmas buffet.
All of the kids was here yesterday to the morning today but Cassandra has been here since last Monday evening. Last week she has been doing here “stage” at Botanic in the village. The closest English word that I can find would be internship although I’m not sure it is an exact match. Anyway, it’s a thing that they have to do a couple of times during their school years to get to understand what it means being in a real workplace.
Of course Christmas is approaching much faster than I really want it to so I spent some time putting up some more Christmas decorations like the Christmas village, the obligatory Santa statuettes and stuff like that. Of course a trip to Balexert with the kids to buy Christmas presents was also on the agenda.
Now it is just a bit more than a week left until Christmas and I am more stressed out than ever to get everything done. Unfortunately my schedule wont allow me to do much, like picking up missing stuff, getting in some additional presents, over the lunch breaks next week as I usually do this time of the year. At least Wednesday will be my last working day before the annual CERN shut down.
Well, we got to the Swedish Christmas market in Lausanne today and we managed to get pretty much everything we needed. Lutfisk, smoked eel, Swedish cheese, Elk sausage, herring to make home made pickled herring, vörtbröd, julmust etc…
We managed to get there pretty much when they opened despite the traffic on the Swiss highway being what it usually is…crappy. The French Swiss drivers must be the worst highway drivers I’ve ever encountered. Not hogging the left lane on the highway is obviously something they don’t teach in Swiss driving schools. Looking before changing lane is another things that doesn’t seem to occur to these plonkers. Hey, not everyone crawls around at 90 on the highway you morons! Anyway, it was good we did get there in time. They only had five smoked eels left already for instance (and they were bloody expensive of course).
Now we’ve just finished our usual afternoon mini binge on Stargate and Doctor Who so I’m going to sit down and translate Cassandra’s wish list into something readable. She could have a career as a doctor. She already writes unreadable recipes.
Then it’s time to warm up the kitchen. I have some bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with rosemary, pommes duchesse and cherry tomatoes on the menu for tonight.
Arrghh! It is two weeks to Christmas and as usual I am already stressed out. I’m not sure why I say already actually since I had these great plans not getting caught with my pants down this Christmas. Like getting around to by presents for the kids early. Well that went down the toilet as usual. So far I have bought exactly one present and that one I bought on Amazon. It doesn’t help that two of them still hasn’t provided anything resembling a wish list.
Well, at least I got the nativity set up for 1st of December. Actually I got myself a new set for this Christmas. I was visiting the Christmas village at Botanic and there was this nativity set on display that I quite liked. It turned out that it was the last one they had and I could get the exposition model for a really decent price.
Tomorrow I am going to go to Bellegarde and get the kids and then we’re going to Lausanne for the Swedish Christmas market and get some of the products I need to make the food for Christmas. That’s one of the things that stresses me out. Not buying the stuff but preparing and getting it right. There’s days and days of cooking before Christmas and for a lot of the stuff I have but one chance to get it right because I won’t have ingredients to make another batch.
I am so scared not being able to get together a proper, traditional, Swedish Christmas for the kids all by myself. I managed pretty well last Christmas but it only takes once screw-up for everything to fall apart. The other day I got the good news (for me at least) that my ex will be working the 22nd, 23rd and 24th which means the kids will be at my place for the most important Swedish Christmas days. It also means the pressure goes up another notch of course.
Oh well, enough whining. Going to sit down and watch TV and read a bit now…and forget about the mess in the kitchen. I’m too tired so that has to wait until tomorrow before I drive off for Bellegarde.
This week was the last week of the school holidays for the kids. I took the last three working days of the week off and the kids have been spending these days at my place. Unfortunately the weather has been rather mediocre but last Thursday we managed to squeeze in a trip to Geneva and the botanical gardens between the rain showers.
I have wanted to visit the gardens for quite a while but never gotten around to do it so I decided to finally get get my butt over there. It is a bit late on the season of course so there was not much flowers but at least most of the leaves was still on the threes and there was the green houses as well.
I also dragged my SLR with me so I could take some photos. I put up a few of them on Flickr. I created a new Geneva album for them in the hope that I will become better at bringing my camera with me into Geneva. I am quite a lot more in Geneva these days than before after all.
We had a nice walk along Lac Leman from parking Mont Blanc to the garden as well. Looking at the map it looked like there was no parking at all close to the garden and once there it looked like I was right on that one. I had first planned to take the bus but, to my surprise, the kids preferred to walk. So much the better for me since I got the opportunity to take a few more photos along the lake.
After the visit to the garden we ended up in a nice little hotel restaurant that happened to have their seasonal Menu du Chasse on. That was a nice surprise. Had not really counted on such a nice lunch actually. Their Entrecote du Cerf was excellent.
Well, now it’s almost time to start to prepare lunch. I have been cooking for three days now so today I’m being lazy. It’s hot dogs on the menu. Home made of course but still not too much effort. Got some Frankfurt and Strasbourg sausages when shopping this morning.
I just left the kids in Bellegarde after spending a long weekend with them.
We had no special plans, the forecast had said that the weather was going to be much lousier than it actually turned out to be, but we did some shopping, Jonathan needed new shoes…again, and some other stuff.
Since the weather turned out a lot better than foreseen we could have lunch on the balcony all of the days. I even slapped some sliced up dead lamb on the barbecue for Saturday dinner. Actually I spent quite a lot of time cooking this weekend. Apart from the previously mentioned barbecued lamb some Greek minced meat pie, Italian pork filet with salami and sage and a coconut chicken curry was on the menu this weekend. Oh, and a English breakfast this morning. Actually it was a English / Swedish one since I threw in some Swedish pickled herring as well.
Of course it would not be a proper weekend without at least one movie. This weekend the movies came off of Cassandra’s wish list. First Walt Disney’s Coco which was quite good and then the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast which was pretty meh.
So now I am just going to sit down, maybe read a bit, and relax before it is, unfortunately, back to work tomorrow.
Oh, one more thing, Jonathan mentioned something about revenge, murder and stuff like that after me having taken this photo of him singing at the table so I guess I better get my “money’s worth” out of it before it is too late 🙂
Easter is coming! Unfortunately the sky in Geneva is not exactly the lovely blue one shown in the featured image of this posts. It is rather grey with a annoying drizzle right now and it is supposed to continue until Saturday at least according to the forecast.
Well, anyway, I went into Geneva over lunch, more specifically to Ikea in Vernier, to pick up some of the sorry excuse for Swedish food that they sell nowadays. Even though it is not as good as the real stuff, not to mention the home made stuff, I had to get some pickled herring and a few other things for when the kids are coming this Easter.
Speaking of the kids, they were at my place last Saturday as more or less usual. Me and Jonathan watched the last Bond, Spectre, in the box set that I got. Timothy had asked if we could not go back to Leon de Bruxelles so we went there for lunch.
Timothy had been at my place all of last week by the way. He was doing a one work experience practice at one of the florists in the village. The photo to the left is from when we went out for a pizza on one of the evenings.