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8 Things That Go Just Right With Cheese Fondue!

8 Things That Go Just Right With Cheese Fondue!

I’m going to come right out and say it. I love cheese. I LOVE CHEESE! I also love beer, dipping (and double-dipping) foods, and cheese that is melted. You know where I’m going with this. All of these things together equal to the magnificent creation: cheese fondue! I am definitely a cheese maniac, though I am not from Wisconsin.

The word “fondue” is the feminine past passive participle of the French verb fondre which means “to melt.” It was said to be the national dish of Switzerland in the 1930s, and became popular in the US in the 1960s. AND NOW IT’S BACK. Fondue is amazing. I mean, you get hot melted cheese (or other melted things) and you get to use skewers, long fork, sporks, tongs, knives, or whatever you want to stick random foods into it.

The very first known fondue recipe comes from a 1699 book from Zurich, conveniently titled “Käss mit Wein zu kochen.” Fondue was promoted in the US at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York.

FONDUE_24

    Mmmmm.

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    These days, fondue is back in style, and you can buy whole fondue sets for $30 or less, and I want to bring fondue parties back! Of course, bread is the most common thing people think of dipping into cheese fondue, so let’s take a look at some other options, and things that go well with cheese-y fondue-y goodness!

    1. Beer, of course!

    Cheese fondue is usually made with beer and shredded cheese that melts and gets mixed together over continuous heat for melted drippy cheese-y fondue, so of course beer is going to pair well with it! Inside the fondue, an ale is delicious, such as Bass or Newcastle Brown Ale. You can also make cheese fondue with a mellow white wine! To drink with your fondue, light beers, white wine, and black tea are all said to go very well! Dark beers, such as Guinness, will overwhelm the flavor of the cheese.

    wine fondue

      2. Traditions!

      Traditions always go well with fondue. It is said that the reason fondue was so widespread in Switzerland is because it was convenient, all in one pot, combined with being over the fire, which the family would gather around to keep warm. It is tradition that if a man drops his bread in the fondue pot, he must buy everyone a round of drinks, and if a woman does, she must kiss her neighbors. Seems like a great drinking-and-cheese game to me!

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      flickr cheek

        3. Appetizer course: What to dip in your cheese fondue?

        Well, you have options! The most common is different breads. Personally, I could put cheese on anything, and other common fondue dippers include fruits like apples or pears, and veggies like raw broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Pretty much anything goes with cheese, so grab your favorite veggies and get to fondue-ing! These dippers, along with crusty bread, are the most common things that you’ll find served with fondue.

        fondue veg

          4. Lightly cooked or steamed vegetables

          Vegetables like asparagus or squash, or roasted artichoke hearts, fennel, and mushrooms are less common to find as cheese fondue dippers, but are extremely delicious in gooey, melted cheese. You can also steam the more regularly seen veggies like carrots and broccoli for a more cooked experience.

          mushroom

            5. Cured meats go surprisingly well with cheese fondue!

            Sausage, salumi, chorizo, prosciutto and more will be really yummy in fondue, and will create more of a “meal” feeling and less of the feeling of just an appetizer. Fully cooked meats like chicken or beef would also be great dipped in cheese, but you are more likely to find those as well as meats like shrimp and more in an entree type of fondue, known as fondue chinoise.

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            meat

              6. A surprising option for cheese fondue dipping: pickles!

              Small pickles such as cornichons are a great salty option for fondue.

              pickles

                7. Why don’t more people use potatoes for a fondue meal?

                Everyone loves baked potatoes with cheese on them, or cheese fries, so though it is pretty uncommon to be found on the plate for fondue, cooked potatoes, or french fries, or potato skins are a great option!

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                potato

                  8. Your friends!

                  What could possibly go with cheese fondue? The people you want to dip with, of course!

                  friends

                    Did I miss anything that you love in or with your fondue? Let me know, so I can try it!

                    Go forth and fondue!

                    Featured photo credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz via flickr.com

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                    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                    Con #4: Unique Distractions

                    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                    More About Working From Home

                    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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