Thursday, 22 January 2009

Heaven is THE Perfect Cup of Coffee

Among the many many joys of being a foodie and living in Europe has been experiencing the unparalleled perfection of coffee. In Swiss-Romande (the french-speaking part of Switzerland), one must clearly understand the subtle differences between a café crème, a café au lait, a cappuchino and the revered café renversé in order to get exactly what you want.

The café renversé quickly became my preferred coffee of choice. I believe an actual translation means 'knocked-over coffee', however in short, it is a strong espresso with slightly more heated milk and just a touch of crema. Crema being that delicate foam that forms at the top of the coffee. My favoured beverage is available at any one of the multitude of obliging cafés and boulangeries around Geneva but the cost over time would require my dipping into a non-existant trust fund. Enter Nespresso, every local barrista's preferred coffee maker and hey, who can resist a company boasting George Clooney as their global spokesperson.

We've been enjoying our Nespresso since our first week in Geneva over 3 years ago, and have valiantly tried to replicate a perfect café renversé by heating up milk in a pot on the stove and/or using a plunging coffee frother but something was always slightly missing. It just didn't taste quite like the ones I ordered at Globus, until one week ago...

C2 recently marked a milestone birthday and our great friends and fellow Montrealers/Calgarians, Nathalie and Marc gifted him with an automated Nespresso milk heater/frother. Globus eat your heart out and keep your 5.00 CHF per cup, given enough of this now perfect brew, I could rule the world.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Mrs. Grumpy-Pants

Our annual ski holiday is a mere 5 short days away but it can't come fast enough and then summer can't arrive fast enough. It's only January and I am already seriously sick of winter.

I think I bore up reasonably well in Calgary with day after day of -35 degree temperatures, even with a sinus infection. I was positively cheerful through Victoria's light rain and I was happy to see snow on the ground in Geneva upon our return even with C2's bronchial infection. Murphy and J have romped happily through the snow and ice as Geneva's temperatures dropped below the freezing mark for day after day after day. I donned multiple layers and watched my footing as my runs became somewhat lethal.

But now, we are entering the 21st day or so without so much as a glimpse of sun in the city. I have a sore throat, no ricolas in the house, I am watching the rain rattle against my office windows, and I just found out one of my dearest friends in Geneva is moving to the U.S.

I am officially grumpy.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Home Sweet Home

After a long return journey Victoria-Vancouver (18 minutes) - 3 hours in Vancouver airport, lovely and good sushi, Vancouver-Frankfurt (10.5 hours) - 2 hours in Frankfurt airport, very austere, Frankfurt-Geneva (1 hour), we all arrived home remarkably chipper and happy to retrieve our menagerie of animals.

J is now a very seasoned traveller and bears the trip like a trouper. Mind you it helps to dangle the carrot that good behaviour earns him a day at his beloved Aquaparc.

5 days later, however, the 9 hour jet lag is killing C2 and me. We continue to wake in the middle of the night starving. Good thing Larry King is broadcast at 3:00 am Geneva time. We're both asleep on the sofa by 7:00 pm and in bed by 9:00. Someone told me yesterday that it takes as many days for the body to fully recover its' rhythms as hours of jet lag. Oh goody only 4 days to go. Now where is Tim Horton's when I need a double double and a maple dip donut in the middle of the night?