2x christmas & 2 salad creations

Tons of spaghetti. Candles. Candy. Salami. Coffee. Toys. Lots of chocolate. Jägermeister and a beer bottle from 2007!

It reaches from funny to unbelievable what people sent this year.

Yesterday was the evening when the youth of the Red Cross helped out at the project 2x Christmas. Since I am a volunteer at the Red Cross, I happened to participate for the third time. This project exists for 17 years now.  Swiss people send stuff (with free mailing) to a center in the Capital, volunteers open the packages and sort everything: clothes/toys/food etc.. Then some goes to regional people in need and the rest to Bulgaria, Belarus and other East European states.

My job was checking the expiry. Incredible what I’ve found – some people were just trying to get rid of flour, almonds, chocolates,… they’ve forgot in their pantry. Expiring in 2010, no kidding. Absolute best one was the Heineken though, 7 years old! Oh and in one package we’ve found three little bags containing food. We all looked at it and wondered what it was. Everything was written in some kind of Asian sign language!

Back then when they started, the Red Cross who coordinate it received 35’000 packages, this year it was 70’000. In two hours, we opened 453 of those. Imagine just what other funny stuff must be found.

There are people working everyday and it still takes them until March to open up all the packages. Lovely how so many people send food, clothes and toys! There is just one criticizing point in all this kindness: 80% of the things were from a budget brand. The cheapest stuff.  Not so much a problem if it’s chips or flour but a big one when it’s coffee, chocolate  or tea.  Aren’t they supporting the exploitation of exactly the people they send the package to?  Think about that for a moment!

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Well, change of subject as I wanted to share the salads I’ve made this week. On the picture above you see chicory with pineapple and a few raisins. I’ve never liked the bitter taste of chicory so I tried this combination. The pineapple was ripe and tasty but would have been better with lamb’s lettuce (the green decoration). Actually everything’s better than chicory…

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This is one of my favorites. In this salad, the combining works perfectly. Although I a not a fan of fennel, I really like apple-fennel salad. That’s like opening a package to find a long-ago expired beer bottle with a big panettone: Only together it’s ok. You don’t want to just take out the beer.

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