Raclette and Peach Melba

So much for my good resolutions.  We were invited to lunch with friends today and after the aperitif and first course of smoked salmon with coeurs de palmiers (not sure what they are in English) Marie brought in a raclette. For anyone unfamiliar with this method of eating, it consists of slices of raclette cheese which you melt in little trays under the ‘grill’ in the centre of the table. You then pour the melted cheese over potatoes (which are kept hot on top of the grill) and eat with a selection of cold meats.  Delicious but rather rich – and definitely not on the diet sheet!

After steadily melting cheese and eating for some time we still hadn’t finished the meat, cheese or potatoes but we just had to call a halt.

Then came a simple but delicious dessert of peach melba, accompanied by meringues which they had brought back from a recent trip to Switzerland.  We collapsed into armchairs for coffee and there was absolutely no room for the Cramique (a kind of currant bread) which Marie wanted to serve with it.

I’ll never understand why you’re expected to eat more cake after an enormous lunch but that’s France for you!

Once they learned that Bear enjoyed watching the Tour de France the television went on and we all dozed off from time to time until Michel produced his pièce de resistance – a homemade digestif. He described how he had fermented apples from the garden in barrels in his workshop and then had the resulting ‘wine’ distilled by the travelling Alambic. This liquid was then stored in oak casks for five years so it had taken on a rich golden brown colour.

“It’s very strong,” he warned us. “If you don’t like it you can rub it on your aching knees.”

It was deliciously warming although it took several sips before I could distinguish any apple flavour. He has some more apples brewing in the workshop and has promised us a bottle next time he has it distilled.

On the second Friday of each month there is a market just outside their house and so, on the way to the car we bought a chicken for Sunday lunch and a tray of organically produced eggs. I managed to resist the jam, honey and homemade cakes and tartes as well as the cheeses and smoked meats but I’m going to have to be extra ‘good’ about eating for a few days to recover from an overload of calories today.

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9 Responses to “Raclette and Peach Melba”

  1. tillylil Says:

    It is important to eat a little of what you fancy every so often other wise your diet will became a chore.

    provided you don’t do it too often. . . .

  2. lilalia Says:

    Raclette is the best way to eat slow, enjoy conversation and good food at the same time. We do raclette for both our Christmas and New Year’s Eve meals. The only way to overcome the richness of great amounts of melted cheese, meat, and potatoes, is to add lightly sauteed and steamed vegetables to the selection. That way the calories balance.

    What a good idea – raclette at Christmas and new yer with added vegetables. Yummy.

  3. Kay Says:

    Raclette sounds lovely!!!!! I think I would enjoy it!

    I’m sure you would. It’s nice to be able to pick and choose what you eat when you want to.

  4. BearNaked Says:

    Your description and the photos of that meal are making my mouth water.
    Good news for me this week–down one pound–28 more to go.

    Bear
    ((( )))

    Well done you! Don’t go for raclette or you’ll put it back on!

  5. guyana gyal Says:

    I had raclette once, at the home of a Swiss, married to a Tunisian/French girl. They did veggies, prawns [we were all living in a Caribbean island then], they didn’t do too much cheese though, and we had some sort of bread. I think they added lemon juice to the prawns, oh gosh, I’m hungryyyyyy now.

    Try some mild yoga stretches and deep breathing as a way to exercise, Sab.

    mmmmm yummy, prawns and veggies sound very appetizing.

  6. Pat Says:

    ‘although it took several sips before I could distinguish any apple flavour. ‘

    ‘Although it took several sips before I could distinguish any apple flavour’

    A fine excuse. That ‘simple dessert’ looks divine. As for dieting you have to look at the big picture where treats are part of healthy living and you can make up for it. I do it all the time and keep on a fairly even keel.

    a fine excuse:)

  7. Pat Says:

    Sorry my feet slipped from under me and I forgot to correct it;(

    What had you been drinking, Pat? 😉

  8. Sophie Says:

    thought this might interest you, Chris didn’t know what coeur de palmiers are either!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_palm

    Thanks Sophie. Why didn’t I think of looking it up? duh!! I just hope the ones we were eating were the specially grown variety and didn’t necessitate killing the tree.

  9. Little old me Says:

    A little bit of what you fancy does you good, and you were good not to buy all the goodies from the market

    Good this time – but what if we go again next month?

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