Wednesday I went for my long walk. I have several walk/hike paths that I like to do when I'm here: one is hiking the gorge, one is about a three mile walk and the long walk is about 4 miles. Jenny lives in the mountains so each of the walks/hikes involves some serious climbing but most of all the long walk is killer steep uphill. I wish I knew what the actual inclines are but suffice it to say they make me work, hard. The long walk is so steep uphill that the first quarter of the walk takes me to the top and the remaining three quarters is down hill, maybe one third and two thirds but, something like that. I was a little frustrated with myself for how slow I had to take it going up the hills but as I climbed I began to remember that this path is so steep that I always have to take it pretty slow. Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore I reached the top and started the descent. I love to jog downhill. Laugh if you will but my jogging pace is most people's walking pace and jogging downhill uses muscles that jogging on a flat surface doesn't use. I found my pace right away today and it felt great. I jogged about 1.5 miles which I was very pleased with given that I haven't jogged in 4 months. It also felt great to find my pace so quickly.
Thursday I got going early and went to Manor in the morning then the latterie in Blonay then spent the afternoon cooking.
I had a brisket from the farm which I cut in half.
One half went into the fridge with a steak sauce marinade. The marinade (really more of a steak sauce as there is no acid) recipe came from my friend Dave. He used it a few weeks ago on a hangar or flank steak which he then grilled. It was amazing. So anyway, I emailed him for the recipe but I had almost none of the ingredients so I did a lot of improvising. I used about a half cup of ketchup, a tablespoon of worcestershire sauce, sliced ginger (in place of horseradish) a few splashes of soy sauce, a tablespoon of course mustard (in place of Dijon style) a tablespoon of honey, paprika (in place of ancho chili powder), salt and pepper. I am going to try grilling the brisket mid-rare over charcoal tomorrow. I have read mixed things about how brisket eats at a rare temp and I am curious to see how it works out.
The other half of the brisket got rubbed with paprika, salt and pepper then went into a pottery roasting pan with an chopped mix of fresh mushrooms (a mix from the store with a bit of everything: chanterelle, shitake, morel and cremini), a can of chopped tomatoes, about 2/3's the can worth of water, three cloves of garlic and a sliced small hot red pepper. This all got covered with foil and went into a 300 degree oven for about four hours then out of the oven to cool and into the fridge over night.
Once the brisket was taken care of I made two batches of crust and quiche filling. One batch of crust is for a double crust apple pie that I will make this weekend and the other batch will make two quiche, one for while I'm here and one that went into the freezer along with filling so Jenny can have an easy meal when the baby arrives. For the quiche filling I used the same mushroom mix as I did for the brisket but for the quiche I quickly sauteed them on a high heat, set them aside then slowly caramelized an onion. The mushrooms, onions and some cubed fresh vacherin were added to eggs along with a bit of milk, salt and pepper. I've never cooked fresh vacherin so we'll see how that works. I've actually never had fresh vacherin until this trip. Though vacherines are some of my favorite cheeses I didn't know they were eaten in their fresh state. The texture is somewhat like tofu and the taste is very mild, almost like cream cheese but without the slight tartness.
Once I cleaned up the kitchen Jenny and I headed to Vevey to meet a group of her friends for a pizza dinner. There were about 12 or 14 of us (all ex-pats from various countries) and we had a great evening.
Today Jenny had a morning appointment with her midwife and while she was there I had a quick visit to the brocante that I like. After I picked her up from the midwife's we made a stop to get some art supplies for Nico then went to the Hermitage museum in Lausanne to see an Edward Hopper exhibit. I thought it would be neat to see his work in a European exibition and it was though I wasn't thrilled with the way the show was hung. The Hermitage has gallery rooms on four floors. Some of the notable pieces that I think strongly exemplify Hopper's esthetic of portaying that something about America in the 30's and 40's in that sparse, pared down way, were hung in the basement while the first floor had a room and a half of his works from Paris which are somewhat impressionistic and not strong (IMO) relative to all his other works. I thought it was interesting that these paintings hung on the main floor.
After the museum we headed back to Vevey and had massages: Jenny a back massage (while laying on her side) and me a foot and leg massage. I love foot massages and wish we had a place in Cleveland that understood the reflexology and foot massage. The foot massage was wonderful and one of the most relaxing massages I've had. I really went to another place and floated around in peacfulness for about an hour. Jenny treated me as a thank you for the party I had for her when she was home in the spring. That was a nice treat and a nice thank you! I am still hoping to get to Geneva before I leave for a repeat of the foot massage I had last year. It was different from today's massage in that it was more intense work on the foot muscles and pressure points. After being on my feet all summer for often 12-14 hours a day I have wayyyyyy been looking forward to having this particular foot massage again.
We came home and had the roasted brisket for dinner. I was pleased with how it turned out and Jenny and Nico were too. I love cooking for them as they are always very appreciative of my cooking.
We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and watching videos on the computer.