“Are you having fun, too”? Why yes .. yes, I am! That’s a little joke that Nick used to make when he first began visiting me at my apartment. There was another tenant in the house whose cooking always smelled like they were having fondue! (Is that a case of ‘you had to be there’?)
For this week’s food post is about the little fondue party for two we had last Sunday, something we’d never done together before.
The idea first came up with Nick telling me about how when growing up he and his family would have beef fondue for special occasions and how he loved it. I just happened to have a vintage fondue pot and some forks, which were unused and still in their original boxes. I had been given these as a gift from an ex’s lovely mother. She knew I liked vintage things and nabbed these for me at a church jumble sale she was helping with. This was years ago and I held onto those fondue things, packing and moving them from apartment to apartment and finally to my home here. But they stayed in the packing box for years, until they were unveiled last week-end. Nick was quite surprised I had them and impressed with my fine fondue pot! After almost 13 years of marriage it’s good to still have a few surprises.
Part of the reason we had never used these things is that we’re not big meat eaters. As an aside, unlike most people who are not frequent eaters of meat, who eat chicken but not beef, we are the other way around and do occasionally eat beef steak but not chicken. We’re not overly fussy about the whole thing though, and eat whatever is being served when we are invited out to eat. But another reason I had never used this fondue pot I had was that I was afraid of the dangers associated with hot pots of boiling oil. Particularly being combined with a party of drinking people, which seemed to be the whole premise behind a fondue. It seemed like a party thing .. and the image on the box reinforced this thinking.
I have had beef fondue twice before though .. once when I was little and my mother served it to us children for fun, because she had recently bought her pots for an adult party she and my father hosted. And another time, prepared by Nick’s mother when we were visiting his parents, once as a special treat for Nick’s birthday (they live far away so visits and birthday fondues are, unfortunately, not frequent).
My conclusions on the subject of beef fondue after our little party … it was a really enjoyable thing to do and the meal tasted good. I was surprised by how ‘un-fatty’ it was. In order to avoid spattering hot oil, the beef you use has to be very very lean (we used round steak), but I had assumed that cooking in oil meant for lots of fat clinging to the meat, but this didn’t happen at all. The pieces of cooked meat were nicely browned but not greasy at all. There was barely any oil in my plate. Would I ever serve it at a party? No way … I think it’s too risky for that. But would I do it again with maybe 4 people next time? Yes I would … that kind of good time is worth pursuing!
We didn’t end up using the extra forks that are in that groovy stand, nor did we use the fire extinguisher!
And how about you … have you ever had beef fondue?
Here’s wishing you a great Friday!