Sunday, November 1, 2009


We went out to dinner with friends last night to a local restaurant that serves fondue. If you have never had this fun meal, trust me - it's ideal for a cold winter night when you want to extend the meal to include plenty of wine and conversation. This particular dinner included both the cheese and the hot oil pot. It had a very cool butane burner that I finally found through which keeps the oil nice and hot. Much better than sterno. I've added it to my "wish list":

We have always had fondue for New Year's Eve. We never enjoyed the forced feeling of frivolity, preferring to stay home and have a nice fondue dinner in front of the fire. We start with a toast of champagne, and open a really good bottle of red to follow.

This year we have offered to babysit our grandson so our daughter and son-in-law can go out. I wonder if they will eventually decide to stay home as well. It is a great time to look over the past year and decide what worked, what didn't, and where you would like to go in the new year. At any rate, fondue is a fun way to spend an evening.


Natalie said...

What a blast from the past. I used to love Fondue.
I agree, forced frivolity is not for me either. I think reflection and fondue, sound absolutely perfect. :D

Unknown said...

What a fantastic idea! Its probably the perfect social meal where people nibble and graze as opposed to a big meal then a need for a space filler. A nice change as well. :)

Lydia said...

I'm feeling kinda sad now because I gave my fondue pot to Goodwill last year. My mother gave it to me as a gift but I never once used it. It was the sterno kind and it seems you've found a better one.
We stay home on New Years Eve also. Michael plays Auld Lang Syne on his trumpet at midnight out on our porch, and the neighbors look forward to it. Obviously, I've not done fondue at New Years but we have cheese/crackers, dips, and hummus.

Happy November!

CrazyCris said...


But man that stuff is DANGEROUS!

I have a big problem with fondue, I can't stop until the pot is empty! I've actually made myself sick on one occasion (in high school) with the stuff, and that hasn't stopped me from savouring it whenever I get a chance! ;o)

I actually went to a birthday/slash fondue dinner last week. First cheese meal of the season! There will be many more. Melted cheese (in various forms) is very popular for cold Belgian winter nights... There's the fondue, and then there's raclette. It's another Swiss invention, originally a massive roll of cheese would have been brought close to the fire to make the top layer melt and then it's scraped onto your plate (usually onto a boiled potato) and... I think I'll just have to put together a whole post on melted cheese meals!

you're making me hungry! good thing I have a couple of delicious croissants and a fresh fruit smoothie sitting in front of me for my breakfast! ;o)

Paula said...

Yummy, I love fondue, particularly cheese and bouillion. My hips prefer the chocolate fondue ;-))
The new years eve you describe sounds simply perfect

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

I remember going to friends for a fondue years ago. She was heating her cheeses and wine, etc. in an earthenware pot on the stove - before setting in on the flame on the table. I suggested she heat it in a stainless steel pot on the stove, but she replied, "Oh, I do it this way all the time". As we just began to eat at the table, the earthenware pot exploded and hot cheese slowly flowed across the table like molten lava. Funny now, not so much at the time.

Anyway, beware of earthenware pots for your fondues!

Nishant said...

I agree, forced frivolity is not for me either. I think reflection and fondue, sound absolutely perfect Work From Home

California Girl said...

Sounds like a very nice tradition, Nancy. I had fondue in Switzerland years ago. My Swiss friends, here in our area, make it with a stinky cheese called "racelette" and it is delicious. They bring it back with them after visiting and host a dinner party where everyone sits around the fondue eating and drinking. I love that!

My late FIL always said New Year's Eve was "amateur night" altho' he was often right in the midst of them!

DJan said...

If I lived in New York City, I might prefer going into the street at Times Square to be part of the action, but frankly I don't have the stamina to stay awake that late any more. Fondue is a blast from my past... and I don't think I could afford to eat it any more because of the calories. It seems if I just LOOK at fattening food my clothes get tight.

Bogey said...

Yes Nancy, there is nothing quite like sitting down to a leisurely meal with friends enjoying a stirring hot Fondue. And even better when you can top it off with a Chocolate one for dessert. Okay now, which cupboard did I put that darn Fondue pot in? Must take a look. Of course, now I am hungry!

Nishant said...

I think reflection and fondue, sound absolutely perfect. Work From Home

Miss Footloose said...

