Let Us Now Praise The Cow


Just once this winter I wanted to make tartiflette.  Just once, because it’s too impossibly rich and impratical to be ordinary food.  Just once because there are some things you have to do anyway, even if your cardiologist, should you be unfortunate enough to have one, would have a screaming fit were she to be in on the secret of your supper.

Today we spent a couple of hours gazing at old Rolls Royces and motorcycles from the 1930s, and because I restrained myself and didn’t buy one for my husband as a birthday present, I thought he deserved tartiflette instead.  It’s just potatoes and cheese, with a little butter, cream, ham, and onion.  No big deal, right?  Actually, it’s a whole cheese.  A whole runny, creamy, gooey, melty cheese, atop a pile of tender potatoes imbued with the essences of butter and ham.  Kind of a big deal, in truth.  I should have served it with dark leafy greens.  There are even some in my fridge, begging to balance out a plate with their vitamins and minerals and various phytochemicals.  But no, I served it all alone in soup bowls, with white wine, after only a little stuffed piquillo pepper salad as a starter, and with a bit of chocolate for after.  You know how it is when you really should have bought your husband a Rolls Royce but just couldn’t bring yourself to do it?  You need an especially good supper to make up for it, something with more fat grams than you have fingers and toes to count on.


Thank you,  cows of the Savoie, for providing a treat that’s so much more attainable that a 1932 Rolls Royce.  Thank you for giving raw milk that hasn’t been heat-treated, irradiated, homogenized, or suffered any other American-style depradations on its way to the fromagerie.  Thank you, cheese makers of France, for letting milk be milk.  Thank you Shel, for settling for a Golden Crust instead of a Silver Ghost. 

Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France

5 Comments on “Let Us Now Praise The Cow”

  1. Michel Says:

    Oh wow! I haven’t had a tartiflette in years, my aunt used to make it all the time when I’d visit. I might have to try to make one here in NYC…

  2. Lucy Vanel Says:

    It looks excellent.

  3. Wendy Miller Says:

    That is my favorite dish! I use Lucy’ recipe and we have it at least once a winter, but twice might be better! 🙂

  4. Al and Kay Standish Says:

    Happy Birthday Shel!!! Dinner looks great Abra. Glad to know you both are having so much fun.

  5. Shaya Says:

    Hi Abra, just catching up after a busy few weeks. That tartiflette looks amazing. It’s just my kind of meal. Yum.

    Oh, and about all that fuss about duck, I hear ya. For Valentine’s day this year I made the follownig meal:a ballotine of foie gras and duck confit to start, duck scaloppine with chestnuts, AND pommes frites cooked in duck fat. I too am ducked-out for the moment!

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