Friday, March 7, 2014

Swiss Fondue

It's another cold day and the ground is covered with the snow from last night's dusting. It makes me think of having a Swiss fondue and warming up surrounded by good friends or family and this communal meal.

One of my favorite family traditions is to have a Swiss fondue. On a cold and dreary winter day, there's nothing better than warming up with the distinct smell of the fondue, filled with many cheeses, kirschvasser, wine, & garlic. It's now one that we share with friends, too, though we haven't in a while.

My grandpa, Walter Otto Krumich, came over to the United States from Switzerland when he was seven years old. We have the old, family, swiss recipe and we usually have an evening devoted to it during our winter visit to Pennsylvania. 
 As children, this was always the night that we'd make ourselves scarce while the adults partook in the fondue. We'd normally order pizza and have a sleepover with our cousins, Marianne & Julie. Now we're all older and have joined the adults, but there's a new little crew budding in the ranks.
Bread is left to stale over the course of a day, multiple stank cheeses are purchased and diced, and kirsch is delivered from Virginia, since they don't sell it in NW Pennsylvania.
The table is set with two to three fondue pots, depending on the number of people present. And usually there's a Waldorf salad, prepped and ready.
Then we fill our wine glasses and kirsch cups, grab our fondue forks and dig in!
Grandma's hand.
A typical fondue plate in the Krumich family.

The only rule is that when you drop a piece of bread in the pot, you have to kiss one of the people next to you. This means you have to be very careful who sits next to you. Or, it could be an interesting night! The following pictures are from the winter of 2009.

Blurry, but sweet.

A three-potter!
In honor of Uncle John.
Oh, how I desperately wish I knew what he was saying here.
Fondues with him were always raucous, laughing-fests.
I'm sure he's saying something incredibly witty and hilarious!
We miss him so.
With two patriarchs who have moved on to heaven at either end of the table, my heart yearns to be back at this fondue. Surrounded by warmth and their familiar presences. I wish Ian could have been there to meet both of them, but their lives and the memories and stories will live on through him & through the rest of us.
I think it's time to have a fondue. 
The weekend's coming... it's time for a little warmth and comfort food.

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