Strangely, I had a dream last night about skiing. I say strangely because I’ve only been skiing twice in my life and that was many years ago. On both occassions, I was fairly certain that I would be dying that day on the slopes, which of course begs the question why did I do it twice?
Anyski, I had this dream right before waking up and now of course all I can think of are ski lodges, hot chocolate and wool sweaters. Today, we have plenty of fog (which I always enjoy, except when driving in it) but no snow. Not that I could take advantage of snow for skiing even if I had it, unless I planned to use spatulas as skis.
So, what’s a snowless ski bunny to do? Ski the Web of course:
A 1970s ski party*, complete with fondue – what could be better than that? Ok, a few things could be better than that, but this is fun too. Luckily, I have my mother’s Betty Crocker recipe cards, with those great retro photos (retro now, perfectly stylish then). Check out these beauties:
For your retro dining, apres ski pleasure, here is Oven Stew, Hot Cran-Apple Cider and Cheese Fondue:
4 pounds beef round steak cut into 1 inch cubes
4 cups of sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
4 medium onions, sliced
2 cans (5 oz each) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
2 cans (6 oz each) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cans (16 oz each) tomatoes
2 cups Burdundy (2 cups water plus 2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon can be substituted for the Burgundy)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. In roasting pan or 2 Dutch ovens, mix meat, carrots, celery, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Mix flour, sugar and salt; stir into meat mixture. Stir in tomatoes and Burgundy. Cover; bake 4 hours or until meat is tender. 12 servings.
Hot Cran-Apple Cider:
In a large kettle, combine 2 quarts apple cider, 1 1/2 quarts cranberry cocktail, 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed), four 3 inch sticks cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of whole cloves. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. Strain. 25 servings (about 1/2 cup each)
1 pound Swiss cheese (aged 6 months)
2 tablespoons flour
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup dry white wine (Rhine, Reisling, Chablis)
2 tablespoons kirsch or sherry
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspooon nutmeg
Dash white pepper
Cut cheese into ¼ inch cubes (about 4 cups). Sprinkle flour on cheese; toss until cheese is coated. In earthenware fondue pot, heat garlic and wine over low heat until bubbles rise to surface (do not allow wine to boil). Add cheese mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition until cheese is melted and blended. Stir in kirsch and seasonings.
Transfer pot to source of heat at table. Adjust head to keep fondue just bubbling. Speak Dippers and swirl in fondue with a figure-eight motion. Stir fondue occasionally. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in about ½ cup warm white wine. 4 servings.
Dippers: 1 inch cubes crusty bread, cubed cooked ham, cooked Brussels sprouts.
*Great photo found here.