Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fondue... Fun or a Flop?

Me and my bright ideas...

We have many food traditions around here.  In fact - we seem to revolve around food, especially at holidays.  I *should have* thought about this before jumping into the fondue pot.  We already have a good , labor intensive, New Year's food tradition - chili.  But, all those pins on Pinterest looked so inviting...

I decided New Year's needed another tradition - let's try fondue fun! 

As many of my cooking adventures go, this was more flop than fun.  Starting with my "fondue pot", which really turned out to be a mini deep fry pot.  I must confess, I got this pre-marriage (19 years ago) and hadn't really used it yet... I was waiting for the proper time.   :-)  I thought I remembered it as a fondue pot, strange.

After cleaning out the dust... I decided it should work fine to whip up a little Swiss Cheese fondue (enjoy the link).

Mine versus the Pinterest picture... not too bad.  The goo on the sides came from it almost boiling over.

It was going along well, until I tried to overachieve.  If one fondue is good, two will be great, right?  So, now I have to get out the trusty crockpot to serve as the second "fondue pot".  No problem - my friend Pinterest had a great "Chocolate caramel crockpot fondue" recipe!

I added the lumps on purpose... really!

Now, for the cutting up the food.  I'm starting to get a headache, and all these food items are piling up everywhere.  
  • Pretzels, sourdough, salami (Matt's idea) for the cheese.  
  • Apples, bananas, apricots, angel food cake, grapes  Opps... I bought seeded grapes by accident!  Why on earth do they sell those - does anyone like picking out the seeds?  Really! 
All this cutting is taking forever...

Yikes - I was waist-deep in the dippers when I noticed the cheese fondue was at a rapid, rolling boil.  I don't think it's supposed to do that...  

After several tense moments, and yells for kitchen back-up, I'm back on track. 
  • The dippers are cut, check.  
  • The chocolate-caramel fondue is ready to go, check.  
  • The Swiss cheese fondue has cooled, but keeps separating into a liquid and squishy substance, oh well - check.

I set it all on the table - but, had to unplug the pot.  We didn't have fondue forks (due to it really being a fry pot, not a fondue pot) So, I figure we'll make due with bamboo skewers.

Once the boys stop sword-fighting, we're ready to begin.  Here's where it literally started to fall apart... note to self, bamboo skewers don't hold the food on well enough when dipped into the fondue. The bananas especially.   Okay, no problem - we can use forks and spoons, kinda kills the fondue FUN part though.

By now, cheese is a large glob - but, I'm told "tastes great".   Several family members liked it, one family member had to go to the bathroom, because "the smell is making me gag".  I'm not sure this is what I thought "Fondue Fun" would be...

The cleanup was even worse than the set-up.   Cold cheese fondue creates a cement like substance that can actually clog up your garbage disposal, really.  And, don't even get me started on the chocolate caramel residues left everywhere!

I think Fondue may be a one-hit-wonder instead of a new tradition.

But, I wish you better luck with yours!

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