Cheese Fondue and Eating Ants

When I was in my teens, I heard an inspiring talk about family togetherness and family traditions. The esteemed woman mentioned that every Sunday night was Fondue night at their house. I filed that tasty little tidbit away for future ruminations, and now that I cook regularly for my family of seven, we have our own Sunday night tradition. We deep fry scones. But I’ll save that for another post. We love Cheese Fondue. I could go on and on about Fondue. DH and I went to a local Fondue restaurant called Melting Pot (maybe you have one in your area). First course, a light cheese fondue with crisp fresh vegetables and bread for dipping. Second course, gently boiling peanut oil and fresh meat, chicken, beef, seafood, cooked to your exact specifications with your own deadly skewer. Third course, Chocolate fondue served with pastries and fresh fruit. Aaah bliss. Alas, we only have one fondue pot, and we are prodigiously fond of cheese, so our little fondue meals are one course only. I, ahem, make very good French and Italian bread, so that is our dipper of choice, but because I am a good mom and just a little health conscious, I offer fresh vegetables or pretzels and crackers to dip as well. My recipe for cheese fondue consists of your basic roue (one or two tablespoons butter, one or two tablespoons flour) whisked to a bubbling thickness to which I add either warm milk or broth or both, one cup’s worth appx. Then I melt the cheese into it. Cream cheese, neufchatel cheese (guilt-free cream cheese) and any other cheese I choose…shredded Monterey Jack, for example. I season with a little salt, a little pepper (a la Alfredo) and simmer. Divine.

While stuffing my face silly, I bragged to DH how basically anything dipped in the fondue would taste good. I waved a homegrown steamed green bean under his nose. He only glanced at it, but said to anyone in general: “Get me an ant, and I’ll dip it in the fondue and eat it.” That’s my husband, would rather eat creepy crawlies than vegetables. Our son, I’ll call him Dale, wasted no time. I shouted after him, “Get one for me too.” He returned with two disoriented ants. I dipped my finger in the cheese, then got the ant and ate it. Other than a spicy little tang, I couldn’t really taste it. DH says, “I crunched it between my front teeth so I could taste it.” The verdict: Pretty much anything tastes good in this cheese sauce. He really should have just tried the bean.

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