Birthday Raclette

YA loves cheese more than almost anyone I know. When we came home from China, I was prepared for the possibility that she would be lactose-intolerant; Asians have a higher percentage of lactose-intolerance than Caucasians.  I never needed to worry about it; as soon as YA began to eat solid foods, cheese was one of her favorites.

Cheese sandwiches, cheese fondue (her godmother makes a wicked fondue), cheese sticks, lasagna, curds, nachos.. if it has cheese, count her in. After I experienced raclette (melted cheese poured on top of food) in Switzerland, I got a raclette machine for us.  Pretty soon YA had an opinion on the difference between Swiss raclette cheese and French raclette cheese (she prefer the Swiss as it has more “bite”).

Every year for our Family Day celebration, she chooses a fondue lunch at the Melting Pot in downtown Minneapolis. She likes the original Swiss fondue recipe followed by a dessert fondue.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she requested a raclette lunch for her birthday celebration – despite the fact that we almost never eat any meals together these days due to our conflicting schedules.

We had a nice salad of greens, pomegranate seeds, pears, walnuts and vinaigrette then the raclette! We like our melty cheese poured over cauliflower, little potatoes, baguette and also sweet gherkin pickles.  It was a wonderful lunch and I was happy to stay inside rather than go outside in the freezing temps.

Do you/did you have a favorite birthday meal request?

25 thoughts on “Birthday Raclette”

  1. I didn’t realize raclette is a style of eating cheese… I bought a little wedge or Raclette Livradoux (apparently from that city in France) that says: “”This semisoft cheese has a beige rind with a supple texture and flavor that becomes more pronounced as it warms… often baked in a raclette oven and served with bread and fruit…” Who knew? – glad for this post, VS -I probably would never have seen that notice and just eaten it raw.
    Thinking about the question…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ours is a long rectangle, two layers of metal with the heater in between the two layers. You put your Raclette cheese onto a little tray and insert it over the heat. It melts it nicely and then you pour it over your food.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Husband is from Wisconsin, and he and our children are real cheese eaters. I like cheese, too, especially sharp white chedder and various goat cheeses. Right now we have a chocolate cheese and a mango ginger goat cheese a friend brought from Mpls.

    Daughter’s birthday request is usually filet mignon. Husband and I just ask for what strikes us as special at the moment.

    Son has always been super excited about his birthday. When he was in elementary school his grades always dropped in January as he was so excited and preoccupied with his birthday in early February. He is already planning his birthday dinner for next month. He is the cake baker in his family and has chosen a chocolate ancho chili cake. I don’t know what he is planning yet for the meal.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Our family loved a meal that will sound banal to many folks. It included grilled Lunds dry aged sirloin steak, steamed fresh broccoli drenched in a Hollandaise sauce, and a generous serving of Tater Tots. With that we’d have mini baguettes followed by ice cream (Haagen-Dazs or Ben & Jerry’s).

    That meal is not available to any of us now. I think if any of us could have it again we’d weep for joy.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When my erstwife moved to Europe she became wealthy enough to eat at the finest restaurants the world offers. But any time she came back for a Minnesota visit, she begged for the meal I described. She couldn’t find anything like it in Europe or Asia.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I usually ask for a steak dinner on my birthday. I rarely get steak, so it’s a treat. Accompany that with baked potato and a veggie (if my birthday was in May or June, I would have fresh asparagus, but having a February birthday limits my choices). Another plus with this meal is it’s fairly easy to fix.

    I usually have a homemade chocolate cake to follow; the exact cake varies according to my mood. I think last year I had a chocolate tahini cake with tahini frosting.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Growing up, my birthday cake of choice was always confetti angel food. I loved it when mom took it out of the oven and inverted it over an empty 7-Up bottle while it cooled. And I think she frosted the entire thing rather than drizzling icing over it.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. When I was growing up we didn’t necessarily get a whole special meal but you did get your request forwhat kind of cake. And for me it was store bought cake. This was a real treasure partly because my mom was never much of a baker to start with but also because store bought cake had such a cachet over homemade cake.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll request something French, so part of this will be from Fantasyland. How about just about any kind of soufflé, with a good French onion soup, but leave off the bread so I can have a real Parisian baguette (the fantasy part), a green salade, and crème brulee for dessert.

