The busiest time of year for us, guest-wise, is during the ski season. Why pay a fortune to stay in a ski resort when you can stay with your sister/friend for free? That's what sisters/friends are for, right? There are some weeks in winter when one set of guests is departing as the next arrives. This week a couple of friends from Courchevel were here for two days and my brother and three friends arrive today (in the midst of which I thought I was going to have to dash off to Paris to view an apartment! but that fell through at the last minute).
One of the things I like to do for dinner, which guests love, is raclette. It's a winter staple here in Savoie and very popular in mountain restaurants.
Raclette is essentially melted cheese (the name comes from the French verb "racler", to scrape, because of the way the melted cheese is scraped out of the pan or off the block, depending on the type of machine used) served over boiled potatoes, accompanied by assorted meats (such as ham, prosciutto, salami) and pickled onions and/or gherkins. The only cooking involved is steaming some potatoes, after which everyone just melts some cheese in their own little pan under the raclette grill. Yum.