Lucky Friday the 13th…

WE HAVE A FLAT!!

We went to Basel yesterday afternoon and sign the contract… I didn’t want to mention anything beforehand in case I jinxed something. But we made it there, handed over 6,000 francs(!!!) in cash for the deposit and picked up the keys. It seems Friday the 13th is lucky for some. Afterwards, we had enough time before our train to briefly head over there and see if it was as nice as we remembered. It was. We have 2 bathrooms – one with a shower, one with a bath, both with a toilet. Two toilets! How convenient? There’s also a balcony and the kitchen comes fully equipped with a dishwasher. No wooden shutters, but you can’t have everything. Here’s a crappy photo of the doors leading to the balcony:

Balcony

Now we just have to sort out all the bureaucratic stuff… closing bank accounts, opening new ones, de-registering from German, getting residence permits for Switzerland…
And, of course, we have to pack. Not looking forward to that one! But we have a flat. Woo hoo!!

A lazy Sunday and some good news

Yesterday, I made the conscious decision to leave the computer switched off. I didn’t stay offline completely, but I was limited to sites that my BlackBerry will actually load… so basically Facebook and BBC News/Sport. Instead of sitting in front of the computer, I spent the day on the couch in my pyjamas. Blanket, tea, a box of Maltesers and the TV – the perfect lazy Sunday. And I even managed to find an episode of House that was being shown in English… on a French TV channel. Globalisation at its best!

Not the pyjamas I was wearing yesterday...
Not the pyjamas I was wearing yesterday…

In other news, my boyfriend made it to South America without incident and my grandpa was finally released from hospital on Saturday. He is under strict instructions to relax for the next month, so it will be a quiet Christmas, but my grandma tells me things went a lot better than the doctors had expected. Finally some good news from back home!

Tomorrow, I shall have a post for the Dr Who and cake fans among you… stay tuned!

And now for something completely different…

Finally some good news from the employment agency. They have agreed to give me 70 euros of the money I spent on train tickets to job interviews back. That means I now have a whole 100 euros for the month of September instead of a mere 30. Maybe I won’t be reduced to a diet of tinned tomatoes on toast after all (baked beans being ridiculously overpriced in this country).

Anyway, since I have absolutely nothing to talk about today and because Sleepyjane specifically requested it, I’m going to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done on Confuzzledom before and give you a recipe. For chilli con carne. The amounts given here are what I use for two people. For those of you with actual families it shouldn’t be too difficult to adapt.

Basic Chilli con Carne

You will need:
A packet of mince (here that’s 500g) – for any American readers, I believe that would be ground meat
Garlic cloves – how many depends on how you like it. I normally use 2-3
An onion
Dried chilli flakes or chilli powder (but not that horrible ready-made chilli con carne spice stuff). You can also add a fresh chilli if you want.
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tin of kidney beans
Optional: oregano and tomato puree

Method:
1. Chop up the onion so it’s fairly small. Either crush the garlic or chop it up as small as you can. If you’re using a fresh chilli you should chop that up into small pieces at this point as well.
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan (or a saucepan if you don’t have a big enough frying pan). Put some of the dried chilli flakes or chilli powder into the oil and stir it around a bit. Once the oil is hot enough add the onion, garlic ad fresh chilli (if you’re using one) and fry for about 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the mince and fry until all if it has gone brown. While it’s frying season it with salt and pepper. At this point you can also put oregano in if you want. The last two times I haven’t (because I didn’t have any) and it still turned out nice so it’s really up to you.
4. Once all of the mince is brown I usually add about a tablespoon of tomato puree. This will make your chilli more red later, you don’t have to do this though, it tastes just as good if you only use the tinned tomatoes
5. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the tin of kidney beans (don’t forget to drain the weird sugary-water liquid from the kidney neans first!), stir the chilli well and heat though.
6. The chilli is now basically ready. All that’s left to be done is for you to taste and decide whether it needs more of anything… chilli powder, salt etc.
7. Serve the chilli with rice. Or some of those crispy taco shells. Or inside a jacket potato. It’s entirely up to you.

That’s it. Easy, no?