In 2008 we had the wonderful experience of having a Swiss exchange student stay with us for a year, and L quickly became a member of our family. She was 16 years old, and wanted to learn English, and chose SA to do so. As a result, we now have really lovely friends in Switzerland, and are making plans to visit our sweet Swiss daughter soon, hopefully next year. L’s family came on out to see her last January, 8 of them, so we packed up the caravan and went to the Kruger Park with them.
They stayed in accomodation, and we camped, and all got together to eat, drink wine and whiskey and laugh! Despite the language barrier (L was the only one who could undestand both sides, and so translate), we had a great time.
As per usual, we were cooking for a crowd out of a small caravan (my record number of people fed on holiday is 21), but it went off fine. I plan, AP oversees the fire, everyone pitches in and we ate some pretty memorable meals. The best, though, was the Swiss cheese fondue.
L’s mom and dad treated us to an authentic Swiss meal – they even brought the pre-packs of mixed gruyere and emmenthaler cheese from Switzerland, packets & packets of them.
My trusty black pot got put on the fire, and the packets emptied into it, along with a whole bottle of white wine and umpteen cloves of chopped garlic. AP made 2 fires, one very hot to start the cooking – the fondue was watched very closely by the Swiss chaps, because as soon as it made it’s first volcano impression, it must be moved to a cool fire. Then they stirred it for as long as they felt was necessary, whilst the fondue got thick and glorious. I wish I could describe the smell – gorgeous!
Meanwhile, about 5 loaves of crusty white bread were chopped into chunks. All 14 of us then gathered around the fire to dunk bread into the cheese fondue and it was SO delicious! Fresh bread, cheese fondue, white wine to drink – wish I could have some right now……
The Swiss rule (for that family, anyway) is if you lose your bread in the fondue, you must sing…..us locals were very careful not to lose our bread!
It was a stinking hot night, as only the Kruger Park can get, and the Swiss folks thought it hilarious to be eating a fondue in such weather, when they usually have their first fondue of the year with the first snow.
Such a good memory!
Oh, and if you’d like to try this,you can sometimes find the Swiss fondue pre-packs in Woolworths Food Stores.