Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hüffeli Eland

The first Swiss German phrase my future husband taught me is "Hüffeli Eland". He was visiting me in Brooklyn. I was depressed about him traveling back to Europe and resuming our long distance relationship. "Hüffeli" is a small pile. "Eland" is feeling wretched, being full of sorrow. Put the words together and they describe a small pile of wretchedness. Typically you say this to a sad little kid. Whenever a Swiss has heard me use this phrase, they smiled or laughed. The intonation is important. "Hüffeli" is at a higher pitch with "Eland" coming in low. I've had many opportunities to use it these past 13 weeks and I hope it's not prescient of my move across the ocean. Relocating to Zürich after living in New York City for 14 years has been harder than I imagined. One especially bleak day, Fabian came home and made me a special sandwich, pictured above, to cheer me up. It worked and was very tasty. I highly recommend it to all Hüffeli Elands.


  1. I love that you're doing this. Seems a good remedy for the huffeli elands!!

    BIG HUG + xoxoxoxo!!

  2. I understand completely, if you need to talk I am on skype susanne.vargarden ok. Kisses

  3. So excited to hear of your adventures in swissland.

  4. Omg, this little guy is too CUTE! And he's bringing you a gift! Is that an olive? He looks very generous and on a mission to cheer you up. At whatever cost to him ;)

    Aaahh, I think all will be well in Swiss Meme land ..

    I also very much enjoyed the interview! No further questions at this time.

    I am looking forward to the next Swiss Meme installment.

  5. you're right oana, the little guy did sacrifice his whole wheat self for my enjoyment. he's carrying a delicious anchovy. they're popular here. a favorite sandwich fab and i invented has anchovies curled up on a layer of smashed avocado sprinkled with lemon juice. i also add a few drops of spicy olive oil on the fresh bread. it is extremely delicious and satisfying.

    susanne, i will take you up on your skype offer. it is a genius way to chat and i think we're in close timezones.

    amy & kate, thanks for the encouragement!

    xo mmmmm

  6. I am very much enjoying this melania. Of course, I pretty much adore everything you make! (Edible and non-edible alike). We still need to pick a time -- IRON CLAD! -- to skype/talk. Let's email and figure it out.. xoxo

  7. aw, i just love your blog so far! so interesting! welcome to switzerland...and, I just came in november as well!

  8. Cutest sandwich! Welcome to Switzerland and all the best for settling in here! Have you joined the swiss expat bloggers group yet? They're having a meet up in about 2 weeks.

  9. yikes. face on sandwiches...oh well! long as it's a good sandwich.

    i recently saw an episode of good food on food network on a sandwich with mashed anchovies on top of mashed avocados. looked delicious.

    april is grilled cheese month. i like 'em kind of to this level of decedence:

    - two slices of sourdough on castiron pan. butter under each slice. thin slices or chunks of a soft french cheese like fourme d'ambert layed out to melt
    - grilled onions on top
    - fried egg; over easy is messy...but soooo good
    - fresh slices of really good tomatoes
    - put slowly in order with second slice of bread and flip over
    - put heavy weight (like another cast-iron pan or alum foil covered brick) on top and let the bread brown
    - when cheese starts oozing out and sizzling on the pan (remember low heat and use cheese that's been sitting out at least 1 hour), put on board, slice in two
    - eat with love (and lover)
    - dont forget glass of red wine (or homemade soda)