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Major Cheese Factor.


And no, I'm not referring to a follow up to my Francoversary guidette photo shoot. Although another shoot is planned. Don't say I didn't warn you. This time when I say major cheese factor, it's literal.

I'm going to start off by disclosing yet another deep and dark secret about me. Here goes...after over three years in Paris, it was only this weekend that I had my first ever raclette. First. Ever. I know, absolutely ridiculous. I've said it before and I'll say it again: What kind of faux-risienne am I? Although raclette is not Parisian, as it is a dish that was originated in Switzerland and the mountainous Savoy region, I'm still a shameful addition to France and its culture! How could I have just tried it?

Popping my raclette cherry, Aurelien and I drove out to Fontainebleau for mulled wine, melted cheese mayhem, to meet some of his family who was in town from Toulouse, and to break the news that our wedding in New York has been canceled.

Good times.

We brought over two bottles of wine (not stolen, might I add) to soften the blow. We figured that we'd hit them with it once everyone was nice and liquored up. Well, that was the idea at least.

After sharing this unfathomable tale that has been imposed upon all of us (including you, readers!), his family had somewhat of a mild reaction. What a relief! Naturally, his parents were offended. His step-parents and grandparents just nodded their heads in confusion, then disgust. His aunts and uncles quietly absorbed the information, holding back an immediate response. His 12-month-old niece dramatically threw her baby bottle on the floor. And his younger cousins, I'd like to say was in complete denial but I think the only thing they could process was that next summer's vacation in New York had been canceled. You gotta love teenagers and their thoughtfulness.

After going into the details of this mess, within ten minutes, the conversation had shifted; there was laughter, my vin chaud mug was refilled, and slabs of cheese were melting to perfection in the special raclette machine on the table - a regression back to the simplicity of my Easy Bake Oven days. 

I love the French and their reactions to drama. In this case, they listened, stated their opinions, made a few huffy noises and a few putains (or putaings from the Toulousians), some left to have a smoke - and it was done. I have a feeling that it will never be spoken about again, as they were already on to plan b: our wedding in Paris!

Masking the embarrassment of my family drama with wine and melted heaven slathered on potatoes, I felt the comfort of this dish exercise its power over me; rendering me completely helpless. Suddenly, I had no problems. I had cheese. Please be advised that raclette is not a force to be reckoned with, or to be taken at all frivolously. This traditional dish severely threatens your relationship with skinny jeans and all other form-fitting articles of clothing. For someone like me who has more of a fat tooth than a sweet tooth, raclette puts me at serious risk.

As we left his mother's house to spend the night over at his father's place, I wanted to thank her for my first ever raclette. What I should have said was: "Merci pour ma première raclette". This is where endings and the importance of pronunciation comes in to play, because what I said instead was: "Merci pour ma première raclée". I thanked her for my first beating.

Thank God she's used to me by now.

37 comments:

  1. "We brought over two bottles of wine (not stolen, might I add)" <<-- This made me lol, at least you still have your sense of humour! Glad the "big reveal" went well - what situation is there that cheese and wine can't help?? I think I've only had one real raclette, and a couple more raclette-esque experiences with melted cheese (but it's not the same without the cool little machine), so don't worry.

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    1. We can't NOT have a sense of humor about it! It's probably one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. I'd expect a story this to fabricated by television writer running out of plots! My grandparents really "jumped the shark" on this one because no one is buying it. It's too out there!

      Raclette-esque? Like fondue? Or you just melted cheese and poured it over random foods? Explain! I know, I'm annoying....

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    2. Ever had a mont d'or? Om nom nom!

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  2. HAHAHAHAH! I love this. thank you for my first beating. so so funny. and im glad you liked your first raclette! Sir L is so excited now that it's winter because while he has a sweet tooth he also has a big fat tooth, so I don't let him eat the cheesy warming meals in the summertime (that's the time for tomatoes and buff mozz!) he & his brother see who can eat the most slices of cheese which of course results in their skinny jeans being much tighter too! Glad Seb's fam wasn't too stressed and I can't wait to hear your plans for the Paris wedding! x

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    1. I remember the post about YOUR first raclette around this time last year. I remember putting my first raclette on my Winter '12 check list that I never got around to.

      Now that we have the machine, we'll be enjoying this during the winter....in small doses of course. I agree that this is so not a summer dish!

