The Backstory: The author, who suffers from aspirations, is taken in by a New York family's description of how a piece of Williams-Sonoma cookware changed their lives.
Was it fear of commitment that kept me afraid of committing to the oddly-shaped Nordic pancakes known as ebelskivers? Or something stickier?
If I was going to be completely honest with myself, I had to acknowledge that there was something about the oozy fruit filling and the dusting of powdered sugar that suggested the teenagers would take to them like teenage ants on a pile of powdered sugar and oozy fruit filling.
And where was the satisfaction in that?
We'd be a family for whom a meal was an unpronounceable mix of new cultural experiences built around cheese and good wine. The children would use forks.
But I was beginning to doubt that ebelskivers were the answer.
As much as I liked the sound of ebelskiver, there was also their resemblance to doughnuts, which are very hard to pair with wine and taste like something a 16-year-old boy would make for dinner, if somebody else were there to make it for him.
It was then that I turned my attention to raclette, a cuisine, that according to its Wikipedia entry:
"... was mentioned in medieval writings as a particularly nutritious meal consumed by peasants in mountainous Switzerland and France (Savoy region). It was then known in the German-speaking part of Switzerland as Bratchäs, or "roasted cheese." Traditionally, the Swiss cow herders ... "
The factual accuracy of which is "in dispute" and which only raises more questions than it answers. How, for example, had medieval peasants gotten their hands on the Williams-Sonoma electric raclette maker, with its 8 individual broiling trays and spatulas, granite grill top and adjustable thermostat?
I was beginning to see the makings of a new weekend tradition - one that had both cheese and controversy going for it. Williams-Sonoma, it seemed, had a dark side after all...
Next: In which it is all revealed to have been a dream. Except the teenagers are real and I am still leaning toward the raclette maker.