Friday, December 31, 2004


We at 12TuTuFondue are part of the world, too. And as such we feel it's important during this extrordinary time to do our part to help the unfortunate victims of the recent tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Please help, too, by donating to a relief agency of your choice. Here are some for your convenience:

Help survivors and their families by making monetary donations to these organizations:

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Pizza Night


Rest assured, telling someone there's a pizza in the oven is a whole lot less shocking than telling them there's a bun in the oven.


Monday, December 27, 2004

What a fondue party!

Who knew? Who knew fondue would be such a coo?

Fun was had by all at the 3rd annual MS Tulsa Holiday Party. In previous years, we've shared a meal at the local Shogun's, or a spred of yummy appetizers at a collegues house. On Twelve TuTu, 2004, we started a new tradition with fondue as the main attraction. It may be the required at all future holiday parties because of this year's success!

We gathered around the dining room table, all a bit unsure of what to do. Some of us had never been to a fondue party, while others hadn't been to one since the 70's, with very little memory of the anything more than "dipping." So we all watched and studied the people around us to figure out the precise technique for fonduing. (Is that a verb? Well it is now).

We managed to figure it out just fine. Most were inpsired by the comments early in the night about if the men dropped their fondue item in the pot they must buy a round of drinks for everyone at the party and if the women did they must kiss all the men at the party. Although neither of these idle threats were carried out, it made for some very interactive fonduing!

Ashly, Jeff and Amy have worked together for more than 10 years. Getting together feels like family; you never know who might come out being chopped up in a shoe box in the attic!  Posted by Hello

Todd and Heather enjoy some treats and a comfy chair. They're driving back to OKC tonight, so not too much Wassail! Posted by Hello

Now it's time for a fun new game: True Lies! Everyone must go around the room and tell two truths and one lie about themselves. The rest of the group had to guess which one was the lie! It was very fun and a great way to get to know some of the new additions to the team, and the spouses better. We even learned some new things about the old timers in the group. Then of course we moved on to one of the traditions of the event: the white elephant gift exchange. We truly enjoyed the creative gifts (we're getting more into it every year). And of course the OU items again required the most strategery and evil plotting during the latter part of the exchange! An autographed framed photo of Billy Simms was the most coveted item of the evening. Posted by Hello

Can you see the fondu pot hiding. The cheese fondue came later in the evening, but we had 4 kinds of fondue: beef filet in a homemade teriaki maranade seared in beef broth (a big hit), traditional cheese, italian (see recipe this blog) and of course the dessert fondue; chocolate for everything from strawberries to marshmallows. Everyone brought their own dish which filled up two tables by the end of the night (not counting the liquor). :) Posted by Hello

Rita & Ashly say "cheese" Posted by Hello

Microsoft Tulsa Holiday Party 2004 Posted by Hello

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Boxing Day

The food never stops. Fondue Night morphed into PF Chaing's night that morphed into Shellsagne Night (an invention!) that morphed into Christmas Day and all the trimmings.

Now we are into Boxing Day and gnawing on the remains of an expertly cooked turkey. Turkey Tetrazini is on the menu tonight, preceeded by a raiding of the wine cellar, an annual event. Yikes, that could have been the sound of a champaigne cork popping. Must investigate!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play

Christmas Break


Fondue Night takes a break from festivities. Merry Christmas to all! Happy Tutu of December, surely to become the next, great American holiday.

Pyranha Fondue


I wonder what it would be like if pyranha ate fondue? Do they have the patience to grate the cheese, heat the wine, melt the cheese, chop the bread and set the table? What's their tolerance for nutmeg and Kirsch? (I know mine. Think small. Very small. Nanoscale.)

How would they hold fondue forks? In their little teeth or in their little fins? Would they take turns or all dive in at once.

Tonight, we ran that simulation using a household of normally normal people. Presented with a dilemma:

So many forks. So many chunks of freshly-baked-in-the-proper-kind-of-pan bread. And a batch of lightly nutmegged Kirsch-free melted cheese.

The result: civilization did not prevail.

Dualing Fondue Forks

Cheese on Bread
Squeal like a pig!

Hotel California

Fondue Feast!

They stabbed it with their steely knives but the could not kill the nutmeg.

Now, that would have been a great line. What were the Eagles thinking? One thing's for sure, they weren't eating Cheese Fondue!

Claire, Helen and Sarah poised before the kill.

Fondue Predictions. The following comments will be heard, according to Carnac:

Ow! I burned my tongue!

Dad, you have a string of cheese hanging in your beard! Gross!

Hey, that was my piece of bread! I was looking at it first!

Get the cat away from the fire!

My bread fell off in the pot!

Eyoouuu, what's this?

Are you going to eat that?

...and finally...

Yum, that was good! What's for dinner?

Claire Contemplates Nutmeg Nirvana

Fondue in preparation. We used the power grater rather than the Popeye Method.

Sarah, who laughed uproariously at Claire's underestimation of nutmeg's potency and overestimation of its quantity, was reminded of the time, early in her cooking career, when she said, and I quote:

Daddddd, we're out of salt!

Whadda you mean we're out of salt. I just bought enough salt to last a year.

Dadddd, the recipe calls for two CUPS of salt. We don't have enough!

Sarah, my sweetie, tee-ess-pee is Teaspoon. Cee-you-pee is, well, we won't go into that right now.

Someday I'd like to cook for enough people where I'd use a recipe that calls for Two Cups of Salt. Yeah, that would be cool.



Behold Blog Central!

