Fondue Fun! My Life 11 JAN 2008

FondueFondues are always so much fun to host. There is basically no preparation to be done for these kinds of supper parties, which immediately makes it attractive to me because I don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen getting everything ready. In fact, all you do is go to the shops, buy a whole lot of chunky foods like goulash, mini sausages and chicken nuggets and then throw them, uncooked, into a bowl for presentation. – Set up the little fondue pots and burners and that’s it, you’re done! No slaving in front of the stove, no unnecessary generation of dirty pots and pans. Pure heaven! :)

So anyway, last week I had the urge to invite some of the guys over for a fondue supper and last night was D-Day at last. Chantelle and I nipped off to the shops on my return from work to pick up the necessary supplies which went off without a hitch, mostly thanks to the fact that I had painstakingly crafted a list of all the necessary items earlier at work. Of course, being a woman, Chantelle had to mess with my plan and much to my dismay, put items that WERE NOT on my master list into my basket! Things like Halloumi cheese, raspberries and even kiwi fruit!

‘Goodness gracious woman’, I argued. …These people are like me – all from the Northen Suburbs. We don’t know fancy stuff like this’ Halloumi cheese – whatever the heck that is. I just want plain old normal stuff!’ (This was not the greatest move on my part I must admit.)

A couple of pulled faces later and I walked out of Pick ‘n Pay clutching my very first purchase of Halloumi cheese – whatever the heck that is.

Back home we set about putting everything out, with me making sure to express my artistic side by carefully arranging the beef and pork items in a colourful pattern (Chantelle wouldn’t trust me with a knife and cutting anything). I dug out my two fondue sets and classily set them out on the lounge floor, surrounded by a myriad of cushions and pillows that I dug up out from the recesses of my flat. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t high-class dining, but as I like to stress, I am from Bellville you know! :)

Surprisingly enough, everyone kind of pitched up on time, with Wayne and Candice taking first place, and Karl and Pat edging out Damen and Michelle for second. Everyone assembled in the lounge and we hungrily egged the oil on to hurry up and get hot so that we could get cooking.

Eventually it did actually make it to cooking temperature without burning the flat down and like vultures everyone swooped in, jostling for the best spot at the two pots. As it turned out, the biggest fight was in fact for the Halloumi cheese in the end (me included) – figures I shouldn’t disagree with a former chef, a fact that Chantelle now likes to remind me of at EVERY opportunity! :)

In the end, everyone enjoyed a leisurely meal in which we spent most of the evening chatting, spearing pieces of meat, pushing our kebabs in the oil and cursing when we pulled the skewers out to reveal pieces of our meal missing. In fact, the war cry for the evening was pretty much …There goes my cheese!’

As the last pieces of food was fried and nibbled on, we began clearing up and brought in the final salvo of our multi-front food assault. The dessert! Initially I had only wanted to present some koeksisters with coffee, but Chantelle took matters into her own hands and broadsided me by introducing milk tartlets, raspberries and sliced kiwi to the serving plate when I wasn’t looking. Scandalous, I know.

And as to rub salt in the already stinging Halloumi Cheesegate Scandal, they loved that idea too. Hmm, seems my days of just meat and buns at a braai are now firmly relegated to the past.

Satisfied and lulled by coffee, Damen, Michelle, Karl and Patricia eventually slumped off back to whence they came from (thankfully rescuing us from any possibility of a game of 30 Seconds or Pictionary), leaving only Wayne and Candice to finish the night off with us. Eventually Wayne’s resolve waivered though, and they too bid us farewell, leaving us all alone with only a pile of dirty dishes as company.

Ah the joys of hosting a dinner party. But in all seriousness, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I am pretty sure it wasn’t only me that had a good time. It just highlights the fact that I really should make more of an effort and organise things like this more frequently!

After all, what fun is life if you don’t make any time for your friends?

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.