Migros’s home delivery service is perfect during this period of icy, snowy streets
Since I live in the old town in Geneva, I walk everywhere. A few years ago, I had shoulder and wrist injuries from carrying too many heavy shopping bags, and ever since, I’ve had to do my heavy grocery and household shopping with a trolley. A couple of years ago, after regularly hearing the leshop.ch ads on WRS (formerly WRG), I decided to try and avoid pulling my heavy trolley, filled with milk, detergents, and other heavy products, up the hill from the Coop 2000 and the Boulevard Helvétique market to the Russian Church, so I tried leshop.ch. With the ice and snow on the streets over the last few weeks, home delivery can definitely be a godsend.
Online supermarket shopping, a luxury that fits every pocked
Although the leshop site is not the most user-friendly and not everything is translated into English, it is still quite functional for a non-French-speaker. The process is simple. Start by opening an account. This allows you to have a shopping cart, which you can use just like a shopping list that you put on the front of the refrigerator, adding things as you run out of them (I just leave my leshop.ch shopping cart open on the screen and add things as needed). When you are ready to order, send it in before midnight, and it will arrive on your doorstep between 5 and 8 p.m. the next day.
Anyone living in Geneva really should know how to prepare cardoons, since it is Geneva’s favorite winter vegetable. The problem is it is time-consuming and tedious, not to speak of the prickly thistles.
Cardoon gratin is one of Geneva’s favorite Christmas dishes, so now’s the time to learn!
Betty Bossi’s The Swiss Cookbook
The cookbook of the famous but fictional Betty Bossi, the equivalent of Betty Crocker in the U.S., came out in English in August. It makes a great Christmas gift, and is handy to have in the house, whether you’re a gourmet cook or just an occasional one.
The recipes are organized by region. In a land with four languages and such cultural diversity, this is a necessity. There is a brief description of each region and its cuisine, along with attractive photos. Each recipe is accompanied by a photo.
The ring binding and glossy pages make it practical to use. The Swiss Cookbook is appropriate for Swiss people as well as for expatriates, because it gives a good overview of traditional Swiss cuisine and contemporary cuisine using Swiss ingredients.
It is an attractive gift for most anyone interested in food.
It’s still not too late to order last-minute Christmas items from the BritShop in Root-Längenbold.
Items are shipped by post, according to the weight. Last orders for delivery before Christmas: Sunday, 20 December 2009.
British Cheese Centre of Switzerland: online shopping
The British Cheese Centre of Switzerland offers many of their products online, including Christmas tasting packages.
Delivery all over Switzerland
They have a regular stall at the Zürich HB market on Wednesday, but deliver all over Switzerland, via priority post. Even if you’re in the most remote corner of Switzerland, it’s still not too late to get your Stilton for Christmas!
In addition to British farmhouse cheese, the “centre” stocks ale, McVicars English-style back bacon and sausages made in Switzerland, a selection of homemade pies, and a large range of quality chutneys and crackers. Other British products include tea, cakes and biscuits and for Christmas, Christmas puddings and mince pies. They eventually hope to stock homemade chocolates.
Those who live in the Zurich area will be interested to know that they hold regular tastings, and special events or receptions can also be organized.
They will be offering samples of their wares at the Rapperswil Christmas Market from 11 to 13 December on Lake Zurich, as well as the Rappi Bier Factory on 12th December, the Luzern International Christmas Market from 17 to 20 December, and the Moevenpick Wein Keller Zug. Free Port & Stilton tasting on 19 December.Tel. +41 081 733 3006
by Ellen Wallace
New variety of apples available in Switzerland: Tentation
I’m fussy about apples because I grow my own, four varieties, and I find too many supermarket apples soft or tasteless or too sweet or too acidic. New apples are constantly being developed, but like many consumers, I’m set in my ways and am not easily tempted to try them.
I’ve just tried Tentation™, an apple developed recently in the middle of France, and which has been distributed in Switzerland since November. It’s a cross between Golden Delicious, possibly my least favourite apple variety, and Grifer, aka Golden Blushing: the marriage is made in heaven. The apples are crisp, sweet yet pleasingly acidic, a lovely blush of pink on the rosy-gold skin.