Comfy chair. Macintosh PowerBook. Gin & Tonic for inspiration. Someday this will be an exhibit in the Smithsonian.

Nutmeg Disaster Averted!

Just follow the recipe, Claire, it's easy.


Dadddddd, we don't have enough nutmeg!

Whadda you mean you don't have enough nutmeg? You only need a grate.

No, Dad, the recipe says "four tablespoons nutmeg."

Yikes! It says 4 tablespoons of the dreaded, confounded Kirsch! Not nutmeg!

Can you IMAGINE what that much nutmeg would do to an ex-pot of cheese fondue?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Bread Rescues Fingers from Certain Death


The key to a good loaf of French bread is the baguette pan. It's full of little holes to make the French bread wonderful and crispy, or I guess you could say it's empty of little holes, although the result is the same. The recipe is simple:

2 cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp dried yeast (1 packet)
2 tsp salt
5-6 cups white flour (King Arthur's, Gold Medal Bread flour)

Mix the yeast, sugar and some water so the yeast hydrates (listen for huge sucking sound) and goes all frothy. I feel the same way when I drink sugar water especially when it's about three-quarters tequila...but I digress.
Mix in the rest of the water and salt. Add about 3 cups of flour and stir like mad until the mixture is smooth and elastic.

Note of interest: If you are not using a Kitchen Aid mixer, then you must have arms like Popeye. In this case eat a can of spinich before starting to make bread.

Add the rest of the flour a bit at a time and knead the mixture until it is smooth and bread-dough like. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with Saran wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Punch it down (removing the Saran wrap first. Duh!), divide into thirds and stretch it out into long sausage shapes that will fit your baguette pan.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F. When the baguettes have risen for about 30 minutes, make some diagonal cuts to relieve the baguettes, not in your wrists...spray with water and pop them in the oven.

Spray with water twice more at 3-minute intervals, set the oven timer for 20 minutes and have a bottle of wine.

Can't Cut It


8 oz. Emmental cheese
8 oz. Gruyere cheese
1 cup dry white wine
clove garlic
1 tsp cornstarch
optional Kirsch
optional nutmeg

Cut the garlic. Chop that baby in half and don't take no for an answer. Wipe the inside of your fondue pot with the raw, oozing, cut garlic clove. Ignore the moans of extacy. Toss in the white wine and heat slowly. Ignore whining. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, grate the cheeses in a large bowl and toss with cornstarch. As wine begins to boil slowly add the cheese and stir like there ain't no tomorrow, because if you scorch the bottom, that prediction just might come true. When all the cheese is melted and smooth grate in some nutmeg and add a tablespoon of Kirsch unless, like me, you can't stand the taste of Kirsch and only drink it when all the gin, and all the tequila and all the vodka and all the sherry and all the sake is gone. Otherwise add as much Kirsch as you want and I'll Kirsch the day you were born.

Be sure to "cut" the garlic and "grate" the cheese and not the other way around!

Prior to all this, bake some French baguettes, 'cause you'll need them right about now. Too bad you didn't read the entire recipe before you started or you'd appreciate this fine but important point.

In lieu of bread thrust you hand into the boiling cheese, withdraw it with as much dignity as the occasion merits and lick your fingers. Ignore your own screaming.

Tutu, Tootsie, oh my!



1 lb Lean ground beef
8 oz Mozzarella cheese
1 Envelope spaghetti sauce mix
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 tb Cornstarch
1 lb Sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c Dry red wine

In a skillet or crock-pot with a browning unit, cook beef until crumbly; pour off excess fat. In the crock- pot, combine beef with dry spaghetti sauce mix, tomato sauce, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Dissolve cornstarch in the wine. Turn control to high. Add dissolved cornstarch. Heat on high for 10 to 15 minutes. Dip chunks of Italian bread into the fondue while > keeping the mixture hot in the crock-pot. Makes 6 to 8 serv.

Alien Abduction

My neighbors have been abducted by aliens. That's the only explanation for their house being empty, lights off, and nobody home.

The aliens were thorough. They took the basketball hoop. They took the pool furniture and bar-b-que pit. Even the For Sale sign is gone from the front yard.

We didn't know our neighbors very well, obviously, since they vanished without so much as a "See you 'round the asteroid belt!" They had funny accents. Either Scottish or Rigel V. I can't really tell the difference unless they say "trrrrransporterrrrr", but that's a difficult word to use in a sentence casually.

"So, had any trouble with your transporter lately?" "Yeah, ours is on the fritz, too."

Speaking of fondue, preparations are well underway for the Fondue Fiesta Twelve Two Two. Bread gets baked today and the truck will deliver the cheese tomorrow. Now, if only I can line up some dancing poodles we'll be in business...

Monday, December 20, 2004


Tonight we got home and the smell of food cooking in the kitchen was incredible.

Absent, that is. No smell. Just a package of partially thawed chicken sitting in a puddle on the counter.

So much for "Hey, kids home from college, how about rustling up some dinner for your weary old parents who fund you scaley hides in case you've forgotten."

We ordered out at Correlli's. All's well that ends well especially with the shrimp-pepper-pasta thing that I inhaled.

Hang, on I've got a shrimp stuck in my nose...

A Fondue Happening

"We're having fondue."

That started the wheels turning, although in my head the wheels spin out of control on a regular basis.

I like fondue. It inspires me to bake French bread which I like even more. I mean, I can smear black pepper pate on French bread but try that with cheese fondue and you end up with a gloppy mess.

Let's all have fondue. Wednesday. Twelve two-two.