Yesterday was fondue night. Last Christmas, I randomly mentioned to my Mom that I would really love a fondue set, whereto she walked into the kitchen and pulled out a complete 1972 fondue kit. “It was five bucks. Take it.” I should have mentioned something more difficult, but knowing my Mom and how she knows me, she would have found that something at a yardsale as well.
The kit is great: a small pot with a wood-handle, a slightly ornate curved iron stand, a burner, and a wooden stand. (Wood? Burner? It was definitely 1972.) The downside of having a 1972 fondue kit is that the burner actually, you know, requires risky material. As the fact stands that me walking into a kitchen is risky business in itself, I knew the burning might be a problem (For example, the chicken I made last night caused me to set off the fire alarm with J once again yelling at me that I don’t need to cook everything on high.)
So the burner called for denaturized alcohol to be poured on this bit of steel wool inside a small pot with vents and a lid. J spent nearly three hours trying to hunt for the blasted alcohol which it turned out later that our landlords, very much in flared jeans in 1972, actually had. J and I take said pot, alcohol, fire extinguisher, and my glass of wine outside my apartment to try and light this thing in a safer environment. After a few flickers and no real heat, not to mention giving a passerby on a bike a show when I absentmindedly hiked up my skirt, I call out, “Fuck this, we’re using tea lights.”
The fonduing (which I’m being told is not a word) itself went well except that I guess I got my portions a bit off and had to go and make some more. [J and I had The Rebuker and her family over and I’m still bad at judging how much will feed more than one or two people. She thankfully brought more than enough for the chocolate part of the fondue adventure.] I think also I added way too much cornstarch. Ooops.
But yes, now I know about two different variants of Swiss cheese, Gruyere and Emmenthal, yet still can’t distinguish them beyond the fact that they both smell like two variations of cheese that smell like feet. Add to that some nutmeg, wine, and bits and bacon and you have a pot o’ goodness. The bacon was a deviation from the recipe but sounded like a Good Idea.
Here is my spoiled only child sponsored Moment of the Night: As J was returning the denaturized alcohol to our landlords, I sat on our steps barefoot, my skirt still hiked up (not indecently this time), suspiciously relaxing against the wall of our building. I had a glass of wine in one hand, the fire extinguisher to one side of me with the fondue burner to the other side. The breeze blew, it was shaded, but the concrete still retained the day’s warmth; I had just started feeling the wine. The sky was blue and I couldn’t help but feel really, really good.