Friday, April 08, 2011

Zev´s Promotion Party

Last night we celebrated the promotion to Colonel for Zev and 8 other Air Force "selectees" in our area. The tradition is that the people picked for promotion put on a promotion party to celebrate with family and friends in the local area.
This wasn´t the actual promotion day, where Zev pins on his new rank. That will probably happen in about a year! The tradition during the promotion party is to wear "fake rank" as you can see in the following pictures.
Only a certain number of "Selectees" are promoted each month. So the day and month that you actually get promoted all depends on your "line number." Last night was a good chance to say thanks to the people who work with Zev and to honor the "Colonel Selectees" for their dedicated, hard work, especially in light of the fact that most of the Selectees have been in the Air Force for at least 20 years and so have kept up their consistently good efforts for all this time.
I am enormously proud of my guy, who humbly acknowledges this achievement, and excited to see where the Air Force (well really, where God!) leads us next.
Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, April 04, 2011


Last night, Ulla and Manfred invited us over for a traditional Swiss "Raclette." We just love Ulla and Manfred. They are 73 and 72 years old respectfully, and are like our grandparents here in Germany. Ulla is my German teacher; we met at my German school.
We started off the afternoon with a traditional "Kaffee und Kuchen" or coffee and cake (in this case, homemade orange cake with real orange rinds and squeezed orange and lemon inside. Yum.)
The weather was gorgeous so we sat on the balcony. We then headed out for a fun walk to feed the wild boars at a local forest. That was so much fun!
"This little piggie went to market..."
We then headed back to the apartment, where Zev tried to read the recipe for one of the dishes in German:
Here is some info on a traditional Swiss raclette, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Raclette is a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland. The Raclette cheese round is heated, either in front of a fire or by a special machine, then scraped onto diners' plates; the term raclette derives from the French word racler, meaning "to scrape". Traditionally, it is accompanied by small firm potatoes (Bintje, Charlotte or Raclette varieties), gherkins, pickled onions, and dried meat, such as prosciutto and viande des Grisons.
In the Swiss canton of Valais, raclette is typically served with tea or other warm beverages. Another popular option is to serve raclette with white wine, such as the traditional Savoie wine or Fendant, but Riesling and Pinot Gris are also common.
Raclette was mentioned in medieval writings as a particularly nutritious meal consumed by peasants in mountainous Switzerland. It was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or "roasted cheese."
Traditionally, the Swiss cow herders used to take the cheese with them when they were moving cows to or from the pastures up in the mountains.
In the evenings around the campfire, they would place the cheese next to the fire and, when it had reached the perfect softness, scrape it on top of some bread.
A modern electric Raclette grill and various accompanying foods. A modern way of serving raclette involves an electric table-top grill with small pans, known as coupelles, to heat slices of raclette cheese in. Generally the grill is surmounted by a hot plate or griddle. The cheese is brought to the table sliced, accompanied by platters of boiled or steamed potatoes, other vegetables and charcuterie. These are then mixed with potatoes and topped with cheese in the small, wedge-shaped coupelles that are placed under the grill to melt and brown the cheese. Alternatively, slices of cheese may be melted and simply poured over food on the plate. The accent in raclette dining is on relaxed and sociable eating and drinking, the meal often running to several hours. French and other European supermarkets generally stock both the grill apparatus and ready-sliced cheese and charcuterie selections, especially around Christmas. Restaurants also provide raclette evenings for parties of diners.
We had such an enjoyable evening and ate so much that our bellies hurt when we got home.
Wishing you a wonderful week! Love Zev and Fifi xoxo

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Super. Man.

I know that everyone thinks their husband is the best, strongest, most "super" (what is the superlative for "super"?). Anyway, I am here to say on this blog, well, because I can, that my husband really is super. Man.
Zev entered (ok well really I entered him, he raced) in a local race called the "Off-Road Run" It was held at the local shopping center and featured a 9km course dotted with obstacles like the sand pit, stair climbing (the parking lot stairs), climbing over hay bales, navigating through the recycle bins and the shopping trolleys (this was a shopping center race!) and through the woods for a little bit. I was so proud of him. He finished 62nd out of almost 400 participants!!
The race covered about 1000 feet of elevation change over 5 and a quarter miles.
Someone was a little nervous before-hand...
This is what I said when he asked me why he had to run this by himself (I just laughed and said "´This one is your race baby.") I know my limitations- flat races for me. I am not an obtacle course runner...
But I was there for my super man nonetheless.
Before the race started, we toured the "course." I just love the yellow recycle bin obstable course. We use three different bins in Germany; green is for regular trash and is our smallest bin; yellow is for "Gelber Sack" items which include plastics, packaging materials, and blue is for our paper.
And they´re off! (Zev has a green shirt on...can you see him?)
It was so warm out there, it was almost downright hot. I love this weather. Temperature is probably around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or about 27 degrees Celcius. The image below is cool; it is the screen shot from Zev´s Garmin, which shows the actual path that he took! He ran the race in 43:37. Pretty good for a 9km obstacle course in warm weather! He is my super man.
He leaps over big things...
He tackles things head on.
He makes it through things in one piece..
And gives me a smile at the end.
Well done, baby!
We are off to Ulla and Manfred´s house for a typical German "Raclette" (I think it´s like fondue.)
Hope you are having a great weekend!
Love, Fi ;-)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Snail and other Signs of Spring

I am so in love with this new weather. I love Spring. The birds chirping, new life being created, flowers and color popping up everywhere. I went for a run yesterday and just loved taking it all in. It was a good run, although I did slip in some mud which was not so cool. It´s been raining lately (April showers bring May flowers!) so the ground was a little slippery.
Here are some pictures which depict the signs of Spring in Germany....not sure what the featured trees are called but they are everywhere here....
My neighbor´s yard (Magda, the one who makes us delicious Christmas cookies every year):
And finally, the Cherry Tree. Here is a quick explanation of why I photographed The Cherry Tree. As you can see, this tree is located on a fairly empty field, up the road from us. I am not sure if someone actually owns the land (I´m sure they do) but no one really tends to this tree during the year. Anyway, around this time of the year, The Cherry Tree blossoms and about a month later, produces some deliciously sweet cherries. I am always running by it, waiting for those cherries to pop out, but I tell you, I somehow manage to miss "just the right moment" because the high school kids get to the tree first and take all the low hanging cherries. I told Zev that this year, I am bringing our kitchen ladder.
 Enjoy the weekend!