My only complaint is that they are relatively large, too much for a snack. But they slice beautifully, and at our house were a success served as a Sunday mid-afternoon snack, with a handful of good mixed nuts.
Earlier this autumn I was brave and tried a new Swiss apple, Galmac, from a cross between Jerseymac and Gala. It was equally good, especially appreciated because it comes on the market earlier than most acidic apples.
Tentation was 10 years in the making, Galmac 23. After all that time and effort, they deserve the praise.
Where to buy them:
Label One offers home delivery of lots of hard-to-find goodies, including Gillardeau oysters (same as those served at the Brasserie Lipp), lobsters and crabs for holidays or special occasions, as well as rib-eye and sirloin steaks, wild fish, and other more common fare.
You can order online and if you order before 15:00 H, it will be delivered the next morning before 9:00 A.M. Delivery is free as of CHF 200, via ExpressPost or air. (My experience of food delivery by the Swiss ExpressPost system, using cold blocks, has always been problem-free.)
Products are packed in insulated bags, along with a cold block that maintains the temperature below 5° C/41° F.
Label One also offers catering of holiday meals, and such favorites as barbecue ribs and pancakes and maple syrup, as well as gift package delivery.
Their toll free number is 0800 LABEL 1 (0800 52235 1).
If you didn’t have time to make your Christmas puddings last winter, there is still a solution: order luxury puddings online. Yes, you still have time!
Figgys Puddings makes high-quality Christmas puddings using only the best ingredients. They come in lovely ceramic bowls.
They ship overseas, but do not list the date for last order. In any case, it would be wise to order as soon as possible.
Harrods offers luxury Christmas puddings and brandy butter, with a delivery time of 5 to 7 days to Switzerland.
Fortnum and Mason in Picadilly in London also offers a wide variety of Christmas puddings and cakes, including chocolate-flavored ones, as well as mince pies. The puddings come in lovely ceramic bowls you’ll want to keep.
Rum and cognac butters are also available. For Switzerland, orders must be in by midday, Monday December 14.
Even though stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes are pretty standard fare, most families have their own version of the feast, including grandma’s recipes as well as traditional ones.
I’ve gathered some ideas that allow you to plan your own personalized Thanksgiving, right here in the Lake Geneva region, without having to have someone send you the ingredients from back home.
Epicurious has devised quite a clever Thanksgiving menu planner that should help everyone have a successful, stress-free Thanksgiving. You fill in a form, answering questions about what why type of dinner you want, and they propose a customized menu.
A gourmet Thanksgiving
I filled it in, with no holes barred, and this was what they suggested:
When it comes to traditional American recipes, Fanny Farmer is still about as reliable a source as you can find.
Since corn was the main grain in North America before the Europeans arrived, I think every Thanksgiving meal should include some kind of corn dish, just for symbolic purposes. We can be almost certain that the Pilgrims ate some version of this dish at their feast with the Indians.
The American Market in Geneva and Nyon sells Quaker Yellow Corn Meal. Otherwise, a coarse, but precooked, yellow polenta can do the trick. Like pumpkin pie, it can be a bit tricky, depending on the altitude and the ingredients, and especially when you use polenta, so you might want to do a trial run before the big day.
If you can’t find black molasses (in Europe, what they call mélasse is often a mixture of molasses and other kinds of syrups), the American Market also sells Grandma’s pure black molasses.
Fanny Farmer’s Indian pudding recipe
1/4 cup coarse-grain yellow corn meal
1 cup cold milk
3 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon or 1 tsp ginger (whichever you prefer)
4 T butter
Mix corn meal with 1/4 cup cold milk until smooth. Add slowly to scalded milk and cook in double boiler for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in molasses, salt, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and butter. Pour into buttered 9-inch/23 cm baking dish. Pour remaining cold milk over the top. Bake 3 hours at 300° F/150° C. Serves 4 to 6.