Dinner Party Ideas: Fondue

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The funny thing about my first fondue-like experience is that it didn't involve any cheese at all. I must have been eight or nine years old and MaZane decided that instead of letting me spend a family holiday at one of my friends' homes because my parents were out of town she'd invite me for Sunday lunch with her family. There was uphuthu, delicious greens, meat and gravy -- I think we sat the for hours just eating and passing dishes around. Since then I've gone on to throw a few of these kinds of evenings for friends and loved ones; it's one of my favourite dinner concepts.

This is what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:  "fondue is a Swiss, French, Italian dish of cheese served on a communal pot over a portable stove."


But I think you can have your fondue evening with neither stove nor cheese, unless you want cheese, of course. Here's how I do mine:

1. Setting

Make sure there's enough room to pass the dishes around source

Our dinner parties are always held in either the main dining room (that seats 12) or outside in the veranda -- weather willing. The key is to have the gathering in a big yet cosy part of your home -- allow guests free movement while interacting.

2. Food

I usually cook for all dinner parties I host but a night like this one is a great way to mix it up. If you have a theme ask guests to bring dishes they like or those that fit with the theme; if a guest isn't much of a cook they they can bring drinks or dessert -- you can never have too much of either. On the night, encourage guests to try each of everything.

3. Drink

I only specialise in wine, nothing fancy. source

It's always polite to offer a basic white and red wine but if people have specific tastes when it comes to their drinks then they should bring their own along.

4. Clean up

The great thing about collaboration dinners is that people bring their own tupperware/containers, which they usually want to take with them at the end of the night. There's also usually so much food left over that  they want to take a bit of everything home as well. So I suggest asking the men to do the dishes while you clear the table and talk about that Gosling fellow.

Have you ever had a fondue night? What are your tips for people who might be interested in throwing one? Please share in the comments section.

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