What did you do in Switzerland? What did you see in Europe? Well, we spent much of our time eating together lunches and dinners. It’s a really lovely experience, to be part of an family full of constant activities, with the heart around the hearth.
The meals slowly evolve as we eat. Through anecdotes from the day, and investigations into the taste of a certain cheese the mealtime and communion unfold. The stories are all true of the French gastronomy: the importance of eating well and eating together.
The salad might be made once the first course is eaten. Would you like some salad? Of course everyone does. The home made olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing is a Swiss staple in my mind. So good on a simple butter lettuce with leaves left large. Perhaps a ripe tomato. Perhaps not, simply plain. Someone wants more omelette? A second egg is scrambled. The cheese course is nothing formal. Someone asks for cheese. Which kind? Perhaps several are produced. The cheese is passed around, the rind being cut in the process. Then more water is drunk.
The meal is convivial jovial light hearted and very busy, lots of activity, everyone bubbling with conversation. An hour passes easily in this manner, even for the midday meal when the children come home from school. The chopping, cooking and table setting as well as the washing up and putting away are community affairs and bookend the meal.
In between meals go shopping for fresh groceries. We walk or drive past a diverse array of neat fields growing the fruits and vegetables we find in the stores and buy for our table. The farmers are often seen out tending their crops. We discuss and plan future meals like we’re co-conspirators colluding on a special event with exciting gossip. The results are delightful. The simplest meal can still be the foundation for something beautiful, delicious and the framework to build a contented life on. It’s the original Slow Food. A perfect holiday, I’m glad I spent it with you!