Because of the snowy weather and winter weather that had settled in, he had us over for raclette. Most simply raclette is a type of cheese (delicious, delicious cheese) but it also describes the meal. Raclette requires a special hot plate/ warming station/grill, the raclette grill is placed in the center of the table and everyone has a little dish to hold cheese that goes under the warming element of the raclette machine.
The delicious gooey, melted cheese as taken from the heat as one wants (remember, everyone has their own little piece) and you pour the cheese over a variety of dried meats, potatoes, baby pickles, and pickled pearl onions. AND IT'S DELICIOUS! Cheese and potatoes, with a little bit of pickles- who could want more?
There are certain rules about a raclette meal that Didier informed us of;
1. NEVER would you have a cheese course afterward (understandable as everyone has already consumed their weight in cheese)
2. Always a dry white, never a sweet one. Never a red.
3. Raclette makes you very thirsty, and it's expected that people will drink a lot with it.
Because it is a heavier meal, raclette is traditionally eaten after a day of winter sports (skiing, snowshoeing etc) as a way to fill the belly. Also, you need a full day of skiing to counteract even half of the calories consumed in a raclette meal. Of course, there was much more information as well, including ample descriptions of what all of the meats were, where they came from, what is most traditional- but I couldn't hold that much information in my brain!
A lunch invitation is never simply a meal- so of course we got to spend a lot of time with Didier and his lovely wife and kids. Lucie was even kind enough to get out Trésor, her bunny rabbit, for us to play with.
Their duplex is in the medieval center and in winter with the tree leaves gone, has a lovely view of the Chateau in town as well as the nearby church.
The Malavals have been extremely kind to me, and I feel very fortunate for them to have welcomed me into their lives so warmly.