Sunday, October 21, 2007

October 20

This is the first weekend in a while that I haven't ventured somewhere. It was kind of nice to just relax here in Lausanne. There is a place here where bikes can be rented for a 20 franc deposit that is returned when the bike is returned. So, really it's not renting, because it is free if the bike is returned. I was going to do this, but it was really windy. I went for a walk by the lake instead. It was very pleasant.
The family I am living with invited me to have Raclette with them for dinner. Raclette is a cheese that is native to the canton of Valais. I visited this canton a couple weekends ago and had Raclette while I was there. The cheese is melted and served with boiled potatoes, pickles, and dried beef. It is different than fondue, because the cheese is not soupy, just melted and put on your plate. It was very nice of them to ask me to join them. I had purchased a bag of very cheap apples on Friday, so I decided that I would make a pie for dessert. I decided just to buy a crust. I've never used pre-made crust before. Nor have I ever baked a pie in an oven that is so small and in degrees Celsius. Also, I didn't have American measuring devices, so I just estimated. It's okay to do that with pies though. They aren't an exact science like cakes or other baked things like that. I was a little nervous about how it would turn out, but it was great. It was the prettiest pie I've made. I drank Tisane, a calming caffeine free herbal tea that is drunk in the evenings. It was wonderful. The family liked the pie as well, which I was happy about. Tartes are common in Switzerland, but they are a bit different than pies. There is only the bottom crust and they are wider. They are also thinner and not as sweet. It is mostly just fruit baked onto a thin crispy crust. So far I've had plum, walnut, and strawberry. They are delicious, but not the same as a traditional American apple pie.

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