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lundi 31 décembre 2012

Happy New 2013

We celebrated NYE in spectacular style and ate like Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses.

Our menu

Huîtres au naturel
Foie gras sur toast
Bouchées des saumon fumée sur lit des legumes
Bouchées des terrine de truffe sur lit des legumes

We finished off with un Gâteau des Rois accompanied by Clairette de Die mousseux and Veuve Cliquot Champagne.

dimanche 30 décembre 2012


usurped by forgetfulness

wretched brain forced by the hands of time

etched by souvenirs and

enthralled by rose-coloured memories

Age is merciless

ravaged by years passing

compromised by degradation

left with longing for the good old days

that cease to exist

The good old days were in fact

not so great

but blurred by a skewered vision

appears visibly superb

clearly a trick ones own memory plays

denial of current state

Surrender, surrender to the new age

I love Merveilles des Maroilles and Boursault cheeses. They are utterly delectable: tasty morsels of dripping, runny dairy with bite and strong character/gôut.

I also love love love the ultra creamy 'Masgonzola' which is a 50%-50% mix of Mascarpone and Gorgonzola. I find Most Italian cheeses fad, bland and tasteless but I particularly like Masgonzola. mmmmmm

Engadiner is a blergh cheese. I have to include my likes and dislikes contrasted agaisnt one another for comparison.

Miniature train models

Depiction of Tracks

Jorat-express with life-like observation tower

train in motion

La Sarraz station

Mines du Leman


Château d'Oex with miniature lake and mimic bathers

Railway bridge

Frontal view of railway bridge from another angle

Castle Lucernois

Some photos of the miniature trains and circuits/model sceneries depicting real life stations, objects that they were modelled after. They are great works of art as it takes a skilled and patient craftsperson to construct such life-like minuscule details.
They are really life like and magnificent.

Bouncy, juicy and springy beefballs

Bo` viên just the way I like them. I made the first batch of 500 grams of beef mince to test out this marvelous recipe and it turned out better than my expectation for my very first attempt. I forgot to add 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder for my second and more substantial attempt and the balls were much more compact, spring-less and not bouncy at all. The key for me is the baking powder and the steps. I will be recreating this recipe again.

Kumquat seeds

The kumquat seeds Shrek planted have flourished and miraculously grown. We still have a long way to go until we can actually cueillir les premiers fruits but I declare it a victory in itself that the seeds scattered into the soil on our bac sur le balcon has actually given way to greenery and flourishing plants. They will need to be repotted into a pot for the indoors as the dreaded winter is coming...

Mish Mash

Our recent menus have featured

bu'n riêu
mi` xaò do`n
chicken nuggets à ma façon
Tam Ky` chicken rice is way better than Hainanese chicken rice which I find extremely bland and boring, Tam Ky` (Viet version) has pizazz and is jazzed up and colourful to boot. It is a dish I periodically prepare and is a big big hit here at the Effacée household.
ga` rôti : chicken thighs and drumsticks à ma façon. I discovered this wonderful recipe and it is a winning recipe approved by the toughest critics aka the Effacés in Switzerland clan.
go?i cuô'n
cha'o ba`o ngu'
soufflés au pommes de terre
soufflés au patates douces
banana cake
gratin au patates douces
tomates mozzarella
bo` pi'a

Beyblade Metal Fusion

Shrek recently spent a good part of his day off modifying Petit Suisse's and Baby Taz's Beyblade toupies.

He found some metallic washers, discs and screws and odd bits and bobs and smoothed them out using a machine found in the atelier. He has rendered Petit Suisse and Baby Taz's respective toupies les vraies Metal Fusions thereby giving them more spin and managing/maintaining their spin for a longer period. He has created a monster and timeless hit.

Happy 3rd birthday lil Miss Feisty !!!

My darling little Miss Feisty turned 3 on the 20th of March 2012. It was a whirlwind of stacked donuts fabricated by Lil Miss N and Petit Suisse disguised as a birthday cake.

She then blew out her candle for the first time with said donuts. We had another small celebration with Les Lionceaux, a playgroup we frequent. She became shy and effacée all of a sudden, refusing to blow out the candles or even react to people wishing her a happy birthday. When asked later on why she became statue-like and crispée she replied : I became aware of all the attention focusing on me and I had a moment of panic.

