Monday, February 16, 2015


Justin and Martina's reception
Jordan and Annie's reception
Two friends and I met for lunch at Béthanie today. Béthanie is not the name of a restaurant, but rather the nursing home up the street. Believe it or not, their food could easily be served in a nice restaurant. Since our whole family volunteers there, Béthanie hosted a reception for each of our sons – who both got married in the States – to give our Swiss friends an opportunity to share in celebrating their weddings. The food was so beautiful it gave me the idea to ask if I could learn more tricks of the trade in their kitchen.

I spent two weeks there doing the same work as their apprentices, like chopping mountains of vegetables. My biggest challenge was learning to serve properly. At Béthanie many residents eat in their rooms, hospital style, but quite a few are served in the formal dining room. It would take much more than a couple of weeks to get the knack of preparing those fancy plates!

One of the things I enjoyed most during those two weeks was being in charge of the salad buffet in the employee cafeteria. I learned a lot about presentation. For example, a potato salad was to be served in a dark bowl and garnished with something like pickles or olives; whereas a beet salad should be served in a light colored bowl with maybe onion slices as a garnish. It was fun to try to contrast the eight different salads each day and to make them all pretty. The day I learned to make tomato skin roses I was so excited that I went home and made roses for our own dinner plates that evening!

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