Hats By Katrinka

Kate Brown Pernia is a Milliner on sabbatical in Switzerland. She has been designing hats and teaching millinery under her Katrinka label since the 1980s. Kate is also the founder of Houston Hat Net. View Katrinka hats and hat patterns at www.hatsbykatrinka.com.

Friday, December 08, 2006


This week I have been living in St. Gallen for a year. It doesn’t seem that long and yet I have been thinking these last few days about how much easier it has become. I am nowhere near fluent in German but I can communicate in most simple situations - even ordered our Thanksgiving turkey entirely in German. It really helps that we have made some wonderful friends here.

Last night was another gathering of our SAGA group - that is, the Swiss Anglo German American group who cook and share a meal from time to time. Sherman was in Brussels on business so I rode with Starr and Holger up the mountain to newlyweds Karin and Bryan’s house for a Thai feast. We share the work and each contribute a dish to the meal. Karin and Bryan made a delicious green chicken curry along with an eggplant dish. Holger made his fabulous chicken in coconut milk soup and I tried out a new recipe for a cucumber peanut salad with Thai peppers and mint. New parents Anne and Stefan brought dessert and their little son Thomas to the party. We were all so focused on the food and the camaraderie that I completely forgot to get my camera out to take pictures. What a loss! Stefan and Anne will soon be moving to Wales.

Today is Friday and my chance to get back to cooking class at Simi’s in Richterswil. Instead of our usual Indian delicacies Simi taught us some of the Persian dishes she’d learned when she was living in Iran for a few years. What a treat! We made Toss Kebab, a lamb stew with onions, carrots and potatoes and (my favorite) Mirza Ghasemi, eggplant cooked in olive oil with garlic, eggs and tomatoes. Maast-o-Khiar was made of yoghurt with grated onion, cucumber and mint and the grand finale was Tah-Cheen, a layered rice, chicken, onions, saffron and egg dish that was baked in the oven to form a delicious crust on the bottom. We couldn’t wait the usual 1-1/2 hours of baking time and tied into it as soon as any crust had formed. Our day with Simi is always a delicious treat not only because of her generosity and excellent taste in food but also because of the fun we ladies have working together, learning and sharing a wonderful meal at the end.

When we have friends we are rich, indeed! K Q:-)

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At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A year already! Yet it seems like you are just around the corner, thanks to the internet. I have to be careful when I read your blog, if it is about cooking I get cravings!

Your second year is going to be a blast!

At 7:31 PM, Blogger Ladygrande said...

I'm with Jill - has it been a year already?!!! My goodness, but again, thank goodness for the internet.


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