3:19 PM

this is the title of a chapter in the cookbook i found at the thriftstore the other day.
hors d'oeuvre etc. 1973 by coralie castle and barbara lawrence.
-when a host wishes to honor guests in a special way, he may ask them to do the cooking-not in his sacrosanct kitchen, but in groups of eight or less in front of the fireplace, around electric skillets or fancy hotpots in the living room, dining room or patio.
-though the guests do the cooking, the chef's role is still vital, for he or she must prepare the setting, utensils, sauces, seasonings and garnishes as well as cut, slice and attractively arrange the delicacies to be cooked. luckily this can be done well ahead of time.
-the international "friendship dishes" such as fondues, raclettes, firepots, sin sul lo and mizutaki have long added an extra fillip of fun and intimacy for entertaining.

swiss origin

2 or 3 pound block or wedge of white natural cheese preferably raclette ( fontina, swiss or gruyere or sansoe)
2 small unpeeled new potatoes per person
2 white onions, thinly sliced
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
sliced sweet and dil pickles
freshly ground pepper

remove rind from cheese. boil potatoes and keep warm until serving time. marinate onion slices for 1 hour in a mixture of vinegar, salt, dill and sugar; cover and chill until ready to serve. place cheese block in a heavy, shallow pan and set on the hearth near the fire so that it gradually melts. (you will learn to judge correct proximity after you have done this a few times) provide each guest with a heavy plate, large spoon and dinner fork. as cheese melts, guests scrape a spoonful from the liquid area and spread it on top of the potato, sprinkling with pepper. serve with the marinated onions, pickles, crusty bread, tossed green salad and wine. if you do not have a fireplace, the cheese may be prepared in the oven. place a block of cheese in a heavy pan and broil about 4 inches from heat. serve at once. repeat broiling when guests are ready for more cheese. serves 6 to 8.

-can also be served with some cured meats.

i want to have a fireside party tonight complete with friendship dishes.
what to drink?

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  1. please please please, do! i love me some raclette!