Your post makes me want to have fondue again after, oh well, decades?

Having lived all over the world, I have had all manner of New Year's Eve dinners including just steak and chips in a desserted Irish Pub in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. The town was eerily empty and closed up, with nothing going on. It was New Year's Eve 1999 and the locals were scared of disaster and stayed indoors.
We'd just returned from a vacation and hadn't realized the YK2 panic in town!

ellen abbott said...

I remember fondue. My parents took us kids to a restaurant that served it. We thought it was the coolest thing. I think my parents even got a fondue pot.

sounds like you had a great time last night.

Joanne said...

We've stayed home the past few New Years Eves too, but this year changed it up a little and bought tickets for a concert that night. Celebrating with music!

Alexandra MacVean said...

I've not had fondue before. Unfortuanately, I can be a picky eater... =/

Happy Sunday!

Herrad said...

Hi Nancy,
Came by to say hello and wish you a good Halloween weekend.

Whitney Lee said...

I absolutely love fondue. One of my favorite dates was with a friend of mine who took me out to a great fondue restaurant in Atlanta for my birthday years ago. We topped it off with fantastic seats to Miss Saigon.
New Years is not a very big deal to me these days. It seems to be mostly about getting drunk and rowdy. We used to just sit at home with friends, eating and playing games with Dick Clark on the TV. Now that my husband is in bands he tends to play that night. So last year it was just me and my knitting and my dog watching the ball drop. And I'm pretty content with that!

Brian Miller said...

we have a fondue kit we break out a couple times a years is one of those times.

Lillian Robinson said...

And don't forget dessert... chocolate with strawberries and bananas! Dip away!

Just a few years ago one of my brothers and I laughed at my oldest brother for going to bed without watching the ball drop. Now I realize if I was not such a night owl, I wouldn't be up watching it either. It really does change without us having to keep watch!

Rosaria Williams said...

I have never tried Fondue. I see you had a wine recommendation that was hard to read. Care to share?

alaine@éclectique said...

We had many fondue dinners back in the 80s. We didn't have the oil but a beautiful beef and burgundy soup, which was served up at the end of the dinner, full of bits and pieces.

Nancy said...

Natalie - It makes things festive, without going out!

livenomad - Absolutely right!

Lydia - I love the trumpet! What a cool thing to do!

Crazy - We have the same problem! Thus the quote on my sidebar. :-)

Paula - I'm going to do the bouillion next time.

Paula - Wow! That could have been really bad! I do metal pans. And for our New Year's we always settled the kids upstairs with pizza and their favorite movie. No little ones with fondue!

Nishant - Parties and New Year's just didn't resonate with us for some reason.

California - We do raclette, too. It, too, is fun! But my raclette is in storage :-( Your FIL sounds like he was a kick! I can see why you were so fond of him.

DJan - Yeah, maybe if I was in New York I might make it out. I guess I just don't care for crowds anymore. And yes, it isn't something you want to do weekly, that's for sure!

Bogey - Chocolate, yum! We ended up having dessert at another restaurant. Which was fun because it had a party going with everyone dressed up and singing along with the entertainment. Hope you find your fondue pot!

Nishant - It's a great way to get a perspective on what you would like to see happen in the next year.

Miss Footloose - Ohhh I'm going to have to visit you! Sounds fascinating!

Ellen - Great food, great friends, great night.

Joanne - Sounds wonderful. Be sure to fill us in on the 1st!

Sophia - Picky is not bad, actually, especially in this day and age. But fondue is melted cheese...

Herrad - Hi! Thank you - I'm do for a stop over as well. See you soon.

Whitney - Now that is my kind of date! Yeah, it's the drunk and rowdy that no longer appeals to me either.

Brian - Great minds think alike! :-)

Lilly - Oh, yeah! Bananas, yum. I'm a night owl too, but if I drink too much red wine, I don't make the ball drop either.

lakeviewer - Ferrari Carrano - Sonoma Valley - Probably our favorite red wine. The Ferrari's have a huge casino in Reno, and the winery started out to be their hobby. Everything was done first class all the way. A beautiful winery to visit! And very good wines. Their Chardonay is usually a favorite as well.

Alaine - Sounds wonderful!!

Marguerite said...

