Greetings from Antarctica! Oh wait…I mean Arkansas. We are iced in…again…and it makes me forget where I live. But that gives me time to catch up on the blog, so I won’t complain!
As mentioned in my previous post, my husband and I had to postpone our Valentine’s plans on account of the flu in our household. Our plans finally came to fruition last Saturday, and we had such a great night! Let me give you a little backstory first….
My hubby, Jeremy, and I have a tradition of taking turns surprising the other with Valentine’s Day plans. So one year, he’s in charge of planning Valentine’s, and the next year, I’m in charge of our plans. And so on and so forth. Several years ago, I surprised him with a trip to Memphis to see “Spamalot” (which was so stinkin’ fantastic) and dinner at The Melting Pot. When I told him it was a fondue restaurant, my usually up-for-anything husband said, “Do what?!?” Haha! He is a very picky eater, and fondue was something he never intended to try.
When we got to The Melting Pot, we were shocked to discover that you cooked your own food. We were like, “We came all this way and are paying all this money to cook our own dinner?” Little did we know what a fun experience it would be! For any readers who have not experienced The Melting Pot, you get four amazing courses when you order the whole nine yards: cheese fondue, salad, entrée, and chocolate fondue. The entrée is the part where you do your own cooking – and it was so much fun.
We were hooked upon the first bite of the cheese fondue, but if we hadn’t been, the variety of meats would have sealed the deal for my husband, and the chocolate fondue would have made a believer out of me. All this to say, we love The Melting Pot! It is a bit pricey, so we usually only go once a year, usually for Valentine’s Day or our anniversary. We love the fondue experience so much that we asked my parents for a nice Cuisinart fondue pot for Christmas four years ago. And they bought us one. And we never used it. Until now….
Flash forward to Valentine’s Day 2014, my year to be in charge of Valentine’s Day. I thought to myself, “By golly, I am going to use that fondue pot that’s been in the cupboard for four years to fix a romantic fondue dinner for us at home.” I hadn’t gotten around to using it because I knew it was going to be a huge undertaking. But I was determined to make it happen! I got on The Melting Pot’s website back in January to see if they had any of their recipes listed, and lo and behold, they are now selling a Melting Pot cookbook! I ordered one right away, along with some marinade, salad dressing, seasoning, and chocolate wafers. My goal was to recreate a night at The Melting Pot…and we did.
It really was quite a production…it took us five hours! Lol! We started at 5:00pm and didn’t finish until 10:00pm. There was a half hour break in there for me to rest…I was worn out! Not only was there TONS of prep-work that started the night before, I had to clean the fondue pot between each course. My back was killing me from all the cooking and dishwashing. But it was so much fun. Jeremy was my sous-chef, and I every time I needed him I’d holler, “Get this, Sous!” or “Fetch that, Sous!” It was great bossing him around the kitchen, and he learned a lot. Together, we cooked a fabulous meal.
Here are some pictures from each of our four courses:
We started with a traditional Swiss cheese fondue. Not nearly as good as the cheddar one we order at The Melting Pot, but I wanted to start with a classic.
Next up were salads with The Melting Pot’s house dressing. Can you guess which salad is Jeremy’s?
The main course included teriyaki sirloin, jumbo shrimp, barbecue pork loin, and four cheese ravioli (for me). On the side, we had potatoes and broccoli. We had so much leftover food, it was ridiculous.
The fourth and final course was Bananas Foster fondue, which is made with white chocolate. Absolutely. Divine. This course was all mine, and I had all kind of goodies for dipping: strawberries, bananas, pound cake, marshmallows rolled in graham cracker crumbs, Rice Krispie treats, and sugar cookie pieces. And of course, plain iced sugar cookies for my honey.
It was a memorable evening for sure, and even though it was hard work, I look forward to doing it again. Not anytime soon, but sometime. I am so thankful for my Valentine. He is my best friend, amazing father, hard worker, and love of my life. He has been very supportive of my weight loss goals, and I look forward to celebrating with him when I accomplish them. Maybe we’ll celebrate with a trip to The Melting Pot.