Hello from the crazy house.
Oh, yes, things are really getting a bit frenetic and out of control here with pre-departure fevers and so many last minute things to do. One week, and we will be on that plane, an trip that we have dreamed of and worked towards. It so many ways, it still does not feel real and if I woke up tomorrow and it was all a dream, I would just shrug and get on with my day. Though, as I would groggily put the kettle on, I would sigh and wonder about that trip to Europe. But alas, it is real and we are packing up house and head into a (rainy) spring in Switzerland.
So, what has happened in the past month? We have finally received all our Swiss passports and Visa to stay in Europe for more than 3 months. As it is, non-residents are only to remain in the European Schengen Zone for up to 3 months, must leave the Zone for 3 months and may then return. Luckily, we can now bypass that. It was a bit touch and go with the last Passport and Piers’ Visa application, and we didn’t think we made it in time, but it all came together last week.
Piers has working incredibly long hours to finish the renovation on our house. You know, those last little things that often take 10 years to complete. Skirting, door and window frames, doors, ensuite….you know the drill if you were ever crazy enough to renovate your own house. He lost 8 kg in the process and is bone tired, but I have never seen a man more satisfied with his work than him. The smile on his face as he admires our house is priceless. And now it is done. It is looking beautiful and my job is now to clear out and clean up for the tenants, who will be looking after our home while we are away. But if someone ever deserved a holiday, it is him.
I am also clearing out the pantry and limiting shopping, cooking up what is left and creating very basic meals. I guess, a good preparation for living in a van with a tiny kitchen?
I did get a bit creative though the other day, when I had some quinoa to use up. I have tried many things, but the kids are just not that keen on it. So I made a little lunch for a friend who was coming over and it did not disapoint. And cooking for a friend is just so lovely….
Stuffed Capsicums with Quinoa and black beans and feta
- Start by making a basic but tasty napoli.
- Saute some onion, garlic and a touch of chilli
- Add a can of tomato and season with salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp of cumin
- Simmer for a few minutes, before adding 1/2 cup of stock and 1/2 cup of quinoa. The quinoa will be absorbing that tasty liquid and you’ll end up with a nice sauce. Add 1 can of black beans to it if you have one, but its equally tasty without. Once the sauce has thickened, prepare the capsicums.
- Cut 2 capsicums in half and sprinkle some feta or chevre on the base. Top with the sauce and add some more cheese on top. Now bake the 4 halves in the oven on about 160C until they become a bit charred and the cheese is golden.
- That’s it. Serve with a zesty salad and you’ll have a delicious and light lunch.
- Can’t wait to replicate this in our Camper with some local and market fresh ingredients…
I will now go back to washing walls and packing the last few things and then finally do some itinerary planning. Next time you’ll hear from us will be from the green and luscious Switzerland. I might even feature a recipe from my mum. She is one of those simple and traditional cooks, but everything she does tastes of home to me.