I love fondue, especially the chocolate variety, for dipping fresh pineapple and strawberries in! That sounds like a very nice tradition, especially the champagne, by the fireplace. And I love going out on New Year's Eve, especially in New Orleans!:)Cheers!

Hilary said...

Yum.. it's been a while since I've indulged in a fondue.. oil, cheese or chocolate. Back in my 20s, friends used to get together quite often to indulge. And yes, the wine really makes it perfect. Thanks for the tasty memories. :)

Nancy said...

Marguerite - I might enjoy New Year's Eve in New Orleans!

Hilary - I think everyone got a fondue pot as a wedding present at one time, LOL!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yum... I haven't had fondu in years. That top pic looks great. I might have to dig out the old pot and make some. Thanks for the reminder.


Deboshree said...

My God!
The picture itself looks so appetizing!!
I haven't heard of Fondue before so thank you for introducing the concept to me ^_^
Looks like you will be having a lovely cozy time..when I imagine the whole turns out to be a beautiful homely picture.


Nancy said...

Joanna - It's fun, caloric, but fun.

Deboshree - You must try it sometime!

Anonymous said... favourite meal of all time is Swiss cheese fondue. I have it a few times a year, it's so yummy! Geez Nancy...first the bread, now the cheese fondue, lol...I told you how suggestible I am!!!

Nancy said...

Rain - It's all about nurturing yourself, right? LOL!

Anonymous said...

LOL..okay let's call it "nurturing", ha ha...I call it "expanding" the hips!

Michael said...

wel that woudl have been right in line with the holiday for me--cheese always gives me (and many) bad dreams if I ate it too late so I woudl ahve had to say well clear of that as much as i love cheese fondue.

The Good Cook said...


TBHITW and I always stay home on New Years eve... champagne, a lovely light dinner... that is my definition of a perfect way to end the year... so this year I'm thinking that light dinner will include fondue! Thanks for the idea...

Nancy said...

Rain - A little of that too... :-)

mmm - It is definitely filling - best not to go directly to bed, you're right.

Good Cook - It's not too light - but oh so yummy!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

Fondue is fun. We had a lovely dinner at The Melting Pot with my son and his wife for their anniversary. I told The Husband, we ought to get a fondue pot. Now you've reminded me, I need one!


OMG - FONDUE!!! CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE IT!!! and i've fondued [is there such a word?] just about anything you can think of!!! thanks for trip down fondue memory lane, lady!!!

TheChicGeek said...

Fondue is fun, Nancy! In the '70's people used to have fondue parties...LOL You are bringing back old memories.

I have a fondue pot and the kids always have so much fun with it! I think you're grandson will love it and have a fun, fun memory with Grandma and Grandpa :)
Hugs to You, Nancy :)

Nancy said...

Elizabeth - You do, no doubt!

Gypsy - Fondue is back, dust off that pot!

Chic - Yep, I remember those days in the 70's LOL!

Jo said...

What a great idea! I don't like going out on New Year's Eve either. You have given me a great suggestion. I still have my fondue pot. I even have a little doo-dad for warming brandy, as well. Hmmmm....

Have you ever tried chocolate fondue? Yum...!

This post made me hungry. *heh*

Land of shimp said...

Hello Nancy, I was returning the visit you paid me, and immediately had the biggest, goofiest smile on my face. My husband's family -- seven kids -- always had New Year's Eve Fondue! I immediately felt an affinity for you because I associate New Year's Eve fondue with one of my favorite people on this earth.

It is lovely, and decadent...and comforting. There's something that feels very safe about gathering around, drawing close, and share the warmed food. I think it's the communal nature of fondue. You can't feel lonely when sharing fondue.

We're New Year's Eve (and otherwise) home bodies also. What fun, ringing in the New Year with the smallest member of the family, like a preview of the years to come n his life.

Take care, and again, thank you for the visit. I'll return!

Nancy said...

Jo - I love all fondue - LOL!

Land - You described it so beautifully. I love your blog, and thanks for stopping by!

susan said...

Did you have a chocolate fountain for the strawberries? Yum :-)

Nancy said...

Susan - No we actually had dessert at another restaurant that night. Like we needed dessert! But it was All Hallows, after all.

PeacefulWmn9 said...

Fondue is delicious, whether it's cheese, oil, or chocolate. I've stayed home for years now on New Year's Eve, and you've described a perfect way to spend it, Nancy :)


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