banana split breakfast quinoa

a very sweet colleague of mine to me: you’re not typically swiss, right? what? hey! but i am swiss! well… admittedly, it’s not the first time that i’ve heard this. actually, people tell me that all the time. so far, i never really started to think about it. but today, i finally did. and the process involves a few questions to myself (and others). what did my friend want to imply… different how? good different, or bad different? for you, my foreign friends, it might raise a few questions regarding swissness, per se. what are typical swiss traits, anyway?

let’s see… what do you know about switzerland? you might know that it’s a small country that lies somewhere in the middle of europe (okay, you probably only know that if you didn’t have a window seat in geography, ahem). you might know that it’s a beautiful, green country, with lots of high mountains, even more cows, beautiful lakes and green fields. you’ve probably heard about its chocolate and cheese, right? yes, all true. all very distinctive. it’s the country of the shiny money, the punctual trains, back-breaking administrative processes, clean air and clean toilet seats (i don’t know about my neighbor’s home, but i mean the random toilets, say, on motorways), solid institutions (banks, not so solid anymore, but we just don’t scratch the surface here…), and scrupulous, slightly narrow-minded, working middle class. so far so good. it is pretty easy to describe the obvious, what meets the eye.

you see switzerland has a tradition of being a neutral country, meaning we’ve steered clear of wars for the past seven hundred plus years (also, us being a mountain people, i think we just knew we were going to lose against our armed neighbors, anyway… but that aside, yes, yes, it was just a really virtuous trait) and we believe others are the better world police (or we don’t, actually – we’re just afraid to join in on the discussion, because someone might get hurt). the fact that we’re a neutral country is kind of reflected in the swiss’ trait of (nicely put version) being very discreet and (not so nicely put version) not speaking our minds (which doesn’t mean we’re not thinking our part, ahem). we’ve got everything, so we don’t take risks, because we might lose something in the process. we’re educated and cultured and sophisticated, so we like our money on the bank, because there might be less sunshiny days. we’re also slightly neurotic when it comes to meeting new people. we prefer to stay to ourselves, to the things we know. the new is something we don’t exactly embrace. we’re dreamers rather than doers. we watch change, and it takes us forever to implement it. we like things neat, accurate and polished. oh, yes, make it polished.

uhm, i don’t know in what way i’m not like that. i consider myself pretty swiss. as in: i’m traditional and a bit boring, i like my meat well done and my cheese really old, i shower every day and i clean the flat at least once a week (you can eat off the floor, on most days). i don’t have a garden, but if i had one, i’m pretty sure i’d see to it regularly. i’d probably make it a home to a couple of cute little garden gnomes, too (okay, nope, never gonna happen, sorry…). it’s obvious that i really love this country and i love its place in the world (all quirkiness, negative connotations and special treatments included). but, strangely, i’m not really offended by being called un-swiss, either. i’m just… wondering. what it might imply. and weather it’s a good thing or a bad thing, when summed up. still haven’t decided yet.

have you ever heard you’re not typical so and so (fill in your nationality)? how would you deal with it? maybe i’ll just approach my colleague tomorrow and lead a thorough discussion about stereotypes (he’s a good one to lead a thorough discussion with…). i promise to share the new insights on the matter with you, asap.

also, somebody else (not my colleague again) once told me that my focus on the blog is pretty clear to anyone who isn’t reading it: salads and desserts. well, not entirely wrong. but then again, it has probably shifted a bit lately. as in: porridge sort of turned into a leading role. i really, really like porridge. i feel it can and should (both) be consumed in masses, without second thoughts. however, if you are looking for a change of rut, then quinoa might do the trick. it’s just as healthy, gluten-free (bonus when you’re having fussy guests over) and has a nice nutty taste to it. we made ours with coconut cream, chopped almonds, bananas and dark chocolate drops. kind of a banana split* in breaky version? a decent thing.
banana split breakfast quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 bananas, chopped
1/2 cup coconut cream
handful dark chocolate drops or finely chopped dark chocolate
4 tbsp. coconut flakes
handful almonds, finely chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon
maple syrup

cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes on low heat with the lid closed. season with the cinnamon. finely chop the bananas and the almonds. when quinoa is done, distribute among bowls. add a dollop of the coconut cream, top with bananas, chocolate drops, coconut flakes and almonds. serve with maple syrup.

* a dessert of my childhood. do you know it? it involves chocolate and banana and ice cream. laugh.

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