We’re getting more comfortable in the city now. Well, I certainly am. One big hurdle that I finally got over today was I finally drove through Geneva. I’ve been dreading this for awhile as something I know I need to do but have no desire to actually do. I finally decided to bite the bullet and just do it. I used to be just fine driving, but ever since I was in an accident a few years ago, it’s like I’ve lost all confidence in myself, or cars, or other drivers. And now, it’s been three months since I’ve driven at all, and this is Europe, where you’re given inches, not lanes, to get by other cars, buses, trains and bikers. Yikes. Luckily, we have the absolute standard of safety in a car. Check out this sweet family ride:
That is a Volvo station wagon, my friend. Nothing says “safe” or “family” or “reliability” like it. Not exactly the sexiest car we’ve ever owned, I’m sure Z still mourns the Lexus, but this is great to get around with room for strollers and car seats and all the other unsexy things we have to lug around. I’m happy to report that today’s drive went well. Not a single accident, and only one rogue bus that seemed to come out of nowhere. We all survived and I’m now officially driving in Europe. Still happier being on the bus than behind it.
We went driving today in order to do a big shopping trip. This was the one to deck out our pantry and all those sundry items you don’t want to be lugging home on the bus: giant boxes of diapers, toilet paper, and about a zillion jars and sauce to stock the fridge. It all worked out very nicely. I still much prefer going to the local market for my food, but there’s some stuff you just can’t get at the farm. Like toilet paper – you don’t want to get that at the farm.
Speaking of the local farm, this is ours:
The barn at the end of our street opens three times a week (Tuesday and Saturday mornings; Thursday evenings) and sells a huge selection of produce, along with a bunch of other amazing goodies. You don’t find some of the more artisanal type things at larger markets, but you can pretty much get most of what you need here. There is stone-ground flour from the wheat fields nearby, jams and jellies in the summer, locally made wines, fish from the lake, as well as some sausage and fresh cheeses. Never before have I been able to meet the chickens who laid my eggs! It makes me realize that I actually live in a place where you could easily practice the “100-Mile Diet” – only eating food within 100 miles of your location. That’s just not possible in Calgary. Or rather, you’ll be eating a lot of beef and not much else in the winter.
Also, at the market they cut the greens off of the carrots you buy so that the kids can feed the rabbits who are penned up just outside the barn. “Kids” in this case means me, since X was a little reserved about meeting the little guys and I excitedly went to each and every rabbit to make sure they all got an equal share. Just going to the market makes me happy and we’ve been eating a lot of salads because I am so excited by the quality of the produce we have.
This is one afternoon’s loot from the market. I was making salade nicoise and realized I could purchase nearly all the ingredients around the corner. Just looking at the picture makes my mouth water! Here’s the end product:
All in all, we feel pretty blessed to be where we are right now. Whether it’s at the Swiss version of big box stores or the farm down the street, the quality of food here can’t be denied.