this is not gonna work, little chef!

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Tonight is fondue night. I’d planned it for yesterday, but then I was too tired to do anything I’d said I’d do, which lead to a drive-up window, which lead to my eating everything they didn’t, which lead to the mildest form of guilt, which led to “Oh, why not?” paired with a dry Riesling from Germany. From France to Germany, I’m very Euro that way. Only, I made them shower.

Pajamas, toys littered here, some there. Clean up! Only who had the energy? I needed sleep. Still, as promised on nights without TV, we read two bedtime stories, one of their choosing: Amelia Bedelia and The Baby and one of my favorites: Anatole. I was gearing up.

I knew fondue night would come—I’d spent too much money on cheese for it not to come—and what better book could I select than a story all about cheese! Anatole, as far as I’m concerned, is the original Ratatouille (the Disney Pixar film, not the country-style vegetable dish featured in the movie, based off Thomas Keller’s recipe for “Byaldi”). So, tonight it is. Fondue times two.

Equal parts Gruyere and Emmental, white wine, a clove of garlic, a thimble of Kirsch, a fresh dusting of nutmeg. Melt on, my friend, melt on. Though, I might cut back a bit on the Emmental because I’m not the hugest fan of Swiss cheese. I am, however—and this is true since living near Zabar’s back in the 2000’s—a monumental fan of Fromager d’affinois, the greatest oozy cheese ever. Pure cow’s milk, it’s a French double-cream, and it puts Brie to bed and leaves it there for good. It’s, I’ll just say it, better than butter.

I’ve spent my afternoon previewing Friends with Kids, while prepping the conduits: sugar snap peas, roasted cauliflower, blanched broccoli, grilled baby bellas, carrots and green slips of Granny’s apple. Then onto hulling strawberries, slicing mango, dividing oranges, cleaving nectarines, and peeling kiwis. I’ll leave the bananas to the end. Pretzel rods and pound cake. All to be devoured by my succulent sweet beans. As for Friends with Kids, it’s When Harry Met Sally, only not as funny. Though, it is funny, and I did enjoy seeing most of the Bridesmaid’s cast—I wish they had bigger roles. Sorry to be so quick about it, but I have to race to scoop up the tadpoles. I think I’m going to make them speak with French accents before we re-read Anatole tonight.



  1. You’re absolutely right about the Fromager d’Affinois. Fabulous, especially with a little chutney or fruit and something bubbily. Yum.

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