      So nice to see you last night! Sir L is really funny! He called the trivia lady a "drama queen". LOL.

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  3. FAT TOOTH...love that..I'm going to steal that expression and use it here...

    all of us commentors will of course be expecting invites to the wedding in Paris..(pretend invites ..but invited none the less)

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    1. The fat tooth expression is a favourite of Dr Gillian McKeith of You Are What You Eat fame (on WNetwork) actually:)

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    2. Yeah, I definitely didn't coin that. I thought it was like a known expression otherwise I would have used "salty tooth"...it's the salt that I crave more than the fat!

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    3. ha...salty tooth...that's me too....

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  4. Ugh, I hadn't heard about all this wedding drama, but I'm so sorry! What an awful (and ridiculous) thing to have to go through. I'm glad you're moving on to plan b, and I hope everything goes smoothly from here on out!

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    1. Yeah, it's pretty annoying but we're moving on. Thanks for dropping a note, Meredith! : )

      I have a feeling that the Paris wedding will go A LOT smoother! The French don't feed into unnecessary drama...just real drama!

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  5. Whew! I'm happy that I restrained myself and kept on reading because at first I thought that you were going to say that raclette is a Parisian dish...something which I would have had to object to as a Swiss by marriage. Thanks for giving credit for this cheesy winter dish to the Swiss! Other than mountains and gorgeous scenery, we don't have a lot of culinary specialities that people rave about like the French do. Have you tried fondue?

    And actually, I think that "a beating" is a very good name for raclette. At least that's the way I feel after I've gorged myself on the stuff. Soon it's going to be time for our very first raclette of the season...but we'll have to find some made in Switzerland because I'm not such a big fan of French raclette. Aren't I a raclette snob?!

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    1. I put that in for you actually. I wasn't going to include its origins thinking that it was a given, but then I thought again and didn't want to insult the Swiss and gave credit!

      Yes, I have tried fondue and I love it. Fondue was all the rage in the 80s, so we had a machine for that. I think I like raclette better. The communal post of cheese always kind of grossed me out. : )

      Ohhh do tell, what's the difference between French and Swiss raclette? Cheese tastes different? Or is it spread over different foods?

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  6. What eess theesse stowree abowt nut eating raclette jusqu'a maintenant ??!

    C'mon, I'm "grenobloise", my mountaineous region bordered by mountaineous Savoie, my weekends in Annecy -- I've gotta' give you a raclée (haha, never knew that word) on this one!

    It makes me so happy that you have finally experienced the heaven that is raclette. Fat tooth -- ha! Good one. Moi aussi!

    Next things on your liste gotta' be fondue savoyarde, tartfilette, gratin aux ravioles... you've gotta' have some reblochon, diots aux vin blanc, gratin dauphinois, pizza ravioles... but the best is eaten in this 'coin' of France! Maybe you'll make it to the Alps sometime. It is a dreamy place to eat for one with a fat tooth. It's so hard to find salads at restaurants here! ha

    Also glad to hear that Seb's fam didn't make a big dramz about it! It's one thing I'm thankful for in France too- people being chill about this stuff...

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    1. I don't know why I've waited so long to try it. Oh I know...because I don't have the little machine!! All I had to do was say that and Seb and I were heading back to Paris with one of their old machines. Damn thing was heavy! Now that we have the machine, we'll be entering major cheeseland this winter!

      If I ever make it over by you I look forward to being introduced to all of these delicacies that you write about!

      I'm getting hungry now....

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  7. I once ordered a poulet roté instead of a poulet roti... that would be a burping chicken instead of a roasted chicken... oops. Cheers.

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    1. Or rather a "burped" chicken...;) Even better!;)

      Ahhhhhh a gift that keeps on giving:)

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    2. Burped chicken! LOL! That's a good one! Did the vendeur look at you strangely or he understood since it's so close?

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  8. Well, isn't a "râclée" what you got from your grandparents, though?

    Ahhhhh there's a first for everything!:) Love raclette!:) It was a tradition of mine in Paris with a friend of mine who married a Frenchman: we'd go to the 5th for a raclette:) I'm thinking that one day, I'd like to try the very tacky tourist trap that is the Refuge des fondues in the 18th, just for shits and giggles!;) Of course, I will have to try it with someone who embraces the outlandish and glorious tackiness of eating all-you-can-eat fondue savoyarde or bourguignonne at communal tables drinking wine from baby bottles!;)

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    1. oh geez, the grandparents and their "râclée". That's awful! And sadly true....n'importe quoi...

