ra·clette (rä-klĕt’) noun
1.a dish, of Swiss origin, similar to a fondue, consisting of melted cheese traditionally served on boiled potatoes and accompanied with pickles
Raclette is a Swiss Cheese dish that has been popular for centuries. There are different opinions about who started it. Some say shepherds in the mountains, other say it was the grape harvesters in the vineyards of the Valais region of Switzerland. No matter who, the fact is that after a hard days work, they gathered around a campfire and enjoyed a Raclette.
Everybody agrees, that it took place in the Valais region of Switzerland and that the original cheese was made there.
Raclette has more than one definition. Raclette is a Swiss cheese dish, a cultural land mark, the name of a cheese, a table top appliance, a dining experience, a great time!
This past Friday Dear and I joined the British Columbia Mennonite Girls for an early Christmas Raclette party at Bev and Harv’s beautiful home in Chilliwack. For most of us it was our first experience enjoying this type of meal where meat, cheese, vegetables, and pickled accompaniments are provided but each individual is responsible to cook and melt their choices for themselves on an electric Raclette grill.
We had thinly sliced and marinated flank steak, shrimp, sausage, jack and cheddar cheese (instead of the raclette cheese), mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, scallions, dill pickles, baby gherkins, pickled onions and of course the boiled potatoes and fresh baked french bread.
But…first things first.
We all sat down in the Russian style with the men together on one end of the great huge table and the girls on the other end!
Instructions were given on how to use the grill and melt the cheese. We sang Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow for our Grace and the new culinary adventure began.
We started with a delicious salad that Bev put together for all of us, greens, pineapple, beets, goat cheese and nuts with a homemade dressing that was so bright and delicious.
Anneliese baked the bread for our evening.
My messy plate full before I scraped the cheese onto my bread.
There was lots of busy fun around the whole table.
We had to make room for two desserts, too. This one was a delicious gluten free caramel cake that Julie baked.
And Anneliese made a Beautiful Black Cherry chocolate trifle.
We ended the evening with our gift exchange. A wonderful variety of thoughtful gifts were opened and enjoyed.
The celebrations went late and Dear and I were happy that Judy and Elmer provided us with a room for the night. When we woke up on Saturday morning we were served a delicious breakfast before we hit the road for the U.S.A. on Saturday. It was another hearty and hardy experience for us with our Mennonite friends!
As soon as we crossed the line from Canada into the U.S. I turned my phone back on and researched where we could buy a Raclette! We’re still celebrating at our house as today is our 41st Anniversary. I’ll share our anniversary celebrations later in the week…