Samstag, 23. Juni 2007

Up to Grossmünster!

I've been in Zürich since this January, already half a year. Slowly being like a local girl (?) but there are still many things I don't know about Zürich. Grossmünster is one of the unknown places for me, even though it's a symbol of Zürich. It's tall tower is visible from many places in Zürich but I've never even got in here.

It was windy but clear day. I convinced my husband to walk old town with me. (it's not his favorite place!) We walked by Grossmünster and all of sudden, it came up to my mind to climb up all the way top of this church! I normally don't willing to climb up tower, but today, my inspiration was telling me to do so:)

So we went it. First time in Grossmünster. There was beautiful grass window and also for some reason, there was a people of orchestra playing music.

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In order to climb up the tower, we had to pay. Then we bravely went into very narrow, high steps, stone made stairs, going round and round.

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After 50 steps or so, changed to wooden steps. Small steps but at least more comfortable. In between, there was small display of photo and history about Zürich and Grossmunster.

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Then we arrived! Of course it was easier than climbing up to Sagrada Familia but it was long enough way to gain beautiful overview of Zürich.

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Looking down the city of Zürich is new experience also for my husband who is living in Zürich for XX years. I think it's nice to see the city from different angle from time to time. Whenever I climbed up to the symbol tower of city, I always recognized myself that I'm living in such a beautiful city. (I went up to the tower of Roppongi Hills often in Tokyo) Of course there's no skyscrapers in Zürich but this city is indeed beautiful. I could view lake, mountain, churches and pretty houses in city and up to hills.

On the way down, I met many small children, one couple and two big tourists going up. I believe the view of Zürich was impressing many people for a long time and it will keep attracting many people visiting.

I'm proud of myself living here.

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Samstag, 16. Juni 2007

Baking a ZOPF!

Today, I faced another new challenge. Fighting with strong and tough one.. A ZOPT!! Zopf is the one I met first in Switzerland. I've never seen him in Germany or any other countries, but in here Switzerland, he is loved by everybody as a breakfast partner on weekends. (my husband telling me that he is also seen in Germany though..) Zopf is very sweet and soft one. It has a stylish shape and taste very good with honey or jam. Yes, it's a special bread which on weekend, you'll find it in every bakeries. My mother-in-law bake Zopt every Saturday. She bake huge one and it becomes as a main dish on next Sunday morning. It is always so nice to share a big Zopf with family. The Zopf make the table gorgeous and we enjoy slow Sunday breakfast. My mother-in-law, Ursula is actually working every Saturday. She is super busy woman, however, she always manage to bake Zopf. I always wanted to know the procedure of Zopf baking and finally I learned it! PICT1373_2 Oh yes, that was not easy. Above photo is bad example. I'm kind or grabbing the dough. When I do like this, all the dough stick to the fingers and not good. PICT1380_2 So Ursula showed me how it works.. PICT1375_2 Ok, let me try again... PICT1352_2 Now I start getting to it! Yes, like grabbing air into the dough. Faster and faster!! Ohhhhh, but this dough is heavy. Maybe it's the best way to train your arm.. Once the dough become soft enough like baby's cheek, then wait for a while until it's get larger. Waiting for an hour, dough expand so big as a bowl.. Is became triple larger than before!! What a dough! Cut the dough in two, make two long strings nice and gentle and tight them up.. Like this. Before in the oven, Zopf must dress up a little bit. Make up, make up, paint paint paint,, with egg. Oh, I love my Zopf. It is nice and soft like a baby... But once out of oven, Zopf was already matured. Crispy dough looked sooooo tasty and it smells so good! Zopt grown up as a sexy adult. Anyway, baking Zopf was great success! It was also great fun to work together with my Japanese neighbor. (she's like my little sister!) IMGP1984 Can't wait tomorrow's breakfast...

Sonntag, 3. Juni 2007

91 years old birthday

My grandmother-in-law got her 91st birthday on Saturday. With exotic flower, we rushed to her house in Zurzach. There, already five people were with her, her daughters, their husband and a woman who used to be a secretary of grandma's husband. They are preparing yummy whipped creams, tea and coffee to enjoy cakes.
IMGP1913 Blue sweater with warm smile is grandma. (somehow I couldn't pretend not looking camera..) IMGP1910 Johannesbereen cake. Something like cranberry cake. Backed by Hedwick, a big daughter of grandmother. IMGP1911 Apple cake. Backed by another daughter Vreni. Very goooooood!!! IMGP1905 Teo, a husband of Hedwick (right) and Klaus, husband of Vreni. On the table there is a big chocolate cake, bought from somewhere but a favorite of Grandma. Ohhhh, grandma is very tough! She likes the one most high calorie! Among many flowers, tea time has started. I really didn't understand whole conversation but I was able to ask Hedwick how to bake Torte from flour. I'm looking for Torte Stone in here Switzerland but never find it. Without Torte stone, torte explodes in Oven. She told be that in Switzerland, people use beans to stay torte on a pan. There is a special so-called baking beans in supermarket. Otherwise, you can stick torte by folks and do it time to time when it's backed in oven. Like this, you can avoid Torte exploding in Oven. Hmmm, I learned something. IMGP1915 More people came,, youngest daughter Susan and her husband. Susan has Japanese styled stone monument in her garden. I have to visit her one day! At the end, table was completely occupied with 10 people. Grandma is very sweet, she received many phone call in meantime and enjoying talking over the phone. She is such a beloved person. I don't know whether grandma is too special person or this is a custom in Switzerland to celebrate birthday with many people no matter how old one get. I thought about my real grandma in Japan. Honestly, I don't know neither of their birthday. Maybe I made a call once or twice to say her happy birthday, only when my mom told me to do so. Otherwise, I never took initiative to celebrate a birthday of grandma. I couldn't stop thinking of my grandma spending quiet birthday. I hope either my mom or dad were always at least gave her a call.. Life is sometime ironical. When you realize, it's too late. I'm not living close to my grandma anymore. I thought about it further. In Japan, people won't celebrate their birthday when you get older. Some people even won't realize their birthday until someone else told them "happy birthday". My parents always celebrated children's birthday but they never hold party or event for each other's birthday. Just a small toast by dinner. So when it comes to the generation of grandparents, situation is even worse. They don't speak out about it. But I think it's very beautiful in here Switzerland that people gather and enjoy one's birthday no matter how old they become. I had a luck to take a part of this culture. Ok, nothing is late. From now on, I won't forget a birthday of my families. Once I returned Japan, I will hold a big party to my parents and brother when they have their birthday. And once I have a children, I won't let them forget birthday of their grandparents!

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