La Fondue

La Fondue

By Megan Hastings of Vashon Snapdragon Bakery & Café

The light is low in the sky, and I am sitting here in my childhood home in Chicago. The air is cool and snow is coming soon. The leaves here have all been raked from the yards, and the streets are quiet. The only sounds are the elevated train from a few blocks away, a couple dogs barking, and the faint hum of cars driving by.

I have a stolen moment to reflect on what this time of year means to me. As the holidays quickly approach, we all have our own memories and baggage that surrounds this time of year. I was born in the early 70s , and things like fondue had been popular with the generation that preceded my own. As a youth later, these fun little enameled pots with their intriguing skewers would flood all of the thrift stores I frequented.

My family wasn’t particularly into celebrating the holidays, something I myself would later make up for by going overboard, complete with all the classic Christmas music. I once hated holiday music; it reminded me of being trapped in the back seat of my Aunt Margie and Uncle Warren’s enormous car, not having the ability to access “real music…” Ah youth! Often, we would go to their house for Christmas; they lived outside of the city in rural Illinois.

There was a long table that would be set up in their basement, and where we would all gather. On one of these holidays, I spotted a fondue set on the bar, quietly collecting dust. I was so curious about this magical thing that, in fact, could hold so much golden, melted cheese! I have made this dish many times now over the years, and it really does always make me think of the holidays.

You don’t make fondue for yourself. It is an activity to share, hopefully with loved ones. So whatever and wherever you celebrate this season, I hope you are all warm and cozy with ample pots of warm cheese and of course, a loved one. Happy holidays!

Classic Fondue


½ lb gruyere cheese
¼ lb swiss cheese
French baguette loaf
Olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp flour
1 bottle white wine
Pinch of nutmeg
Dash of dried thyme
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp fancy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the garlic and shallot in olive oil. Add the flour and create a roux with a whisk. Slowly add the wine. Let it come up to heat before adding the cheese. Let it cook on very low flame for about 30 minutes to cook off the wine. Cut your baguette and dip with gusto!

December 7, 2022

About Author