    Better yet, I’ll just have it in Paris or Lyon or Agivnon…

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Happy Birthday YA!

    Kelly will usually ask if we want anything special for our birthdays but there hasn’t been any regular request. For her either.
    Except for the refrigerator cheese cake my mom has made me since I was a kid. That’s a tradition.

    We all like cheese too. I often take ham and cheese sandwiches to work. Mostly Colby or Cheddar cheese. It’s always interesting what size block of cheese we have and how that works on the round ‘thin bread’ I use for the sandwichs. There is some round cheese slices we can get from the Hyvee deli that works well. There’s a small rectangular Kraft that I have to cut about 4 pieces to get cheese all over.
    The other day, I bought a 2lb chunk of cheese that will only take 1 slice. Plus it’s big enough I can cut it into little pieces to have with crackers too.

    If I eat a big chunk of Sharp Cheddar cheese, it makes my cheeks sweat. It’s weird.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I can think of only two special request meals that I have ever had. Birthdays were not consistently treated as special at our house, at least not meal wise, perhaps because dad usually was not there? At any rate, most birthdays came and went without a lot of fuss.

    My first special request meal, and one I have written about before, was when I left my job in Basel to head back home. The Italian women who were our cooks at the hospital asked what I wanted for my last dinner before I left. There was no doubt in my mind, it had to be their home made spinach pasta which was out of this world. I have no recollection of what was served with it, except for a creamy pasta sauce, but it was a meal I relished. To this day, I feel the warm fuzzies when I think of it.

    The second meal was one my father cooked for me on my first visit to Denmark, ten and one-half years after I had left. He had asked me beforehand what I’d like for my first dinner, and without hesitation I answered “Engelsk Bøf.” Basically it’s filet mignon, something that we very rarely ate at our house but which was a special treat when we did.

    The day after I arrived, dad and I walked to the local butcher shop. After waiting our turn in line, he ordered three filets, and plopped down what seemed like an insane amount of cash for them. On the way back home I commented to him that I thought those were three expensive pieces of meat. “Yes,” was his wry response, “I could have bought Rundetårn (Round Tower – a landmark in Copenhagen) for that amount of money, but I would be damned if I’d give the butcher the satisfaction of knowing that I thought the price outrageous or have him think that I couldn’t afford it.” Dad in a nutshell.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. PJ, I remember the first time I ever encountered pasta in a cream sauce instead of the more familiar (to me) tomato sauces – in Greenwich Village, 1974, a tiny place called Mary’s Restaurant – thought I had died and gone to heaven. It wasn’t spinach pasta, but still…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. When I was about 10 or so, my brother & sister & I more or less decided that “from now on” our birthday cake of choice would be Mom’s angel food cake with chocolate whipped cream frosting (very light) sprinkled with toasted slivered almonds. The frosting is not too sweet, and the chocolate is simply cocoa powder, which gives it a subtle bite/tang (?) SO-O-O-O good.

    We don’t celebrate birthdays much anymore, but every few years Mom manages to make the cake for someone or some gathering. Thanks for the memories, Mom. 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chris, your post astonishes me. For my birthday one year I made a special request of my mother. I wanted a white angel food cake with whipped cream frosting flavored with chocolate! That became known as my special birthday cake. My daughter surprised me last year by making it for me again.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. when i was a kid it was ribs or corned beef as a veggie spinach roulade was a favorite now it reminds me of my x, pesto gnocchi in an italian joint in san fran’s isco blew my face off but i could never find a way to get gnocchi like that again, stone crab claws are my deal today, they don’t kill em and they are wonderful
    just looked up wholesaleccost yesterday 199 for 10lbs then pay for dry ice delivery
    anyone want a couple pounds? i am serious


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