Hooray! I’ve arrived in Switzerland. After over a month completely dedicated to preparing for it, sometimes working 14-hour days, I can hardly believe I’m really here. Most of my stuff has been sold, packed off into temporary storage, or tossed. My condo is painted, newly carpeted, and awaiting a tenant. And my head has stopped spinning (at least for now).
To celebrate Alan and I had a cheese fondue on Sunday night. Here’s a simplified version of how you make it:
First you need to pour yourself a glass of wine, then you grate the cheese. 200 grams (about 7 ounces) per person is the rule of thumb, and everyone has their favorite mix of cheeses. We had almost equal parts Appenzeller, Gruyere, and Emmenthaler.
Rub a heavy saucepan or heat-proof clay fondue pot with a clove of garlic. Add the cheese and a little over 1 deciliter (about 1/3 cup) of dry white wine per person. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly.
Dissolve 1 teaspoon cornstarch into one shot of Kirsch. Once the cheese is completely melted add the cornstarch-Kirsch mixture and keep stirring. Season with pepper and nutmeg. Set over an alcohol lamp and eat by stirring bread cubes speared onto fondue forks into the cheese.
It was delicious, especially since it was a chilly day and we had gone for a nice walk up the hill behind our apartment. Cheese fondue is heavy and rich, and the best time to eat it is after vigorous activity in the cold. But don’t worry if you visit in the summer; the Swiss are happy to sell it to you any time you want it.