The holiday season is a time to build lasting memories with family and friends. To reconnect with those you don’t see or speak to very often, and an opportunity to create new traditions with those you love.
Christmas traditions in our home included opening new pyjamas on Christmas Eve, and marking off December days on an advent calendar. These are the moments we carry with us, not the gifts we receive, and it’s these special times we like to reflect upon with our own family while we create new memories.
As children we did not have family close by, so Christmas’s were spent with friends. You could always count on Christmas music and singing, traditional turkey dinners, and lots of laughter. As adults with our own families we also spend Christmas with friends since our family once again lives far away.
One new holiday tradition we enjoy is fonduing on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. On Christmas Eve we gather with a large group of friends and on New Year’s Eve it’s whoever is available.
Our traditional Christmas Eve Fondue-palooza evening begins with a gathering of friends at The Festival of Lights at Confederation Park, an urban park in Northwest Calgary. You can drive along the outskirts of the park to view the lights, or park and wander around the grounds to get a closer look. A smaller hill allows both kids and adults to work up an appetite by sledding down the slopes. We enjoy sledding and taking in the lights until it gets a little to cold.
After an hour or two at the park, our group packs it in and heads back to the house to prepare for our potluck evening. Every family pitches in bringing food and beverages. This broth fondue can be prepared in advance and reheated when it’s time to eat. In addition there are several cheese fondues on the table, like this Bacon and Cheese fondue, followed by a chocolate fondue. Games are brought out, glasses kept filled, and a bustling conversation ensues all while sharing plates and dipping little morsels of food into steaming broth & cheese pots.
Fondue is an exciting way to get family and friends together around the table, and initiate some great conversations while having fun with your food. And of course electronics and phones not allowed! Here is one of several broth fondues we enjoy during the season, Pork Fondue in Lemongrass Broth. Freeze leftover cooled off broth and use later one in soups and stews.
- ¼ cup lime juice, fresh
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp coriander, ground
- salt and pepper
- 1 large pork tenderloin, cut into thin slices
- 2 shallots, minced
- 10 cups (2 tetra packs) beef broth
- 2 stalks lemon grass, minced
- 2-3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp mint, chopped
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- Marinade: In a bowl mix together lime juice, water, 2 tbsp oil, garlic, coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pour over pork in plastic bag, zip it up, shake to coat and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
- Broth: In a pot heat 2 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add shallots and saute until soft. Pour in 5 cups beef broth, lemon grass, fish sauce and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Toss in your cilantro and mint and let simmer an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to your fondue pot.
- Remove pork from marinade, spear with fondue fork and cook for about 3 minutes or until cooked.
- As you start cooking, your broth will cook down a little. Add broth as you go to keep enough in the fondue pot to cover the meat when emerged.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the makers of ZANTAC®, but the opinions expressed are my own.