In retrospect, it was a Very Good Weekend… It didn’t seem like it would be, given the time it started.

Saturday involved waking up at the inhuman time of 7:30am to get to the Seattle Center – Exhibition Hall by 8:45am, to register for the Magic: the Gathering Ravnica pre-release with , who brought a darn good cinnamon bun which made up for his being on Foxtaur-standard time. 😉 I went 2-1-1 (2 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss) with a red-blue (black splash) deck in my first tournament in over 2 years. (My previous was the Mercadian Masques pre-release, and before that it had been a solid 3 years since my last tournament.) I really like the set, it feels…comfortable, somehow. After that, homeward, to catch up on the sleep I missed out on to get there so early, and some delicious dinner. Shaterri came over, played some online poker on the Monsterous Black Couch, and just idly hung out as we watched bad 80’s videos and all plugged away at our own little projects. (Laptops are amazing devices, acting with a powerful suction to draw the eyes to them. At one point all three of us (my fiance, me, and Shaterri) all were engrossed in our own little laptop worlds. The very model of geek socializing. At least we weren’t using IM to talk… 😉 ) Despite this, there’s something really comfortable about just hanging out, odd and interesting ideas and theories popping up every so often, blazing out in a fire of brief conversation, and then settling to a genial silence for a bit more.

We started Sunday with breakfast at the Brown Bag Cafe in Redmond, meeting Shaterri there along with another local acquaintence and a friend/couch-surfer of theirs. I was poked a bit to see if my Big Company had job openings for the friend, but without knowing more about what they could do (and they were surprisingly silent all breakfast), I didn’t know where to point them. Plus it’s not exactly like I’m overwhelmed with happiness about what I’m doing myself, which makes it hard to pump to others. For whatever reason, I can NEVER finish all my food at the Brown Bag Cafe. It’s really Good Stuff(tm), but overwhelming. Highly recommended…although I’m going to not go back for a bit, having had it a bit too much recently. It’s really pleasant to spend time with fellow geeks; the new ideas, knowledge, and pervasive excitement at technology is always invigorating.

A bit of shopping, a bit of driving about to find a store that sold ‘We love Katamari’ and ‘Burnout: Revenge’, and it was homeward… Somewhere along the way my lovely fiance had the idea to have fondue that night…

Being of the cheesy sort myself, I would certainly never turn that down…it was just a matter of getting the appropriate tools and parts.

We went to Target (because it was open) and bought a cheese fondue pot, but missed the part about it needing gel fuel to burn, and that you actually melted the cheese in a separate container (mea culpa, sigh). My brilliant lady solved this with a pair of candles, and a double-boiler setup to melt the cheese… QFC actually sells bags of a couple of different types of bread in nice round slices that when you quarter them are PERFECT for fondue dipping. A small veggie platter later, we were in business.

For future reference, the fondue recipe we used (as I recall it) was:

  • Two heaping teaspoons of a sun-dried tomato and garlic paste, bought at a nearby Farmers Market
  • Some Blue cheese crumbles
  • One bag of Sharp Chedder cheese
  • One bag of mild cheddar + mozzarella
  • One cup of Snoqualmie Summer Beer (“a crisp refreshing ale”), the first time I ever recall buying alcohol
  • Black pepper

Mix the sun-dried tomato and beer together and bring the combination to a bare simmer, then drizzle in the cheeses (blue, sharp, mild+mozz), slowly, mixing as you go. Deliver to the fondue pot, sprinkle with a healthy helping of pepper (ground is best, standard flakes work), mix thoroughly, and start your fondue forks!

Some cherry and strawberry tomatoes, raw broccoli, small canned potatoes (each cut in half usually), and apple slices were joined with a bunch of the quartered bread pieces above.

The bread is best if you let it sit for a while, so it gets ever-so-slightly stale. It’s more structurally strong, as well as acquiring the cheese easier.

It was truly, truly tasty, fun, and a great closer to a damn fine weekend.

We put off the typical chocolate fondue dessert for a little while until we can get some flavorings to build a really tasty mixture…

Our fondue ‘sensibilities’ come from spending way too much time (and money!) at La Fondue in Saratoga, CA… We adore the Blue Tomato, and the Decadent One dessert. Being about 800 miles away from La Fondue now, this is our best interpretation of the delicious food to be found there.

After the delicious cheese/bread/veggie dinner, a bit of gaming (Burnout: Revenge for me, World of Warcraft for my lady), the weekend, wonderful as it had been, was over. I don’t need many weekends that comfortable, but it’s really, really nice when you get them.

Here’s hoping your weekend was as nice!

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!


  1. On Erin Says:

    Thank you SO much for posting this recipe!

    My husband and I are La Fondue lovers as well; and now that we live so far away (only about an hour drive…but driving home on a full tummy isn’t fun) I’m going to make this for him as a Christmas present.

    Now, did you flour the cheese before adding it to the mixture? Everywhere I’ve read has said that flouring it was an absolute necessity.

    Oh, and what server is your wife on? My husband and I are both on Killrog (my first 80, alliance) and Earthen Ring (DKs). It would be great to get to know another couple with similar interests to ours!!!

    Merry Christmas!
    ~Erin Blomquist

  2. On Cyberfox Says:

    Wow! Glad you enjoyed! Hopefully it worked out well for you…

    We did not flour (or corn starch as some folks use) the cheese; the primary reason to do so is to prevent the cheese solids from separating from the oils. We stirred gently, and used a gentle heat, so it never separated for us.

    Sadly, in the four+ years since, my wife has given up her World of Warcraft account. (Actually early last year, when I ended up unemployed for a while and we were cutting costs.) Now we keep our MMOing to Lord of the Rings: Online. Partly because of a love of the subject matter, and partly because it’s a low-stress MMO, and lots of it can be taken on in 2-person fellowships.

    We don’t get on there much either, what with a 20mo. old running around. 🙂

    I’m very glad you enjoyed the article; hoist a fork for us next time you get over to La Fondue!

    — Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!