August 2014

The topic about banana has not left me in peace. Here is what I discovered in my neighbourhood. See how tall the trees are? And the suckers?

A small banana plantation

A small banana plantation

It is incredible that such a “large” collection had escaped my notice. This “plantation” is about 5 – 6 years old. There are no bananas so far and the owners wrap these trees up for the winter. In a couple of months’ time there definitely will be a photo of them in their winter “clothes”.

Meanwhile Ramadan ended on 28th July in Malaysia. Click this link for a fairly comprehensive report on the end of Ramadan celebrations if you are interested:

In Zurich this festival is hardly noticed whereas the Ironman/-woman competition at Zurich lake was. There it smelt of sweat.

Where it is hot and humid like in Malaysia, like it or not, the smell of sweat is part and parcel of life. Here, people perfume themselves. Commercial perfumes were beyond the reach of most people in Malaysia until the late 80’s, so many grandmothers (but not the Chinese) scented the laundry with a variety of herbs and fragrant flowers. One of these was fenugreek. Fenugreek seeds are boiled and the water is poured into a tub of fresh water where the cleaned laundry would be rinsed a last time before being hung up to dry. Once dried the clothing smelt of fenugreek and are slightly starched. This scent lingers on, check this with a saucer of fenugreek seeds in your kitchen overnight.

Fenugreek is also known as Goat’s horn, Greek Clover, Bockshornklee or Bird’s Foot is a very useful plant and a powerful herb.

A small saucer of fenugreek seeds

A small saucer of fenugreek seeds

The young fresh sprouts are wonderful in a bowl of mixed salad, because they add a slightly pungent taste to the mix. The fresh green leaves of the shoots bring out the flavour of vegetables like squash and spinach like borage does with cucumbers.

The young green fenugreen shoots

The young green fenugreek shoots

These leaves could also be used to spice up meat dishes while the dried leaves pounded with onions, garlic and ginger produce a wonderful herbal mix for delicious sauces. My personal preference is crushed fenugreek ice as a palate teaser to be served before the main dish.

Which reminds me of a very delicious and spicy dish called mee jawa and that would be on the August menu. If you like it hot and you are not adversed to prawns, do join in.


6th Event in the Year of the Horse

When: Friday, 29.08.2014

Time: 19.30

Where: Oerlikon, 5 minutes’ walk from Oerlikon Railway Station



Starter – Nenek’s crispy rice squares

Salad – Tomato and cucumber acar

Main course: Nenek’s mee jawa, noodle in spicy prawn broth with egg, tofu and bean sprouts and Chinese celery

 G’s dessert

Tea or Coffee

CHF 100 per person (incl. 1/2 bottle of wine)

go to make-your-reservation