We are not done with the celebrations as yet as we will have another party with all the trimmings: friends and family.

Happy birthday my special little girl ! May you stay feisty but at the same time loving and caring towards us 5, your nearest and dearest !

<3 nbsp="nbsp" ove="ove" p="p">your dearest mummy, daddy and your three siblings

The mystery of the missing avocado

Recently I bought two avocadoes : one I used in a delicious impromptu concoction that involved Coquilles
St -Jacques for our cosy Christmas dinner at home.

The other one I left on top of the toaster oven as it was a place that was easily accessible and I knew that I would find the avocado without difficulty...Alas two days later when I needed the avocado it was nowhere to be found. My first instinct was to blame Shrek as he is the resident tosser... he would without hesitation throw out anything and everything on a whim because he cannot stand accumulation of objects...sentimental or otherwise. Yet he would anticipate events that might never happen and buy in anticipation...he knows what I am talking about but we won't be dwelling on that here... I have searched relentlessly and fruitlessly and futilely for the missing avocado and I know I will one day find the rotten avocado hidden somewhere ridiculous. We still suspect maybe the kids played and hid it somewhere but they cannot tell us where or if they have in fact seen the avocado in question...............

The missing avocado remains a big unsolved mystery in our household and I have wracked my brains but the answer is nowhere to be found.

The cast of characters

Shrek : my darling hubby (who can sometime be an ogre in every sense of the word  hence his befitting nickname)

Princess Fiona : moi-même

Petit Suisse : A, our eldest son

Lil Miss N : E, our second daughter who earned this nickname because she is pigheaded and naughty at times.

Baby Taz : as the name suggests he is a whirlwind of Tazzie madness. He is the Energizer bunny without an off button or option and he wreaks havoc wherever he goes, his saving grace is that he has good intentions and a good heart/is prone to sharing and caring.

Lil Miss Feisty : She is as feisty and fiery as her name, she can hold her own and that's exactly how she should be !

Monetary gain

Monetary gain is still the best incentive.

Exhibit A

Petit Suisse is a radin in the making which is fine and dandy except he is very calculating with his own parents i.e. Shrek and I. I need to rectify this asap as it is fine to be stingy and frugal but when it comes to your birth parents who have given you life, raised you and who do not count how much you have cost them one should  not as a matter of principle be a calculating little bugger.

Petit Suisse and Lil Miss N are receiving very small sums each Sunday which represent their pocket money. As an encouragement and incentive

They tend to be reticent when it comes to doing house chores but at the mention and promise of monetary reward their bright eyes immediately light up. I guess the old adage is true : Noone is too young to want to work for money.

lundi 15 octobre 2012


Shrek and I decided that we would defrost the freezer tonight. As planned we set out to defrost with aplomb and as we were nearing the end of the defrosting business, Shrek took the opportunity to remind me that I kept a lot of junk in the freezer which is correct hence I have no qualms agreeing with him then. He then went on to lecture me about the amount of junk I keep accumulating and how I had to be radical and toss everything into the rubbish tip.

I do agree I am a hoarder and that I should throw out unnecessary stuff but he really went too far by suggesting that we were suffocating under the amount and weight of stuff and that he could no longer handle it. He went on to tell me I had mauvaise foi and etc etc... He pretty much blew up and I teared up because I could not palpate the ideas he was throwing around anymore. I wanted to call it quits mainly because in my eyes he wanted space, order and structure : something which I could only maintain periodically because it was a constant battle to intil order into our place.

I still believe strongly that a house is not a museum and thus cannot be treated as such. I can only make progress by attempting to organise and tidy up momentarily because the state of perfect neatness and order cannot last indefinitely. I can of course make an effort to procrastinate less and hence clean up messes more efficiently but I can only try my best and Shrek must understand this.. Living together equals compromise and if he wants his way all the time, that is not about to happen. He can get his way some of the time but he must also give way sometime. Work is different as different rules apply to the workplace but when one is at home one must be able to feel at home and at ease and not constantly clearing this and cleaning that and so forth. Life is for living and not just experienced through a series of motionless stilllife.

