A fondue party was my destination. It was known they'd have traditional cheese, and the ever-more-popular chocolate, and so they did -- and both were very tasty indeed. The primary fondue wizard was clearly experienced, and took pleasure in his craft, perhaps even more than we diners took in consuming the fruits of his labors. Dipping tidbits were varied, an unusual thing for cheese fondue, including broccoli, mushrooms, red peppers, in addition to the more traditional bread chunks -- and they worked remarkably well. The chocolate fondue was presented with strawberries, apple, banana, and an assortment of melon. A number of tasty red & white wines, contributed by guests as well as hosts, including several bottles of TJs two-buck-chuck, were among the shared treats...
I was introduced to a new fondue tradition, which I will try to bring to future such events -- when one loses a tidbit in the pot, they must kiss someone.
And on the later side of the evening, the last fondue -- the crowning glory, a treat I've never experienced before, reportedly Quebcois in origin -- Maple fondue, adapted from a maple pie. Pure bliss, in a fondue pot. Suitable for consumption in itself, or as a cake frosting, or an ice cream topping, or oh so much more. It was experienced last night with pie-crust pastry, with fresh bread leftovers from the cheese dipping, with broccoli (surprisingly good), with white mushrooms (surprisingly not), and with various fingers (quiet, you, in the peanut gallery -- fingers were all). The very kind chef has promised to email the recipe, so I will happily soon be able to share this with more of my friends.
Also included in the evening were some interesting names for more interesting people, a very large puppy, a couple of friendly but somewhat freaked-out cats, some contact improv, a tango lesson, sparkly jeans, flambuoyancy, knitting, a few games of Bang!, a blissed-out social-worker with very special hair, tales of Sarah Lawrence, and doubtless more that I've forgotten.
It was grand to spend this time with an assortment of friends, from very old (first met in 1991 or so) to very new (first met standing at the fondue table, or elsewhere around the party space), and it was a fine, fine thing, all in all.
So -- many thanks go to my hostess, and to her household, and to all those others who were there making it what it was. I hope to see more of all of you.