Friday, September 23, 2011

Zurich ~ Hazelnut/ Balsamic Salad Dressing ~ Cinnamon Glazed Walnuts

Zurich at Night

 I dream of Switzerland. Back before I knew my husband, I had saved to attend the Fashion Institute there. My mother, who never asked for anything, who never planned on staying gone from Puerto Rico when she enlisted in the Navy knew. If I boarded the plane for school in Europe, I would probably never come back.

She asked me to stay. And so I stayed. If  I had any regrets, they are long forgotten.  


If I were to drive a car from Diamond Bar to Zurich, ignoring the impact of things such as oceans, seas, rivers and mountain ranges would have on the journey, at an average speed of 60mph (96 kmh) straight-through- it would take a bit over 95.5 hours to arrive.  Exhausted, covered in seaweed and wearing a cowbell.  

Healthy Living

Fortunately, my husband flew. Through New York on 9/11 on American Airlines.  Fortunately, that incident was much more interesting for those of us on the ground than it was for passengers on the plane.  


I looking forward to tagging along on some future trip. I want to know if Switzerland looks, sounds and smells as I imagine from Gerry's photographs. Clean, outdoorsy and green.

Entrance to community garden

 Green and gold are the colors Switzerland is known for. Usually locked in vaults. However, after nearly 36 years of marriage, my husband knows to what I am drawn.

Green and gold growing in gardens. These last few images of the community type. With a short growing season, the camaraderie is equal to the food grown.

Compost bin
My darling even knew to bring me back a photo of that greatest commodity in any country- compost.

Back home in Diamond Bar, daily life went on double time with my life's partner gone. If the Santa Ana Winds pick up, we are entering the time of year with the greatest fire danger. Spiders suitable for roles in Tarzan movies  are auditioning in odd corners. With him gone, it would be the one time I could clear his office- at- home space and get it painted without inconveniencing him. 

I have a rule, that whenever Gerry travels, whenever he comes home, there is no doubt that his presence is needed. I can make do on crackers with cheese all week, but when he comes home, it is to order and abundant food.

The night before he arrived back in California, a chicken was roasted, pasta prepared and two roasts braised. One chuck roast was seasoned Mexican style and one with leaks, wine and mushroom gravy.  
A bit over the top? Not when you consider how easy kitchen prep has been the last week.

A special side dish came by way of Nikkipolani. I played with her dressing of hazelnut oil and balsamic vinegar. A pressed clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and just a dash of white pepper shaken well. WOW is how she described it and WOW it is.

Gerald loved the surprise of the simple green salad garnished with dried cranberries, the walnut bits toasted in hazelnut oil sweetened in the cast iron skillet, glazed with melting sugars- white and brown and  spiced with just a bit of freshly ground cinnamon.

Romance can be as grand as the old cities of Europe or as simple as the sensational taste of fresh salad. 


  1. Lydia dear,

    I LOVED reading this story about a country that I have always wanted to explore. My great grandparents came to the U.S. from Switzerland in the late 1800s. I think that the stories my Nonie told me have made me inclined to love it even before a visit.

    My cousin Paul lives there now and so I even have more reason to if I need it.

    Thanks so much for this posting. I loved it all.


  2. Sharon- Thank you for sharing that bit of history about yourself. Race you to Switzerland!

  3. Lydia,

    I LOVED this blog too! What a treat to see the photos. You know, when I think of Switzerland I think of the Alps. I was surprised to see nary a mountain in his photos.

    Loved your menu that you prepared for his return. Girl, if you keep that up every time he goes on a trip and comes home he will go more often! lol

    Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs, Trisha

  4. LOVE those pictures of Zurich...And You MUST tag along, soon....! I was in Zurich only once and it wasn't even for 24 hours---AND it was BEAUTIFUL!!!

    I love how you and your husband are so bonded, Lydia....It is refreshing and endearing that you cooked ALL that you did, knowing he would so appreciate it and you! 36 years and STILL So Much In Love!!!

    That Dressing sounds Yummmmm!

  5. Hi, Trisha. I will dig around the photos to see what angles may have mountains in them.

    Greetings, Naomi! I don't cook at all when my husband is gone. When it gets within 24 hours I am as eager to be in the kitchen as he is for a home-cooked meal.

  6. Lydia,
    Enjoyed Gerry's pics and the wonderful descriptive that you wrote for them. It reminded me of Eureka Springs is Arkansas and some of the Western Mountain States I've visited in the lower 48. Short growing seasons abound in many of them.
    Love to read about your culinary offerings too.


  7. Great pictures. Pretty and interesting.

    You DON'T cook when Gerry's gone??? 'smatter wif ewe? You don't eat??? OMG

    Good blog L!xo


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