Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oooooooo it's Thanksgiving time and everybody's feeling fine!

So says the singing card my parents sent us - and it's true!

Yesterday was a big day for me - my very first time cooking the traditional Thanksgiving meal all by myself. We invited nine of our Swiss friends for dinner, so I was cooking for eleven, which is also the most people I've ever cooked for at once. Add the size of a Thanksgiving meal and the number of people involved and I think I'm done cooking for the next couple days!

I split my grocery shopping over three days to keep my grocery-toting manageable. I ordered my turkey breast in French with a little bit of guidance from a friend. I borrowed one table, four chairs, three plates, four wine glasses, and one hour of baking time from Steph and Dani.

And then the cooking... I started at 10 in the morning on Sunday and finished at 7:15 Sunday night - just in time to eat around 7:30! Here's our menu and links to a few of the recipes I used.

Spinach Salad
with Cranberries and Nuts

Turkey-Bacon Roulade

Stuffed with Chestnut-Apple Stuffing

Cranberry Sauce
with Red Wine and Lemon

with Apricot Horseradish Jezebel Sauce

Macaroni and Cheese
With Cheddar and Gruyere

Honey-Glazed Carrots

Traditional Green Bean Casserole
Topped with Fried Onion Strings

Sweet Potato Casserole
with Marshmallow Topping

Mashed Potatoes
with Butter and Cream

Pumpkin Pie
with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Joining up to demolish this massive pile of food were our neighbors, Monsieur et Madame Favre, Dani and Steph, Olivier and Celia and Danae, and Mr K's awesome co-worker Nipun (of shoe-swappin' IKEA-hikin' fame). We put a good dent in the food, completely finishing off 2 pounds (1 kilo) of ham and 3 pounds (1.5 kilos) of turkey. Mr K and I were lucky enough to end up with leftovers of all the side dishes, meaning I get the next couple days off from cooking! (Our guests are probably not aware of the fact that thanksgiving food always tastes better the next day when you eat it right from the storage container while standing in the kitchen... if they did, I imagine they would be over here right now!)We sent everyone home with some pumpkin pie and then, early this morning headed to Bern for the ONION MARKET...

But that post will have to wait for another day!

Also coming up this week "Son of Thanksgiving" - starring a boatload of Bern-dwelling-Barbers and even more turkey! Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Attack kittens
Originally uploaded by hellomizk
So I've been slacking off on the blog posts, but it isn't because I haven't been writing this month - oh no. I've written a ton this month - just not things that any human is ever going to read ... that's right (I originally typed 'write' - my brain is fried), it's time for NaNoWriMo once more!

NaNoWriMo, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is National Novel Writing Month - this uniquely American invention (who else would think a novel could be written in thirty days, right?) takes place every November and this is the fifth or so year I've participated.

The normal response to having to write a 50,000 word novel in one month is to spend as much time as possible procrastinating and taking part in non-writing activities that have suddenly become pressing. For me, this meant breaking out my sewing machine I bought a few months ago but never got around to opening since the instructions are in a variety of non-English languages. Finally the other night I couldn't bear to look at my laptop anymore, so I figured it was a good time. To get myself and my machine warmed up, I started a couple stupid sock creatures inspired by the book of the same name.

In addition to mutilating some perfectly good socks, I also destroyed a pair of old jeans that are way too big for me now and turned them into a pretty okay jean skirt! I was actually able to wear it out and all the seams lay nice and flat - what an accomplishment! I'm eager to stock up on sewing stuff while we're back in the US over Christmas as Fribourg doesn't have much in the way of fabric and what you can find is, as expected, expensive.

Anyway, this is probably enough procrastinating for me - I have another 30,000 words to write this month!

P.S. Cats eat stupid sock creatures.....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Martina Topley-Bird

Have I mentioned how much I love it that I can walk to concerts here? No more driving 40 minutes, paying 15$ to park and then having to drive home - nope. The local concert venue is only a 15 minute walk away.

Tonight Steph and I went to see Martina Topley-Bird (previously of Tricky-associated fame) play and it was one of the better concerts I've ever been to. She came out on stage dressed in a glittering pink strapless prom dress - very Barbie-chic. Throughout the night she chatted with the crowd (small venue - maybe 150 people - I don't estimate well) in French and English and also gushed about Obama on multiple occasions, at one point dedicating the song "Phoenix" to him.

She played several songs from both of her albums, including Carnies, Valentine, Baby Blue, Poison, Da da da da, Too Tough To Die, as well as a cover of Kate Bush's "Army Dreamers".

After the show, she stayed around to chat and sign CDs. I was amazed at how sweet and approachable she was - not what I expected at all. I wish I could go see her show in Geneva tonight as well!