      What is this place?!? I just went to the link you posted below and I dig it! It's going to be cold so why not?

      Wine in baby bottles!? Wait, why?! HA! That sounds fantastic and so corny.

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    2. Wanna meet there on December 27th?! :)))

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  9. Seriously, wouldn't that be a riot?!;) Tell you what Debs: if we ever find ourselves in Paris at the same time, let's make it our meeting point! LOL (And I'm game too!;))

    http://www.coolstuffinparis.com/refuge_des_fondues_paris_restaurant.php

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  10. I LOVE RACLETTE!! How have you avoided it since being here?? I am happy you finally got the experience. Yes, it definitely threatens your skinny jeans but it is worth every second of cheesey goodness.

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    1. I don't know why I haven't had it. There were many talks in the past but nothing ever came into fruition...

      I WILL be revisiting this dish this winter. Skinny jeans be damned!

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  11. Oh Sebs family sound as nice as he does. Glad all went well and no drama. I will bet they will LOVE helping to plan the wedding.

    I also love Raclette, anything cheesy...I also love anything sweet so I have a sweet and also a fat tooth. In fact I just love food.

    Didn't know this came from Gillian McKeith. Actually she is not a very good advert for what she promotes.

    Love Denise.

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    1. They are SO into planning the wedding. A few days ago his mom called and was like "ok, we really need to book a small hall soon, dates are filling up!" In their book, the drama is over and they've fully moved on! I love it.

      I don't know who this Gillian McKeith is. I've heard fat tooth before but her name doesn't ring a bell...like at all.

      I'm so out of the loop sometimes!

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  12. Good grief, I'm just back and catching up on the insanity - no raclette before ever?! (Sorry, couldn't resist ;o) ) Anywho, I'm not surprised Seb's mum didn't bat an eyelid at your closing statement after hearing of your family's inherent insanity... ;o) Anywho, congrats on the job, and hope the small Parisian wedding plan goes spectacularly.

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    1. Thanks Katy! I'm excited about the job! So far, so good! : )

      Yeah, his mom is pretty fantastic and level-headed. She actually gave me a hug. Something the French shy away from! So if this terrible story brought me closer to my future MIL, than I gained something!

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  13. Melted cheese and wine solves all problems, and with a few sympathetic huff and puffs thrown in, it's even better.

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    1. It totally did the trick! I finally found the cure-all for mild depression!! Cheese and booze! Why didn't I think of this before!??

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  14. I love raclette so so much! J and I are having one this weekend with cheese straight from his home region. I cannot wait! It's been a few years since my last one! (And yes, I know I owe a post or two on my trip... tomorrow after my last midterm for the week!)

    And I'm glad things seemed to go well with breaking the news to the family.

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  15. Ok, I'm late to this party. I was waiting to comment until I made it to present day, but I find myself lost in this story of your life. WHAT HAPPENED TO WEDDING PLANNING IN NEW YORK??? I must know!! It's like a cliff hanger right now because the accusation link didn't work from a previous post.
    I found your blog last week when trying to research which part of Paris my husband and I should move to in January.... and I got sucked in!! He asked me what I did all day on Monday and I said "I finished 2011". Now he keeps asking me where I am in your life... we even watched your House Hunters episode last night.
    To leave me without knowing what happened to your grandparents is KILLING ME :) If you have time I'd love to find out, can I keep reading without knowing?? You are a captivating writer!!!

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    1. Hi Clarissa!

      Thank you for your comment and for reading through pages upon pages of archives. I know, it's a lot of info stuffed into this blog!

      Our HHI episode was so much fun to film, even though by now you can tell that our story was wildly changed for the sake of the 22 minutes the episode allowed us. Thanks for watching it! My clothes are still pretty much everywhere, it looks like a vintage shop in our apartment!

      Ahhh, the story with my family. It was a heartbreak for us but it has since worked out because we did the wedding here and it was beautiful. To read the story, go to my features page, you'll find an essay I wrote on xojane detailing the story. I got slaughtered a bit by the comments, but I was expecting that with a site that is so widely read. As of now, I have fully forgiven my family and feel at peace with the events that took place. Truly. : ) We're Italian, we love drama, I suppose.

      Thank you again for taking the time to write and hope you enjoy the rest of the blog!

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