28 February 2008

Cheese for dinner

Fondue is the ideal winter meal, if you think about it. The bread and vegetables you spear with your slender fork are just excuses to consume as much of the hot gooey cheese as you can wrap around them. Raclette, too, is really a fancy way to eat bubbly cheese straight from the grill. It's grilled cheese without the bread.

So you can imagine that there were no complaints from me when we had melted cheese for dinner three out of four nights this week: Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. Kind of excessive, I know, but it happened completely by accident.

You see, we have a brand new fondue pot (I bought it to make cheese and chocolate fondue for the Mister on Valentine's day), so when we decided to get together with friends on Saturday and were tossing around ideas, we suggested making fondue. It tasted so good, we almost collectively licked the pot. (And, showing up with two of the darkest of dark chocolate cakes in this country of chocolate, they asked us to help them choose their wedding cake for dessert! It was the showdown of showdowns, Marcolini vs. Wittamer, and we were not unanimous in our preference. At least, however, the bride and groom shared the same opinion.)

Then Monday night, we went over to another couple's place to watch the Zapatero-Rajoy debate, and guess what? They had their raclette machine all fired up and ready to grill us some cheese. (Now that I think about it, politics was another constant across all of these meals. The Spanish elections are coming up soon, and of course everyone has an opinion--and wants to know what I think--about the Clinton-Obama showdown. They also want to know: what the heck is a superdelegate? what is the difference between a caucus and a primary? why are Americans so neurotic? Hmmm, now that I think about it, cheese and politics is probably a perfect pairing.)

Meanwhile, we had long been planning a surprise party for a friend who is leaving the country, and the plan included two raclette machines coming over to our house on Tuesday night. They showed up, right on time, with a dozen people in tow, and our friend was very surprised, and we ate plates and plates of cheese. The gigantic salad I made to accompany the cheese? Still in our fridge.

Which is good, because we will need plenty of green roughage to make up for all that inadvertent consumption of cheese.

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