© 2010 Kim Raclette cheese cooking in the special raclette oven

Raclette with Joel

Joel is a friend from Lift (church) who is a native of the French part of Switzerland. Aaron has gotten to know Joel through a Friday morning bible study as well. A couple weeks ago, we were chatting after church and Joel was explaining “sledging” and “raclette” to me. We had been to the Baar Christmas market the day before and could smell this awful smell that we later found out was raclette. He assured me that it tastes way better then it smells. He was right.

Our intent last weekend was to try both sledging and raclette with Joel. Unfortunately, due to the lack of snow from recent warmer weather and rain, we had to pass on the sledging this time. We did enjoy a wonderful afternoon learning about Swiss traditions, eating raclette and going for a hike.

What is Raclette (pronounced ra-cleat) exactly? Raclette is a cheese that is served as a very traditional Swiss meal. It is definitely a “winter feel good meal”. You melt the cheese in a special oven and then slide it over boiled potatoes. You can add other items like red pepper (pepperoni), miniature onions, ham, mushrooms, asparagus, corn and pickles. It is a slow paced meal – heat the cheese and chat, then eat and then start again with heating another piece of cheese. You traditionally drink warm tea with it as cold beverages can cause stomach cramps from the cheese getting hard in the gut. It was fantastic.

After the wonderful meal, we decided to air out Joel’s flat and go for a hike. He lives in a village called Walchwil (pronounced Valk ville) that sits at the base of the Alps. Majestic views on a clear day. He lives in a very beautiful part of Walchwil. Lots of hills and woods with a stream. It was lightly snowing during our walk. Thanks to Joel we were all warm, because we had not brought coats with us. It was really warm when we left church, but the temperature soon began to drop. At one point, Katelyn challenged the 3 guys to a run. I don’t know who won, but they had a lot of fun chasing each other.

Comments

  1. Jenni Neve
    Posted December 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm | #

    I’m pretty sure the unique pine tree is called a Monkey-Puzzle Tree. No kidding!

    Jenni Neve

  2. Posted January 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm | #

    Thanks for that Linda! Funny how Google works just great, unless one has no idea what words to use for the search.

    Supposedly got its name because an observer suggested a monkey would be puzzled trying to climb it. Glorious-looking tree when it’s as mature as the one we saw in Walchwil!

    A little more info:
    http://forestry.about.com/od/silviculture/p/monkey_tree.htm

One Trackback

  1. By The Cooper Family » 2012 Memories and Reminiscing on December 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    […] with a dear friend, brother in Christ and native to Switzerland, Joel. He helped us immerse in the culture, led us on many hikes, taught us Swiss recipes, and shared many stories and experiences. Joel […]

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