Here is the “I” installment of my abc collection. I choose about three words and write something regarding them trying to relate them to Switzerland or the Swiss. This week’s words start with “i”. “I” is for ice cream, inner child and IKEA.
is for ice cream
Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it is not illegal.
Normally ice cream in Switzerland is very good. The bought kind, anyway.
Voltaire certainly wouldn’t have written that if he had he tasted the kiwi ice that I once made. It was by far the worst, non-eatable dessert ever made. Even worse was that I made it for guests. Maybe it wasn’t so bad that I made it for guests. I had less to throw away and it gave us something to laugh about. It makes me smile when I think of it now, but then all we could do was pucker our lips. I threw the recipe away.
A Swiss friend of mine who went to Thailand showed me a video of how ice cream is made there. It really is “iced cream”. They have a big block of ice and put some chopped fruit on it and then add liquid sweet cream. With two spatulas they mix the ingredients until it is somewhat stiff. Once everything is mixed they spread it thin over the ice and it gets even harder. With a spatula they scrape the cream into rolls and put them into a cup and there you have it. Instant ice cream. It sounds a lot easier than my kiwi ice, and better.
is for inner child
A man is getting old when he walks around a puddle instead of through it.
~ R.C. Ferguson
It can rain in Switzerland and most people stay inside if they can when that happens. We have a dog and dogs don’t care what the weather is like, they want to go out. Every day and in every kind of weather: snow, rain, sleet, sun, you name it. I guess sort of like the mailman except we don’t deliver mail.
Once, last summer on a balmy evening we took the dog out on our regular route. When we were about half way through we noticed huge, dark clouds moving quickly toward us. We thought we had enough time to get home without getting wet. We were wrong. When we were about 10 minutes from home it was as if someone had opened the floodgates. We ran to the first best cover but we were already fairly wet. Looking around we saw other people (mostly with dogs) scurrying for cover.
The downpour didn’t look like it was going to let up so we decided to just go home, rain or no rain. We were already wet so where was the problem? We stepped out and casually walked directly through puddles the rest of the way home. It was fun and all three of us were soaking wet, through and through in a matter of minutes. I can’t remember the last time we did something like that and just let our inner child shine through.
is for IKEA
I’m stingy and I’m proud of the reputation.
~ Ingvar Kamprad
Ingvar Kamprad is the founder of IKEA and lived in western Switzerland from 1973 to 2011. According to Forbs he is one of the wealthiest men in the world. Every now and then you would hear stories of how frugal Mr. Kamprad lived while he was here. Like the saying goes, you can learn how to save money from the rich.
One of my favorite stories is how he would go grocery shopping and buy food that was reduced 50%. That is something we do, too (and we’re not multimillionaires!). The two largest chain stores in Switzerland reduce prices on food that the “sell by” date is about to expire. The food is still good for at least two days. So we decide what we’re going to have for dinner while we’re at the store.
As far as the quality of the IKEA furniture goes, I think it’s good, solid and well thought out. Last month we changed a room in our home into a workroom for me so I can make lampwork beads. I wasn’t feeling too well so we put off going out and buying furniture at the store. What I did do was spend a lot of time at the computer, mostly at the IKEA site. It was great; Whenever I wanted I could go and compare, then go back and look some more. I looked at all the stuff they had, and decided exactly what I wanted. I made a shopping list and knew how much it would cost.
When we went, we were able to pick up everything while we were walking through the maze. It was just us and 15million other people. We were out in a matter of hours (just kidding, it was probably only one hour). The only thing we had a problem with was fitting all the boxes into our compact car. They finally fit but there was absolutely no extra room whatsoever! Once we were home, assembling the furniture was as easy as cake.
I now have an affordable, well thought out workroom and the perfect place to make my beads! Thanks IKEA.