Ahhhh, the season of food is upon us. It starts at Thanksgiving (or is it Halloween, Football season, FOURTH OF JULY??) and comes to a head on New Year’s Eve. A time of indulgence in high caloric drinks and food, and all around gluttony. It’s fantastic. My favorite night to eat is Christmas Eve. A new tradition was started at my parent’s house 2 years ago, a Very Merry Fondue Christmas Eve.
On Christmas Eve, my parents table beckons with a spread that would rival the Melting Pot. A large lazy Susan style fondue set with hot bubbling oil is the centerpiece with an assortment of dipping sauces. I think we had teriyaki, cocktail, Asian "yumyum" sauce (you know, the pink stuff they serve at hibachi style restraunt for seafood), A1, marinara and soy sauce.
Also on the table was the ubiquitous cheese fondue. Or what could pass as cheese fondue. We didn’t particularly follow a recipe and I think Kroger may have been out of the required melting cheese we needed that day, so substitution followed....anyway it was passable. Of course we still ate it (everyone except for my cheese phobic husband...I die). And when it was mixed vigorously, it did resemble and taste like a cheese fondue should, with hints of white wine (well it was white zin) and garlic. I think this year though, we are going to use a different recipe for the cheese, we will see...
Into the sauces surrounding the cheese and hot oil we dipped literally everything fry-able or dunk-able you can imagine. We had no less than the following spread over the table
-marinated strip steak
-breaded cheese cubes
-chunks of bread (pumpernickel rye I believe)
-buffalo chicken dip
-sushi (um, not sure why we had this for fondue night, but I'm NOT complaining
The first year we did this we had WAY WAY WAY too much food. Even for 7 of us. We scaled it down last year and we still had plenty of leftovers. That’s the thing with fondue though. It is such a process that you can’t really gulp down your food in 10 minutes and be done. The oil needs to be reheated after so long, the shrimp and steak need to cook, and there are only 2 utensils used for dipping per person (one cheese, one oil). Therefore, fondue makes the perfect dinner for a family who loves talking as much as we do! We spend at least an hour or longer dipping/discussing/digesting/drinking....and loving it! I can’t wait to do it again this year, only 2 days to go until the feast :)