I hope Shrek will eventually work on himself as I work on my own hoarding and neatness issues. Shrek has a tendency to compartmentalise everything. Everything must have its proper place and nothing must be out of place. He must have empty spaces and bien rangé without any surplus. He is very Swiss in his thinking. I am pretty much the opposite of all that.

We will find un juste milieu without breaking hopefully.

One step forward...

dimanche 13 mai 2012

Happy Mother's day/Bonne Fête de maman !!!

It is my 9th Mother's day as it is intricably linked to Petit Suisse's age. I am proud of my children and hope that the legacy and heritage passed onto me by my mum will in turn be passed onto my children.

I use this blog as my open diary for my children, future grandchildren and future great-grandchildren to have an insight into me as first and foremost a woman (hopefully remarkable and incredible at that but that is not for me to is for them to decrire), a mum and a wife.

I hope they will appreciate all the nurturing and love I have shown them over the years...and Shrek as well. I hope they realise that as human beings we are prone to mistakes, failure as well as success, happiness and triumph but the most hard won battles are saveured much more. I want them to stand on their own two feet and be grounded  but always reaching for the stars and that we are masters of our destiny but there are forces beyond our control and comprehension. Life is unpredictable, miraculous and beautiful with all of its complexities and imperfections.

I received as gifts for La Fête de Mères : 1 marigold from Lil Miss Naughty in a pot painted and creatively beautifully by her, 1 purple flower (not sure of the name) in a recycled aluminium can dressed as a pot doted with hearts by Petit Suisse, one cardboard flower decorated by Lil Miss Feisty, a poem written on a heart by Lil Miss Naughty. I also had the privilege of being invited by Lil Miss N and Petit Suisse to a special Mother's day brunch. They split the cost of the brunch (for me only as Shrek took care of the rest)  in half. They paid with their own pocket money which they have saved up.

A touching Fête de Mères

Here is the poem offert par Lil Miss N

J'ai écrit "Je t'aime dans la neige : le soleil l'a effacé"
J'ai écrit "Je t'aime dans le sable : la mer l'a emporté..."
Alors j'ai écrit dans mon coeur "Je t'aime Maman"
Là, il restera gravé.

dimanche 1 janvier 2012


Lil Miss N tends to be discouraged all too soon as exhibited in two incidents described henceforth : she was practising her violon when she slouched and played like a cricket croaking without any effort whatsoever, Petit Suisse made smart-alec* comments such as 'C'est nul, tu fais tout faux' and her reaction was to just give up and bawl her eyes out... all the while complaining that Je ne serai jamais capable de jouer au violon

the second involved her braiding woolen strings into a bracelet, she stumbled and made one or two consecutive mistake and decided that she had had enough and toss the unfinished bracelet into the garbage bin.

Shrek had one of those fortifying talks to Lil Miss N to iron out any self-doubts she might have been harbouring.

As a kid Shrek was not given opportunities to learn to play a musical instrument or have very many extra-curricular activities outside of school. Given that we do our best to give our kids exposure to and the opportunity to learn musical instruments the very least is to give it their best shot and persevere. Practice and effort makes perfect although we are not in any way aiming for perfection, I do aim to give them a well-rounded education with music, literature, scientific discoveries and philosophy. They can then decide what they want to do with all that knowledge and know-how but the most important lesson Shrek and I want to instil into our kids is 'perseverance'. Perseverance is a virtue unto itself but more than being virtuous it is a dogged approach to life that can 'keep them moving forward' borrowed from the 'Robinsons'

Random things they say

Baby Taz 's speciality is to repeat

'C'est pas juste !' whenever he feels indignated or left out.

Lil Miss N often says to me ' Tu es la parfaite mummy !' or

'Tu es mon grand amour pour toujours/toute la vie'

Baby Taz will continually say 'On a pas ça' which can be heard most often after the bombardment of toy advertisements during the busiest period of the year preceding Christmas/Noël as that is the best time to rouse and brainwash children into action and hence indirectly influencing parents' and general public's gift buying/purchasing decisions.