Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve Tradition

Yes, I know the year is almost a whole day old, but I faded fast last night and was snoozing well before the midnight hour.  I normally stay up until around midnight, but a couple of nights with less than perfect sleep left me wanting a nap yesterday.  Unfortunately, I never got there.  (Knew that already, huh?)  Also, my youngest had plans with friends to celebrate the year in and couldn't be two places at once.  So, tonight it is!

My family doesn't have a lot of traditions we stick to, but tonight (a day later than usual) we will have our New Year's Eve fete.  Many years ago, my youngest came down with Fifth Disease the 30th of December.  We had been invited to my aunt and uncle's house, but with a very contagious child, we had to come up with something else quick.  My daughters were not very old, around 6 and 8 as I recall, but they knew that New Year's Eve was a big deal.  Their father and I had promised they could stay up to usher in the new year (if they could stay awake!) and now with no party to go to we decided to have our own party.

We wanted to do something different for dinner and snack food wasn't special enough to make up for having to miss the party.  After a bit of discussion we decided to have fondue.  The search was on for the fondue pot.  Tucked up on a shelf in the garage storeroom, we found the green fondue pot complete with color coded forks.  After a good bath in the sink for the washable parts and a test run of the base, we were ready to go.

Now, for those thinking of cheese fondue, STOP!  It was all the rage when I was in high school and I couldn't stand it then and certainly wasn't going to serve it up now.  I am not against alcohol, but please don't put it in my food!  To me, it is just a good way to ruin the cheese and the wine!

So, now that we are clear on no cheese fondue, you have probably figured out we had the hot oil fondue type or fondue bourguignonne.  Meat and veggies cooked in hot oil.  We had sauces for dipping...a garlicky sour cream, a ranch style and a hot one with a bit of punch!  The meat and veggies were all cut into bite-sized pieces and we were ready to eat!  The girls were thrilled to be able to "cook" their own food.  There was a bit of a campfire feeling, just on hot dogs or marshmallows.  There were a few "floaters", food that came off the fondue forks, that had to be rescued, but all in all it was fun and yummy.

We even made a chocolate fondue for dessert.  We moved that to the living room coffee table so we could watch the festivities on the TV.  We sat on pillows and noshed on bananas, pound cake and apples.  So good!

When the next New Year's Eve rolled around the girls were raring to go with another night of fondue and a family tradition was born.

Tonight we are having chicken, beef, potatoes (sweet and white), mushrooms, red pearl onions and Brussel sprouts.  The sauces are made and the food cut and waiting in bowls in the fridge.  Time to go plug in the fondue pot and enjoy our New Year's Eve celebration!

Wishing you the best of 2012 and your own traditions!

The Hopeful Romantic

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