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how to have a fondue party by Stephanie Cloutier |
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parlez-vous fondue?
A bubbling pot of fondue might be all you need for a fun night with your friends. But take a few extra steps to create a theme and you can really make it a shindig to remember. I recently attended a party that not only served two cheese fondues, but boasted a French Parisian theme. Our hostesses advised each guest to wear something typically French -- think pink sweaters, pencil skirts, poodle and Eiffel Tower broaches, and of course, the beret. The music they selected were popular French singers from the sixties and seventies, such as Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot. Along with the food and music, we drank martinis and also Absinthe cocktails. Now, you don't have to buy a pricey bottle of Absinthe to make it authentic, but the intent has to be there: a good theme party is all about the details, in all their kitschy glory.

Not in the mood to be Parisian? Try Mexican, Scandinavian, or even create a Beer Tasting Fondue Party. Use either a dark or lighter lager as a feature flavor in your fondue and then serve it as the drink. Ask your guest to bring their favorite beer to the party. Think of a theme, build the elements from there, and most importantly, involve your guests.

bringing it all together
It's one of the good host's worst nightmares: your guests standing around, steadfastly avoiding eye contact, unsure how to intermingle. Fondue's the perfect way to bring everyone together and get folks talking, as everyone gathers around a hot pot of food. If you're still worried your guests might need some help breaking the ice, incorporate these fondue traditions. If a female guest drops her dipped food into fondue by accident, she must (innocently) kiss each male guest at the party. If a male guest drops his food into the fondue, he must open up another bottle of wine. With the wine flowing, plenty of good food in their bellies, and a few kisses shared, even guests who started the evening as strangers will leave your party feeling like part of the group.

Fondues are best eaten with a crowd, or with a special someone else, but certainly not alone. It's a meal designed to share with good friends and to warm up those cold winter days -- two equally good reasons to throw a party.

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Stephanie Cloutier lives and works as a freelance writer and financial analyst in Toronto, Canada. When she isn't pursuing her passions of bellydancing or getting involved in the local burlesque-vaudeville scene, she always finds an excuse to throw fabulous parties in her swanky 650-square foot bachelorette pad.

more articles by Stephanie Cloutier:
the leftovers party

checkout these related articles: 
huo guo how-to: chinese hot pot | come as you usually aren't: theme parties 101 | to theme or not to theme

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