I’m in a nostalgic mood today thinking of fun objects from the past. Take for instance the lava lamps which contain blobs of colored wax inside a glass vessel filled with clear liquid; heat from an incandescent bulb underneath the vessel causes the wax to rise and fall as its density changes making shapes resembling lava.
Lava lamps in a variety of colors are sold everywhere from eBay to Target. I have one similar to the lamp pictured; it’s fun to veg out watching the shapes morph up and down. I consider this a form of meditation.
LAZY SUSANS were all the rage for entertaining during the sixties. Some, like the one here, are equipped with cups and many Chinese restaurants have a variety of sizes that contain dishware to hold the food. To my mind, spinning a platter is much more efficient than asking someone to pass the mashed potatoes, and it certainly makes for more conviviality.
Speaking of conviviality, fondue pots were another 60’s social rage.
Fondue originated in Switzerland as a way of using up hardened cheese. Deriving from the French verb fondre, meaning “to melt,” fondue is a classic peasant dish. Accounts vary on how fondue was originally created. Traditional fondue is made with a mixture of Emmenthaler and/or Gruyere cheese and wine, melted in a communal pot. Cherry brandy (yum!) is often added to the melted mixture, which becomes a dip for pieces of stale bread and crusts.
Chef Konrad Egli of New York’s Chalet Swiss Restaurant introduced a fondue method of cooking meat cubes in hot oil. Happily, chocolate fondu followed.
Baked goods such as brownies, pound cake, marshmallows, and ladyfingers work well for dipping in chocolate. Fresh fruit such as strawberries, pears, or bananas are romantic and healthier. Dried fruit such as apricots or large chunks of candied ginger are also delicious with chocolate.
Fondue restaurants remain popular. For dipping, they offer chicken, meat, seafood and, of course, cheese and chocolate. I may try dining at one.
I would like to hear from readers who have other retro favorites. Right now, in addition to feeling nostalgic, I’m getting hungry. A melted cheese sandwich or P B & J both sound good. Then I plan to meditate in front of my lava lamp.