[I relinquished control of the kitchen last night to my sous chef and mother, Laurie, so she could make us a lovely cozy dinner while I was still frantically putting together as many dishes as I could ahead of time for tonight's big dinner.]
Our Xmas Eve Eve dinner was my responsibility this year and I made an Apple-Scented Fondue, after seeing Rachael Ray make it recently. I prefer to think of this meal as a visit to Switzerland, rather than a visit to my past (actually I never had fondue in the 60′s). I was amazed at the price of the Gruyere cheese (I don’t usually pay that much for meat!), so when I make it again, I may try to substitute something for that, or do a little price comparing before I just buy the first one that comes to hand. (For a market in a small town, we have a pretty good cheese case, but you have to pay what they are asking, as there’s no other option.) The liquid base into which the cheese is melted is white wine and calvados (apple brandy) and that adds a nice tanginess to to the melted cheese. Anyway, it turned out great and we scarfed it down pretty quickly!
For dipping we used toasted pieces of baguette bread, Bosc pears, and crispy apples. Anne’s dad and I also had sauteed pieces of Polish sausages. All in all, I thought it was pretty yummy and I’d make it again. Maybe it will become our Xmas Eve Eve tradition!
Today I’m resuming my position as sous chef to Anne’s head chef, and have practiced saying “Yes, Chef,” “Right away, Chef.” She has another amazing menu planned for our traditional Xmas Eve dinner. Our cooking marathons are the highlight of the Rumery family’s Xmas holiday. To paraphrase Paula Deen, “Happy Holidays and Season’s Eatings from our house to yers!”
[Wondering what to do with the rest of that calvados? How about a tasty, tasty Applejack rabbit cocktail (also, appropriately enough, from the 60s)? You'll have to trust me on this one - I made it at Thanksgiving and when I offered my mom one, she looked disgusted. Until she tried mine. I've since added bartender to my role in the kitchen here.]