There is one food that sums up a '70's Christmas more than any other:


I have come to understand that a certain class of people in the Seventies subsisted on nothing more than melted Gruyere cheese and cubed bread. Granted, this belief stems from reading Playboy Holiday Anniversary Issues from the 1970’s, but still…

There’s something kind of magical about fondue at Christmas time: It combats the chill of the weather, the necessity of communal eating taps into the whole “caring is sharing” aspect of the season, and it’s just plain tasty.

I’ve seen several gorgeous 70’s fondue pots in local vintage stores if you’re interested in cranking open a can of Sterno and taking a shot at the classic dish. Or you can get one of the new-fangled electric jobbies from any number of local kitchen-gadget outlets. While the new ones may not have the gaudy appeal of the seventies versions, they tend to be a lot less hassle, allowing you to prepare the fondue in the actual pot rather than transferring the gooey goodness from the stove top.

Here’s a lovely recipe:

Cheddar Beer Fondue


6 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
4 oz sharp processed Cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup lager beer (Miller if you're committed to the whole '70's thing), at room temperature
1 tsp dry mustard

To Make:

In a bowl combine Monterey Jack, Gruyere, sharp Cheddar and flour; mix well to coat cheese with flour. Set aside. In a large saucepan, bring beer to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Add cheese-flour mixture by handfuls to saucepan, stirring constantly after each addition with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion until cheese is melted. When cheese is nearly all melted, stir in dry mustard, mixing well. Transfer to fondue pot and serve immediately.