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Friday, December 3, 2010


A few years ago while living in Flagstaff Arizona we tried to do fondue with the Randalls.  I believe Kevin was about 4 or 5 at the time.  It sounded so romantic and fun.  Dipping your favorites into some yummy ooey gooey cheese sauce.  Surely the kids would love it!  So Janet and I purchased (our first mistake) what looked to be some exotic cheese fondue that would certainly make it easy and successful.  We did not, however, read the ingredients. (our second mistake) 

Imagine the anticipation and delight.  Small children gathered round a pot heated over what surely was a small indoor fire (sterno) with sticks to stab their food with!  What joy!  Kevin eagerly stabbed a piece of french bread, gave it a substantial dunk and popped it into his mouth.  It was totally disgusting!!!  He was caught in the dilemma of being polite or spitting it out!  His eyes started to water and he wanted to choke!  Mom told him it's was okay to spit it out and we all agreed that this batch was BAD!!!

We discovered that it had some alcohol and some very strong cheeses it in.  Poor little guy.  But I can't help laughing at the memory.

So this year we decided to try again with better recipes and a different batch of grand kids.  This time we had the delight of Isaac (9), Sara (6) and Michael (4).  It was a huge success and very simple!  So here are the recipes for you.

Alton Brown’s Basic Cheese Fondue
1 Garlic Clove
10 to 12 oz of apple juice or cider
2 pinches of kosher salt
1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp of Brandy (we used water)
5 oz Gruyere Cheese (We used a store brand of smoked swiss)
5 oz Smoked Gouda (see above note)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Seasonings of your choice such as pepper, curry cayenne or herbs

Blanched Vegetables, Bread chunks or Sausages for dipping

1. Rub the pot with a garlic clove
2. Add 10 to 12 oz apple juice or cider
3. Add 2 pinches of kosher salt
4. Add 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
5. Add 1 Tbsp of Brandy or water
6. Bring to simmer
7. Grate 5 oz of Gruyere and 5 oz of Smoked Gouda and mix with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch
8. Add in handful increments and heat until bubbles just begin to break the surface. DON’T BOIL!
9. Make sure cheese melts completely before adding more. With final handful add seasoning
10. A pinch of pepper, ½ tsp of curry, cayenne or herbs. Whatever you like
11. Dip your favorite bread, blanched vegetables, or sausage such as bratwurst or kielbasa
**always measure the weight of your cheese after you've grated  it--don't judge by the ounces on the package.**

• 1 cup whipping cream
• 8 ounces premium chocolate, chopped
• 2 teaspoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)**Due to previous experience, we skipped this part***
• Various sliced fruits and/or dessert treats, for dipping


Over low flame, heat cream until warm, but do not bring to a boil. Pour in chocolate while stirring continuously. Mixture will become smooth. Stir in liqueur and transfer to a fondue pot. Dip with various fruits or dessert treats.
 **One thing we learned was to have your chocolate broken up before you start.
We did this on Wednesday evening and I think it should become a new tradition.  It was easy, it was fun and everyone had a full tummy when we were finished.  One more time saving tip:  go the the salad bar of your favorite grocery store and pick out already chopped and cleaned veggies.

Love to all,


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