Every Christmas Eve in Sonoma, my family makes cheese fondue. Since the festivities provide an excuse for us to gather around my parents' wedding-present fondue pot, the recipe we originally followed came from a 1970s Sunset cookbook that included cream of celery soup. In the spirit of my current refusal to purchase any food made from more than five ingredients, this year's concoction of molten white goo consisted simply of white wine, nutmeg, gruyere, and emmenthal. I wouldn't rule out adding half a can of PBR in years to come, in an effort to delay the fondue's devolution into a stringy vortex of errant vegetables when the candle flame peters out.
Unofficially aiming for a balance between tradition, nutrition, and weirdness, we foraged for veg in my mom's crisper before stocking up on the stranger varietals at Oak Hill Farm, ultimately dipping watermelon radish, carrots, crimini mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli florets, d'anjou pear, and green kohlrabi (center), plus walnut bread from Artisan Bakery.
What better way to convince your loved ones to try an unfamiliar piece of plant food than adorned with melted strands of expensive cheese? Happy holiday eating.
**Note, 1/28: check out this New York Times article about the simple pleasure and transcendental powers of eating fondue.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007