Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Y'all know that we do a little Family Fondue Fun

each Thanksgiving –
And, we really should do it more often…
Why don’t we?!
  Our menu almost always includes the following:
Cheese Fondue with new potatoes, broccoli, apples, and bread cubes
Main Course [fried with or without batter or cooked in broth] – shrimp, beef, chicken, and mushrooms with cheese for stuffing…
And of course – Chocolate Fondue for dessert – with pound cake cubes, cherries, and marshmallows [we’ve had strawberries and bananas too, 
since we’re all about keeping it healthy – lol]
  Here’s some tips to keep things flowing nicely throughout the meal:
Our table is set with fondue pots at each end so everyone can reach it easily with a lazy susan in the middle for [somewhat] easy access – we use fondue plates I pick up at thrift stores whenever I find them, and we have a little bowl for the raw meat since you don’t want to mix the raw with the cooked.    
I do a little prep work ahead of time – Chopping most everything into bite-sized pieces.
I cook the little potatoes [no one wants to bite into a raw potato!] and usually steam the broccoli a bit too –the apples are set aside in some lemon juice so they don’t discolor. 
I cook the cheese fondue right before the meal and keep it warm on the stove top [hint: don’t skimp on the cheese; gruyere makes a HUGE difference between a good fondue and GREAT fondue!] When it’s time to eat the potatoes, apples, bread cubes, and broccoli are arranged [piled] on the LID of the divided container I use for the raw meats… then set on the lazy susan and we’re ready to go! 
[The men take care of adjusting the flame underneath each one…]
 I begin heating the oil and broth
[daughter-in-love brought the MOST DELICOUS broth this year!]
while we’re enjoying the cheese fondue – then we [again, the men – ha] carefully bring it to the table while I’m getting the pre-cut raw meats out of the fridge and arranging them in their container, with the mushrooms –a family favorite.
You can use whatever meats you want, we prefer a bit of beef and shrimp, and a whole lot of chicken and mushrooms.
Clean and pull the stems from your mushrooms ahead of time.
– I put the softened cream cheese in little cups around the table with spreaders.
[Double hint: you stuff the mushroom with {garden vegetable} soft cream cheese, dip it in batter and give a good fry – OH MY. So very good!]

  The fondue pots we use for this part of the meal are electric and we can d we can easily adjust the temperature on them to keep the cooking nice and even…
I take a quick break and clean the cheese from the two fondue pots [saving what little is left for a re-heat later in the week…] and put the chocolate fondue in these. 
 [I forgot to mention, I prep the chocolate fondue ahead of time on a make-shift double boiler and leave it to stay warm on the stove, so it’s ready at a moment’s notice!] I like these two fondue pots because they can both be used a double boilers [meaning VERY hot water is in the bottom area and the fondue is setting on a bowl on top.] 
For me, this is the BEST way to insure your fondue doesn’t burn on the bottom. 
[Triple hint – I keep a big pot of water boiling on the stove so I can prepare these fondue pots – during both courses without waiting on water to boil - ] 
I usually have the dessert container ready to go with cherries [drained] cubes of pound cake, marshmallows cut in half, bananas, strawberries, etc. so that it can replace the meat tray on the lazy susan quickly.

All-in-all a really fun, interactive, and delicious meal 
that each person can tailor to what they want to eat. 
I love it – and I think the rest of the family does too – 
 -Here's the place setting - 
I know you were dying to see it - ha.
 I used plastic plates [Old Time Pottery] as chargers, fondue plates from thrift stores, 
and glass bowls [label is taped on underneath.] 
The skewers are tied with a bit of orange ribbon to contrast 
with the leaf designs on the 'charger' and the table runner. 
- A fun and functional table setting. 
Do you fondue too?
I'd love to hear about how you do it! 

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