Family FuN-dO

It's been a long-standing tradition at the Gruener house to do a New Year's Eve fondue for dinner. We tried to remember last night how many years we've been doing this now, but we couldn't quite recall. It's a treasured memory from my childhood that we resurrected that year I asked for a fondue pot for Christmas. Suffice it to say, it wouldn't be New Year's Eve here if I didn't dust off the fondue pot, cut up three kinds of meat into bite-sized pieces that we can spear, put a queso in the crock pot, gather up slew of sassy sauces for dipping, and put together a bunch of sides to graze on while our meat is cooking.
     It's quite different from your more-popular chocolate fondue or cheese fondue made famous in Switzerland. Ours is actually oil that's boiling in the fondue pot atop a flame (kept alive with denatured alcohol) that's cooking our meat. We each get these cool color-coded skewers so we can keep track of which meat nugget is ours. As you might imagine, this meal takes at least an hour. That's the really FuN part because it gives us a LOT of time to talk and reconnect. Last night we started with an idea I saw here: "Pick one word that you want to focus on this year." John said health, Joshua said justice (he's got huge issues with fairness!), and our college girl said relationships. Sweet. In typical teenage fashion, Jacob said sleep, and I said what any mom might want to become more adept at, peace. Of course we went on to explain the thoughts and rationale behind our word, simply sharing while our first morsels of meat cooked. 
     In an unprecedented move during our second or third round, the Mr. said, "Aren't you going to ask what was your favorite 2011 memory?" More banter, more laughs, more memories exchanged. After several more rounds, it was clear that nobody wanted to leave the table. It's moments like these that I wish could last f.o.r.e.v.e.r! That's why I'm calling it FuN-dO and that's why it'll be a treasured tradition for many years to come. What's your family's favorite FuN-dO activity? Happy New Year from our family to yours!


  1. Great story.
    My husband always makes us cream puffs. It's our once a year treat. We began our tradition the year we got engaged. My son really loved them last night; cream filled nose and all!

  2. How nice! I love those meals that tend to linger. We had fondue last night, too. I made a chocolate fondue but I'd like to try a meat fondue. What do you boil it in?

  3. Nothing better than a freshly-dipped strawberry, Miss P. We used canola oil but you could also use vegetable oil for the meat.

    Sylvia, the cream puffs sound YuMmY!!! I get one every time I go to the Wisconsin State Fair!

  4. Good Morning Barbara-Dear!

    It's officially 2012, so I am wishing you a HAPPY New Year!
    I admit: One of my favorite parts of fondue-ing is those cute little forks (Love that matchy-matchy stuff!)

    My word would probably have been JOY, but COMPASSION would have been a close second.

    On a school note [shiver shudder} I found a post that your teachers (and anyone reading this post) might enjoy. Sandra, at Literacy Minute, shared a great collection of resources for Black History Month at:

    Wishing you health and happiness and plenty of JOY!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  5. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I followed right back! Looking forward to reading more on character education!

    Criss-Cross Applesauce

  6. I love those family nights!! Love your word, too!

    Abby @ Third Grade Bookworm

  7. Great family memory and sharing it. After family church yesterday, we had went to the park and left every electronic device in the car. So we had to take pictures in our mind of the event, instead of our phones. :)

    Have a Perfectly Peaceful Year! I am one of your newest follower & to blogging. :)

    Always Live.Laugh.Teach


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