Fondues past and present

2020 was a handful

Our annual Xmas Eve fondue and champagne party was just us this year, by candlelight, with our Xmas outfits on.

I didn’t follow a recipe this year, as I think I’ve got fondue down enough to just wing it.

Handful of the following cheeses, shredded:

Cabot Seriously Sharp cheddar

Jasper Hill’s meting blend

Fontina and Gruyere

  1. Toss the shreds in two tablespoons of cornstarch so they turn all silky smooth and declump.
  2. Season with a generous dusting of freshly grated nutmeg and a couple grinds of black pepper
  3. Top it off with half a can of Long Trail Lager
  4. Melt it all together, whisked slowly in a double boiler on the stove.

Served w freshly baked bread, boiled potatoes and apple slices (Champlain Orchards Liberty

I had intended for it to just be the Jasper Hill melting blend and the lager, but we ate through much of the bag the previous night making nachos (very good, btw). It’s a very 2020 story. 

“2020 was a handful” fondue

I found the fondue to be uncharacteristically salty, though no salt was added. I’d sub cheddar for the Fontina next time. I had enough shredded cheese to make a second batch, which we will do for New Years Eve.

2019 “El Jefe”

Last year’s fondue was made with El Jefe, the holiday ale from The Alchemist Brewery. Plus Cabot Seriously Sharp, a bit of Gruyere and cornstarch.

1 can of beer  : 2 lbs of cheese = 2 fondue pots. 

Note that this is a dark beer and so the result will be brown colored. Still very tasty.

2019 was a pretty Boss year.

This was described as “the fondue that turned us all into cats”. I was cleaning up in the kitchen and could hear loud calls of “Cat head human body” (had no idea why), so I sauntered into the living room with a cat head on. We passed the cat head around.

Honestly, a typical party at our house.

Heady Cheddar et al

For a couple years running, we did a Heady Cheddar fondue, which is basically the above recipe but with Heady Topper.

When we first started out, I pulled recipes from a Fondue for Dummies book, which actually has some good recipes in it. I recommend the Monterey Jack w tequila.

My fondue pro tip: set a bowl of hot water between your flame and your fondue pot. This will act as the double boiler and prevent your fondue from scorching. ( I’ve learned the hard way 👻 )


October adventures 👻

Well, it’s been a minute! We’ve been busy winding down summer, prepping for winter, and knocking some items off the to-do list.

We went to see an abandoned Air Force base with some friends.
We’ve had a few more backyard fires while the weather held out.
I reorganized my office set up again!
We introduced Gremlin to the attic!
We’ve been eating a much healthier diet (and therefore doing lots of meal prepping)
Got out to see some art (Wolf Kahn self portrait at BMAC)
Ate some barbeque
Planted 1.5 pounds of garlic for spring.
Hosted an online awards show from my basement.
Fixed up the basement for winter coziness (this was Dan’s project)
Awaited the Great Pumpkin
And I made some cake.

We’re looking forward to November and all that brings. More soon.

Work-related update

I celebrated my 1-yr work anniversary last month and yesterday, my new title was announced, along with some more newsy staff changes. I’m now Director of Operations for LION Publishers. I’ve updated my bio in the about section here. Read the announcement here.

We’re a fully dispersed remote team working across time zones. So while stay-at-home orders affected the working situations of my friends and neighbors, I had seven months of it already.

That’s not to say that a year in, we’ve got it all figured out. So this next year, I’ll be working on smoothing the edges of our operations, figuring out the systems that work best for us, creating efficiencies and workflows that help us to deliver our mission more effectively.

That’s just one part of the job. I’ll try to be more regular with work-related updates from now on. And in case you’re wondering what Dan’s been up to: he’s advocating for more humane and equitable healthcare for all of us as executive director of Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation.

Some days it’s back to back Zoom meetings. At least this summer I could take them from the front porch.