So this is a THIRD post about food in a row, which means the planet has officially been jolted off its axis. Or that these things come in threes and I’ll stop after this. Probably.
This weekend was stressful for a variety of reasons, and about halfway through yesterday as I was ranting to Otto that I AM ON ANTIDEPRESSANTS I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE THE MOTHERFUCKING SKY IS FALLING WHAT IS GOING ON HERE? he gently asked me if maybe, possibly, I had missed a dose? And I had. So it’s possible the sky doesn’t require expletives and maybe is just drooping a little, not crashing to the ground, and also the moral of the story is that right now I am Lexapro’s bitch. So! Lesson learned.
Anyway, in the midst of the stress and the weeping and the general angst, I not only had to figure out what we were having for dinner last night, but I realized we had to have fondue.
Later today, I’ll be doing a giveaway on Want Not of a trio of extremely cool products from Uncommon Goods, and one of the three is a little fondue set, which I needed to be able to review today. Which meant we had to have fondue last night. But after dinner, because it’s a little set for two people, and given the general mayhem of the day, I did not find the idea of letting my children loose with pointy spears and molten cheese a welcoming proposition.
So: I went and got groceries—including Gruyere cheese, which turns out to be crazy expensive, and the least-bland-looking loaf of gluten-free bread I could find—and we had a normal dinner, and I wasn’t very hungry, and then after Monkey went to bed and Chickadee was SUPPOSED to be in bed but was, in fact, still skulking around making excuses for why she wasn’t ACTUALLY in bed, I set about preparing this stupid fondue that I didn’t even want.
This is a GREAT way to start a cozy, romantic evening for two!
So it turned out that the little fondue set is… European. Scandinavian? Somethingian non-American. Which meant the included recipe for fondue used measures like grams and deciliters. So here I was, going “How much is
10 2 [ed note: whoops!] deciliters of wine?” Chickadee tried to convince me that deciliters are just like millimeters (that’s our advanced math brainiac…) while Otto Googled the conversion. He then returned to the kitchen and poured what looked like nearly a cup of wine into a measuring glass, then poured it into the pan for me. We both blinked at it.
“That seems like a lot,” I said.
“It’s WINE,” he helpfully pointed out. “Wine is GOOD.”
“Okay, then!” Cheese was grated and added, and more cheese was grated and added, and eventually it became clear that I had no idea what I was doing and this fondue was rapidly becoming a fondon’t of glop. But I soldiered onward!
I was still stirring the whole mess on the stove when Otto asked if I wanted a glass of wine to go with my pot of wine. I of course said yes. So he poured two glasses of wine and took them into the family room.
After a while I added some pepper and some nutmeg and poured the whole mess into the cute little fondue carafe, and Otto took that into the family room as well. We cut up toasted slices of gluten-free bread, and then I took some leftover french fries (shut up; they were from dinner, and I made them myself from potatoes and everything) and put them on the plate as well.
Chickadee was upstairs, by then, and Otto and sat down on the couch with our wine and our fondue spread and commenced testing it out.
“Fancy cheese fries!” declared Otto, dipping a leftover fry into the dubious fondue mixture. I tried one; it wasn’t bad.
The gluten-free bread wasn’t too bad, either, though I couldn’t escape the idea that we were pretty much eating deconstructed, overpriced grilled cheese rather than having fancy fondue. This feeling only intensified when we decided to turn on the TV, and in very short order were watching a DVRed episode of CSI: New York. It takes a special kind of mindset to eat gloppy cheese with pointy forks while watching a show with that much blood and gore.
“This might be a little classier if we were listening to jazz,” Otto said, as we fast-forwarded through a commercial break. I looked at him, wine in one hand, fork in the other, thinking it was a miracle I was even awake. “But this is good, too,” he finished, hastily. I think maybe he was afraid I was going to stab him. (With the fork. I wouldn’t have wanted to spill the wine.)
Somehow, it was a fitting end to the weekend. But I think next time I may try to find a recipe I can actually follow. And maybe I’ll even turn on some jazz.