Life, photos but not the universe

La Tartiflette

Several years ago, we went en famille, to stay in a chalet belonging to my worldly wise and successful Brother in Law, in St Gervaise, within view of Mont Blanc.  He loves skiing .  We just loved going to France and the Mountains and the snow.

While we were there, we attended a cultural event, involving a kind of Haute Savoie morris dancing, a visiting display of ballet from a school in Bulgaria and (included in the price) La Tartiflette, the traditional dish of the Haute Savoie.  While we were waiting for the main event, sipping from glasses of very nice local wine, we watched through the window as the chef and his lovely assistant (dressed in local traditional costume) circled a gigantic saute pan outside throwing in gargantuan quantities of potatoes, cheese, lardons, garlic and Reblochon – the local cheese which is like a half Camembert in size, shape and texture.  They stirred this mixture with spoons a yard long and every so often they poured in a bottle or five of the local wine.  And when I say gigantic, I mean about the size of our sitting room.  It was as big as a small swimming pool.  And the gargantuan bit – they were trotting round and round this thing , scooping up whole cheeses from a side table and throwing them in, for at least ten minutes.  It ended up as a kind of cheesy bacon and potato dish and very nice it was too.

During the week that we were there, we also went to the local restaurant and had their Haute version of tartiflette, which came on a sizzling dish and had a lot of cream in it.  And then on our last day, we found a lovely cheese shop where we bought some reblochon which had the recipe for tratiflette on the wrapping – in French, naturally.

See –


Over the years we have attempted to make the recipe at home, guessing at the bits we couldn’t understand and remembering what we’d seen (reblochon is available in supermarkets these days and camembert or brie make perfectly acceptable alternatives) and it’s only tonight that it occurred to me to use google translate and find out what it really says.

La Tartiflette
Proportion; 200-300g per person. Take: 1kg potatoes, boiled, fried or boiled, cut into small pieces. 1 Reblochon, 20cl creme fraiche, salt, pepper, garlic and bacon.
SEVERAL times alternating a layer of potatoes, a layer of Reblochon cheese slices, sprinkled with garlic, salt, pepper every time.
Put a hot oven (7-8) 25 to 30 minutes.   Pour the creme fraiche with  10 minutes at the end of cooking. Serve hot, accompanied possibly sausage smoke countries.

Anyway, we had it last night, using up leftover brie and bacon and it was very nice  though I haven’t been able to find the sausage smoke countries to accompany.  And tonight we’ll have chicken and leek pie.

The tale of a long, stormy life


and the last of the sun from the beginning of the year.



January 5, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Sounds tres delicious! I may even try this as it sounds like a chucking in type of cooking which is the best sort to my mind.

    Comment by Linda | January 5, 2013 | Reply

  2. I immediately pictured one of those roadside signs you see as you cross the county border: “WELCOME TO ESSEX – SAUSAGE SMOKE COUNTRY”

    Comment by Tim | January 5, 2013 | Reply

  3. Goodness, you’ve been a prolific blogger this week!

    Tartiflette sounds nice.

    Comment by Liz | January 5, 2013 | Reply

  4. It is very rewarding indeed for the amount of effort Linda. And it’s fine without the sausage countries.

    Wonderful Tim. I’m tempted to make Barney (an Essex boy) read the whole post just so he can get the benefit.

    I know Liz, just can’t shut up! Grab inspiration whenever, is what I say, cos it might never return.

    Comment by Mig | January 5, 2013 | Reply

  5. Well, heavens…..don’t shut up now! LOL
    I’d show himself the translated recipe–but it would evoke more mutterings about the ‘paltry’ cooking supplies that we get in this wee town.
    And I, being the captive audience, have to be verrrrrrrry discrete in what I share with him at this point. *laughing*

    Oh, but lovely visuals in my brain of this gargantuan swimming pool with a bunch of fellas tossing stuff in and mixing it with oars! LOL Yes, I have a vivid imagination. Oh, but it sounded like a very fun thing to watch!
    And how awesome are those photos–that last one made me drool! 😉

    Comment by Mel | January 6, 2013 | Reply

  6. I love recipes that tie back into memories..
    it’s almost like eating can help you savor a special place in time..

    PS love the “sticky thing!” is it sunrise or sunset?

    Comment by illuminary | January 6, 2013 | Reply

  7. I made this but with stilton because that was all that was left lingering. It was very tasty and EASY although I just bunged it all together, layering was a layer too far!

    Comment by Linda | January 6, 2013 | Reply

  8. Just print it out with ‘any old cheese’ substituted for the french sounding ones Mel. It really was brilliant to watch, even if we had to wonder what the result would be like and then it was good as well – french bulk catering works!

    Yes, it is good to revisit memories that come with nice food Illuminary. The photo is sunset – or at least nearly sunset – sun going behind clouds but another hour from the horizon.

    The layering isn’t essential Linda – I’ve only ever done two layers, bacony oniony potatoes and a big lid of cheese. I must try it with Stilton!

    Comment by Mig | January 7, 2013 | Reply

  9. A good thing I’ve just had lunch! I make a thing like this (with whatever comes to hand) but never gave it a name.

    Comment by dinahmow | January 8, 2013 | Reply

  10. Well there’s nothing like cheesy potatoes is there Dinahmow. And if it has a name that’s quite useful.

    Comment by Mig | January 8, 2013 | Reply

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