As lovely as the holidays are, getting through the holiday season is a lot of work, usually leaving us feeling depleted, and come mid-January, with a little case of the post-holiday blues. The twinkle lights are down and the streets are dark, the smell of fresh pine and apple pie has vanished, there are no more trips or visitors, no more parties, and no real reason to get dressed up and go out. And while there might be a small sense relief, it always feels to me like there is far too much winter ahead with too little excitement to look forward to. So on this 1st week of winter, even amongst the last minute holiday to-do list, I feel the need to plan little something to look forward to, to bring us all a little mid-winter comfort & cheer.
The Swiss figured out long ago that a simple yet decadent, leisurely meal based around cheese and wine with friends is the quickest way to warm the spirits. Raclette, from the French word Racler meaning “to scrape”, is both the name of the creamy Swiss cheese made from the milk of cows that graze upon Alpine pastures, and the name of the dish. Traditionally, a nourishing vegetarian meal believed to be created by Swiss shepherds nearly 700 years ago when they’d set up camp during their journey up the Alps and slowly melt the cheese over an open fire and scrape it onto boiled potatoes, pickles and bread.
Today Raclette is not just a standard meal in Swiss & French ski lodges, it is enjoyed all over the world and includes meats and a variety of other vegetables, yet always maintains its tradition of being a casual, communal meal enjoyed slowly over hours, and of course, staying true to Swiss tradition, is never served with water, only hot tea, beer and wine. Nothing sounds more relaxing and enjoyable to me right now than sipping wine by the fire over a Raclette feast, especially one that I don’t have to cook and clean up after.
So in the spirit of relaxation and comfort, we invite you to cozy up by the fire and indulge in an Alpine-style cheese and wine dinner with us in The Vintage Room at Mediterraneo on Saturday, January 23, 2016. While we’re all resolving to do and be so much in the coming New Year, taking a moment for ourselves to truly relax and unwind after the craziness of the season ought to be on the top of our resolutions list.