We have a family New Years Eve tradition that began before we had children. My brother-in-law and his sweet wife invited us over on a New Years Eve, long long ago, right after we first moved to Florida.
They had established a family Fondue Night tradition on New Years Eve. This was my first foray into tempura and fried vegetables and meat. I knew nothing of the chain restaurant The Melting Pot. Needless to say, because of my abiding love of All Things Fried, I was hooked.
By the next New Years Eve, I had a newborn Emme. And the chances of us staying up to watch fireworks, much less cook our own food over a vat of hot oil were nil.
And the children, they kept coming. Our dusty fondue pot sat unused for many years. I had to say nay to hot oil and extension cords in the dining room.
Last year, we thought it might finally be safe to reinstate the New Years Eve Family Fondue/Movie Night tradition. The teenagers of course scoffed, and the boy wasn’t all that happy at the sight of all the vegetables on the table. However, the evening was a success, and everyone enjoyed the fondue. And the chance to stay up extra late.
Despite a back spasm that took me down for the better part of a day and a half, I rallied in time to pull everything together and we enjoyed an evening of Fondue. The movies will be shown once the kitchen is cleaned. (I sit at the keyboard with a heating pad while a teenager has cleaning duty. #Winning #minions.) In the spirit of full disclosure, and because Fiddledaddy threatened to rat me out, the cause of the spasm was my overly enthusiastic battle of cleaning the garden sized bathtub in our masterbath. Which I now am unable to enjoy.
GF Tempura Batter
- 3/4 Cup white or brown rice flour (I make my own with my Vita-Mix grain attachment)
- 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 Cup Sparkling water
It helps the consistency if all the ingredients are chilled first. Simply mix well. I doubled the recipe for my family of 5.
I buy pre-cooked packages of fajita steak and chicken, so no one has to visit the ER on New Years Eve. I’m guessing that would be gruesome. And besides, we’ve had two ER visits in the last week, so I’m over that. (Another story for another day.) I add raw zucchini, okra, sliced onions, mushrooms , and cheese cubes for dipping into the tempura and frying (all done at the table by each family member). I have color-coded fondue forks.
I’m happy to report and no was set ablaze, scalded, or stabbed.
If I’m feeling particularly spry, I add melted cheese and melted chocolate for dipping as well. Tonight, everyone will be making their own popcorn in a bag.
On this New Years Eve I’m grateful for my family, my precious friends, many many blessings, Extra-strength Tylenol, and stretchy-pants.
Happy New Years my friends!!!!