Friday, April 10, 2009

Gruyère: the back story

Five years ago when the Mighty's moved to Switzerland, Emma the Brave went off all food except milk and bananas. For two weeks my willful three-year-old shunned everything from apple juice to pasta, claiming she didn't like the taste. Granted, nothing tasted the same--not even the milk.  Progress was made but was painfully slow.  Almost two years later we took the girls on their first ski holiday. We arrived at the rented chalet in time to feed the girls lunch. When it came time for dessert I gave each girl a cookie I'd bought especially for the occasion. Mouse, then almost three, accepted it, but handed it back a few minutes later untouched. "Save it," she said. She meant for home. Suffice to say, change hits my kids in the taste buds--hard.

Five years has done little to change the girls' characters. We've had one meal in two weeks that we've all enjoyed and that was sushi. Perhaps we'd be better off in Tokyo than the American Midwest.  After five years of Swiss-style selection--or lack there of-- I should be thrilled. Do I want baked beans sweetened with brown sugar or molasses? Hotdogs made of turkey or beef?Hmm...let me think. Instead I find myself with three jars of pickles in my fridge that my family won't eat and a block of Wisconsin Gruyère that isn't awful, but isn't Gruyère either. 


This is the part of moving that is tough to bear: the part that you spend wishing you were back where life was just a bit more predictable. A trip to the grocery store should not be over-stimulating. A brand-new clothes dryer should work past the first load. And when you buy a house, you shouldn't have to clean up after the previous owner's three dogs before you step into the yard. I still attest that this move is easier than the last, but it's going on six weeks since we left home and I'm tired. 

Tonight I'll sleep in our new house for the first time on a mattress on the floor. It may not be an illustrious beginning, but it's a step in the right direction.


  1. The food transition is TRULY one of the hardest parts of living in the U.S., having had such great food over there. We've been here for what, 9 months, and we're still missing things from the neighborhood COOP or Migros (Barolo ravioli in the Migros fresh pasta section, anyone? Or something as simple as yogurt...) It's difficult.

    Please let us know if you need anything else for the house!!

  2. I recall your first summer visit home after you moved to Geneva. I had stocked the fridge and pantry with the items you had listed as the girls' "likes". However by the end of your visit, five different varieties of apple juice crowded the fridge because Emma and Mouse didn't like the taste of each offering. If I remember rightly, I hit upon an acceptable brand just before you left for the next stage of your vacation in Montreal.