For Christmas, I bought Eric a Savoie cookbook (the Savoie region is the part of France we like in, close to the Alps, like a state in the US). The best we can tell, their food seems to be exactly what you'd expect to see from cold mountain winters: recipes composed mainly of cheese, potatos, and bacon. We've made a variety of things with a fair bit of success. It has been fun to try them out!
Last week, we invited some friends over to try raclette. This seems very similar to the idea behind fondue, except that you have a grill and melt the cheese under a broiler instead of in a pot, and then you pour it over other stuff. But it's still all about the cheese. :) Pictured below is Eric preparing the meal (le repas). You can see the raclette grill (which we borrowed from the singles' kitchen) and little handles sticking out. There are little trays that you set the cheese in and it broils in there, while you can grill meat (etc) on the top.
(space for broiling the cheese seen below)
Traditionally, you serve the cheese with bits of sausage or ham, bread, and boiled potatos. We added the classic pickles and olives to the mix (not that we ate them WITH cheese, just next to the cheese).
The cheese, meat, and mushrooms cooking up.
A beautiful spread on the table...
Ben, despite the fact that he was sick all day, pronounced it a success! (as did the rest of us)
The next recipe was a bit stranger...farcemain. You combine potatos with dried fruit and put them into a cake mold lined with bacon, then cook it up for 3-4 hrs in a water bath. An interesting combo of sweet and salty that took Eric quite a bit of time to prepare.